Depersonalisation-Derealisation Disorder

Depersonalisation-Derealisation Disorder

Depersonalisation-Derealisation Disorder is a dissociative disorder and is the experience of feeling unreal, detached, and often, unable to feel emotion. It is a phenomenon characterised by a disruption in self-awareness and emotional numbness, where many people feel that they are disconnected or estranged form one’s self.

It is one way that the mind copes during periods of high levels of stress, and usually develops as a way to cope with trauma. For some people the condition can feel as though the world around them is like a movie that they are watching rather than specifically being a part of it. 

Common Experiences:

  • Feeling as though you are watching yourself in a film or looking at yourself from the outside.
  • Feeling as if you are just observing your emotions.
  • Feeling disconnected from parts of your body or your emotions.
  • Feeling as if you are floating away.
  • Feeling unsure of the boundaries between yourself and other people.

Personal Story:

“For most of my life I have felt disconnected from life and from everyone around me. I feel robotic and the world feels flat and lifeless.

DDD is a dissociative disorder and therefore needs someone qualified and knowledgeable in these sorts of conditions to diagnose it.

I have found that some health professionals I have been in contact with over the years to be unsympathetic and bewildered which has been a very isolating experience for me. I’ve often been misdiagnosed and I feel that possible doors to recovery are being closed.”

- Elizabeth

More Information:


Mind UK:

MSD Manual: