1. Health
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

What is Depersonalization?


Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.


Depersonalization is a change in perception that causes you to become detached from your own experience. You feel as though you are an observer of your actions, that you are viewing yourself in a movie or that you are like a robot. Although depersonalization involves an altered perception of reality, it differs from a psychotic episode in that you are still aware of, and connected to, reality.

Depersonalization can be a symptom experienced by those with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It can also be a symptom of depression or anxiety disorders, including social anxiety disorder. Depersonalization can also be caused by drug and alcohol use.

Depersonalization is rarely a standalone problem, and treatment is generally directed at the underlying disorder.


©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.