Ever since middle school I’ve had these thoughts and feelings that everything I looked at didn’t seem real. It seemed fake. As if I was living in a game. As I got older to where I am now I feel as if I really am living in some other type of reality. The things I look at aren’t real. The people I’m around aren’t real. Nothing is real. Sometimes I feel like I I’m not even real. Lately I’ve also been having these thoughts and dreams about killing people. Just to see what’s real and not. I feel like I’m going to lose control of myself. And I can’t find myself to care. As if every day that goes by more and more nothing seems to matter since nothing is real. What is wrong with me?
A. What you may be describing are experiences of depersonalization and derealization. Depersonalization is the experience of feeling detached from one’s emotional self. Derealization is the feeling of being detached from one’s surroundings. You may be experiencing some of both.
It is estimated that half of all adults have experienced at least one episode of depersonalization and or derealization over the course of their lifetime. A disorder may be present if these experiences are persistent.
The definitive cause of these symptoms are unknown. Individuals who experience these types of symptoms often have histories of trauma, including emotional, physical or sexual abuse or possibly having witnessed domestic violence growing up. Marijuana use is also thought to precipitate these symptoms.
I would recommend that you undergo a mental health evaluation to determine if your symptoms meet criteria for a depersonalization and or derealization disorder. If a mental health condition is identified, the evaluator will then discuss your treatment options.
It is especially important that you see a mental health professional because of your thoughts about killing people and your belief that you’re going to lose control. Those are important warning signs that should not be ignored. If you feel as though you can’t help yourself, then go to the emergency room, call 911 or ask someone you trust to assist you. Get help immediately. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle
Randle, K. (2014). Psychotic Thoughts. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 9, 2016, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/06/05/psychotic-thoughts/