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Why Do I Feel Like the World Isn’t Real?

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I’m having trouble distinguishing what is real and what isn’t. For example I sometimes just look at my surroundings and friends and feel like I’m not in that room with them or they are not real everything is fake and playing out. I also look at my body (e.g. hands) or in the mirror and feel like I’m not in my body, or someone else is controlling my body, actions and words at times too. Not that it disturbs me, it does feel a little strange and off, like I’m not right? People do tell me I look spaced out most of the time, like “I’m not there” apparently this lasts for ages,I don’t really remember it much though. The feeling It plays out everyday most of the day, I would just like some insight on it. Thank you

Why Do I Feel Like the World Isn’t Real?

Answered by on -


You may be describing episodes of derealization. Derealization is the feeling of feeling detached or unfamiliar with the people around you, your surroundings and the world in general. Many people who have these experiences have a sense that something is wrong but are able to remain in touch with reality. These experiences can be stressful and can make it difficult to function on a day-to-day basis.

Derealization is a dissociative disorder. Dissociative disorders are often associated with traumas. Your symptoms could also be the result of a medical condition such as epilepsy, drug abuse or the side effect of a medication.

I would recommend having an evaluation with both a primary care physician and a mental health professional. The primary care physician can rule out a medical cause. The mental health clinician can determine if a mental health disorder is present and provide treatment for your symptoms. Both cognitive behavioral therapy, by a provider who specializes in dissociative disorders, and medication could be helpful in reducing your symptoms. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

Why Do I Feel Like the World Isn’t Real?

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). Why Do I Feel Like the World Isn’t Real?. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 19, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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