I Don’t Feel Real

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I feel like I’m not really all there. I literally feel like I’m floating on air, and I don’t know where I am. I’m sure this happens to everyone every once in a while, but this is a constant thing for me. Almost all the time. I have trouble remembering things when I go into these, states I guess you could say. I’m in my own little world, and I can’t see well. I feel like I’m high when I’m not. I hope that all made sense. I just want out of it. I have severe depression, so maybe it’s something to do with that, but I don’t know. I’m trying everything I can to make sure I don’t kill myself, but I’m tired.

A: Sometimes people don’t tell their doctors these things because they worry they will be labelled as “crazy.” You’re not. You’re in distress and the feelings you are describing are understood by mental health professionals. You need to talk to your treating psychiatrist. When someone is diagnosed with depression, symptoms like these are treated as part of the overall depression. What you are describing may also be symptomatic of a dissociative disorder or a depersonalization disorder. Your doctor needs to have a clear understanding of all of your symptoms in order to determine the appropriate treatment.

I suggest you keep careful track of your feelings for a couple of weeks. Write down the clearest description of each episode you can manage, including the time of day it happens, how long it lasts, and what else is going on at the time. Bring that information to your next appointment.

The success of treatment depends on working with your doctor as a full partner, providing the best information you can. I’m sorry you are feeling so discouraged. I hope a renewed commitment to your own treatment will help.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 20 Mar 2011

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2011). I Don’t Feel Real. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 2, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/03/20/i-dont-feel-real/