Depersonalization; who am I?

In an overview, depersonalization brings about many negative symptoms for someone who has the disorder. Not being able to feel or recognise emotions, otherwise known as emotional detachment, is a common problem in those with depersonalization. Whilst this sounds scary enough, feelings of constantly being in a dream, not feeling real, and even feeling detached from oneself go hand in hand with the disorder. It should be remembered that this is different to derealization disorder, which effects how the individual perceives their surroundings rather than themselves.

Focusing on the interesting effect of not being able to recognise oneself, this is a common symptom and as imagined can be very disturbing for an individual to experience. This ranges from an individual not recognising themselves in images or even in the mirror. There has been some research as to why this may be. Winther (2010) suggests that the disorder alters the concept of self by causing a disturbance to it, as humans believe that they experience themselves directly with no interference, this alteration by the disorder leaves individuals confused and possibly seeing themselves in a different way. Winthers suggests that depersonalization shows that there are many levels to an individual’s ‘self’ that can become apparent when suffering from a disorder. When an individual notices this change in their ‘self’ their focus turns to their own consciousness as they realise that something is wrong, which then feeds back into the depersonalisation disorder as they are now constantly focusing on their internal feelings and sensations; this ends up being a problematic cycle (Winthers, 2010).

woman in white and black stripe long sleeve shirt

Winther, A. (2010). The Social Dimension of the Self: Self-formation as Revealed by Depersonalization. Retrieved 13 January 2022, from

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