Depersonalization vs. Dissociation

ArtStation - depersonalization, Steven Herbers

Depersonalization is when the person feels disconnected from themselves. You may feel like you are separated from your body and are experiencing yourself as if you are watching someone else’s movements, You feel like you are going through life like a robot. It is an out-of-body experience and there is a sense of detachment from one’s own identity. When I learned this, it seemed familiar to me because I kept relating it to dissociation. I quickly learned that dissociation is broader than depersonalization and that depersonalization can be thought of as a subcategory since it is a bit more specific. Dissociation is when the person feels disconnected from themselves, their body, and the reality around them, which can manifest in different ways such as daydreaming and amnesia. To put it differently, while dissociation is feeling disconnected from many things not only from self, it is as mentioned, when you daydream, float away, and even as if you’re seeing yourself through third person while going through life on auto-pilot mode. Depersonalization is the feeling of being disconnected from the self which is why it is considered an out-of-body experience. One is usually disconnected from the body, thoughts, and emotions and feels like you are dreaming. This is why I got a little confused in the beginning when depersonalization was talked about in class because I never really looked into it that closely before. I am more familiar with dissociation since I experience it, however, now that I know the difference better It has given me a better understanding of to what extent people can feel disconnected in their lives and the challenges that come with it.

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