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I Feel Like I’m Not Really Here

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I used to be really social. I had a lot of friends and didn’t mind talking to other people. It was easy for me to socialize but a couple years ago I started to get the feeling that I wasn’t real, like I’m in a dream kind of state. This only happened once or twice a month and I could easily get the thought out of my head. Now this happens every day and I have been admitted to 3 hospitals THIS YEAR. I feel like I’m not actually here. I feel like a zombie just kind of walking through life. Im afraid to talk to people and when I’m around people I feel like my soul leaves my body and I start having an “episode”, where I freak out and feel like I’m literally going to die. I’m so scared all the time because I dwell on the thought of “am I actually alive or not?”. I’m so irritable all the time, just my family talking to me makes me angry. I’m always paranoid and always feel like I’m being watched, even when I’m alone. These thoughts of not being real have made me freak out so bad that I literally hyperventilated and passed out. I’ve tried to smoke weed to calm myself down but that just makes me freak out even worse. I don’t know what’s wrong with me and I’m so scared. Someone please help!

I Feel Like I’m Not Really Here

Answered by on -

A.

You stated that you were admitted to three hospitals this year, but you didn’t elaborate on why or what happened. It would have been helpful for you to have included information about those hospitalizations, such as your diagnosis and what treatment was given. It’s unclear why these hospitalizations were not apparently helpful and why you are not utilizing treatment.

What you may be describing is depersonalization/derealization disorder. Your symptoms seem most consistent with the derealization aspect of the disorder which, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, involves having experiences of unreality or feeling detached (i.e. feeling lifeless, having out-of-body experiences, etc.). Auditory and visual hallucinations are also common with this disorder.

Diagnoses cannot be made online and thus, in order to determine if you have a mental health disorder, you would need to undergo an in-person evaluation. That is something I would highly recommend. You should also avoid using drugs or engaging in any other self-determined treatments. Doing so could make your symptoms worse. You want to try to stay as calm and relaxed as possible. Stress, anxiety, overstimulation, lack of sleep, and even certain lighting can make your symptoms worse.

Please speak to your parents about your symptoms and ask for their assistance in seeking professional help. Treatment might involve your taking medication and or engaging in psychotherapy. Treatment will be your best chance of overcoming this problem. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

I Feel Like I’m Not Really Here

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2018). I Feel Like I’m Not Really Here. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 16, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2016/07/22/i-feel-like-im-not-really-here/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.