What is DPRD?

Depersonalisation and/or Derealisation is a defence mechanism that the mind employs to help it to cope with too much stress. However, the feelings that this creates can be strange and at times very frightening.

Depersonalisation Derealisation Disorder (also known as DPD, DPRD, DPDR) can be described in many different ways but essentially, it is a feeling of being disconnected from your own body (Depersonalisation) or feeling disconnected from the world around you (Derealisation).

You may be experiencing Depersonalisation Derealisation Disorder if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

Depersonalisation symptoms

  • Feeling like a ‘robot’

  • Feeling that you're not in control of your speech or movements

  • Feeling like you are an outside observer of your own mental processes

  • Feeling like you are ‘outside’ of your body or parts of your body

  • Emotional or physical ‘numbness’

Derealisation symptoms

  • Feeling as if you are living in a dream or a movie

  • Feeling as though you are ‘in a bubble’ or ‘behind glass’Feelings of being alienated from or unfamiliar with your surroundings

  • Your surroundings appear distorted, blurry, two-dimensional or artificial, or alternatively, a heightened awareness and clarity of your surroundings

  • Distortions in your perception of time

  • Distortions of distance and of the size and shape of objects around you

It is important to remember that symptoms of Depersonalisation Derealisation Disorder can be different for each person. The symptoms can also be very hard to describe, so even if you don’t recognise your symptoms in the above list, that doesn’t mean that you aren’t experiencing it.

Here are some ways that people describe their experiences of DPDR:

“I suddenly felt as though I had left my own body. My arms and legs felt completely numb. I looked down at my hands and it was as though I was looking at someone else's. I felt like I was looking at myself through a television screen. I was so frightened, I thought I was going mad or I was going to die.”

- Claire

“I suddenly felt as though I had left my own body. My arms and legs felt completely numb. I looked down at my hands and it was as though I was looking at someone else's. I felt like I was looking at myself through a television screen. I was so frightened, I thought I was going mad or I was going to die.”

- Bob

“I suddenly felt as though I had left my own body. My arms and legs felt completely numb. I looked down at my hands and it was as though I was looking at someone else's.”

- Jane

An episode of Depersonalisation/Derealisation can last minutes for some, while others may experience much longer episodes.

If you are experiencing ongoing, recurring or intense feelings of Depersonalization/Derealization and these are affecting your day-to-day life, you may want to seek some treatment.

What causes DPRD…