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Is It Possible I Could Have Depersonalization/Derealization Disorder?

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Hi i’m an 18 year old girl and i’m diagnosed with ADD, GAD, and depression. after trying other meds, i’m only on zoloft atm. basically i’ve been starting to lose hope for myself. i’ve been to many different therapists and tried a few other medications. i don’t know if i will ever be able to live a normal life. i’m afraid of everything. lately i’ve been concerned about myself more because i have moments where i feel just detached from reality. as if i’m watching life through a screen. sometimes the person i see in the mirror looks like a stranger to me. i haven’t told my therapist about this because i don’t know if it’s just my anxiety or if i actually have the disorder. i haven’t told my family because i don’t want to worry them even more for me. my depression doesn’t help either. if nothings real why try in life? it feels like i won’t be able to ever leave any sort of impact.

Is It Possible I Could Have Depersonalization/Derealization Disorder?

Answered by on -

A.

You should explore this diagnosis with your therapist and or psychiatrist. They would be in the best position to diagnose whatever may be wrong.

One consideration is that the medication itself is causing you to feel the detachment you have described. This is yet another reason why it’s important to report this potential side effect to your treating professionals. A different treatment may be necessary, but without your feedback they wouldn’t know that anything is wrong. The more information your treatment team has about your symptoms, side effects, and so forth, the more they can help you.

You mentioned not wanting to tell your therapist about your experiences with detachment. I would strongly advise against that. Your therapist can’t fully help you if they don’t know what’s wrong. They are there to help you but it’s a struggle if you withhold information. Tell your therapist about all of the things you’re feeling. Your withholding of information might be inadvertently negatively impacting your treatment. They need your input.

Regarding your family, you may or may not want to tell them. That is a personal decision you’re going to have to make. Understandably, you don’t want them to worry but they probably wouldn’t have the reaction you think they would. Also, they likely can provide you with much-needed support during this difficult time. When you’re struggling, you need as much support as you can get. If they are not aware that anything is wrong, they can’t help you.

You may have noticed by now that you seem to have a tendency towards withholding important information in fear of what others will think of you. You seem to be making assumptions about how you believe people will react to certain information. When it comes to treatment, more information is always better. You shouldn’t be withholding information from the very people who are attempting to help you. It hinders their ability to do their work.

It’s not outlandish to suggest that the heart of the problem is that you are not forthcoming about your full spectrum of symptoms. This could potentially explain your continued distress. Thus, the solution to this problem may be (at least in part) you being more forthcoming about your symptoms.

I understand your frustration with this process but don’t give up. You’re on the right track. You’re in counseling and you trying different types of medication. You doing all the right things. Trial and error are common elements of the treatment process. It can be challenging but it’s well worth the effort. By being more forthcoming about your symptoms, you might find that your treating professionals are better able to assist you. With more information about what’s wrong, they’ll be better equipped to make the proper treatment adjustments. Good luck and please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

Is It Possible I Could Have Depersonalization/Derealization Disorder?

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. (2019). Is It Possible I Could Have Depersonalization/Derealization Disorder?. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 18, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2019/08/12/is-it-possible-i-could-have-depersonalization-derealization-disorder/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 9 Aug 2019
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 9 Aug 2019
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.