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Derealization - Wikipedia

๐ŸŒˆ Abstract

The article discusses derealization, which is an alteration in the perception of the external world, causing it to be perceived as unreal, distant, distorted or falsified. It covers the symptoms, causes, and prevalence of derealization.

๐Ÿ™‹ Q&A

[01] Derealization

1. What are the key symptoms of derealization?

  • Individuals may report that what they see lacks vividness and emotional coloring
  • Emotional response to visual recognition of loved ones may be significantly reduced
  • Familiar places may look alien, bizarre, and surreal
  • The world as perceived by the individual may feel as if it were going through a dolly zoom effect
  • Perceptual abnormalities may also extend to the senses of hearing, taste, and smell

2. What are some of the causes of derealization?

  • Neurological conditions like epilepsy (particularly temporal lobe epilepsy), migraine, and mild TBI (head injury)
  • Disruption of the process by which perception becomes emotionally colored
  • Trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), especially in childhood
  • Disturbances in the frontal-temporal cortex of the brain
  • Anxiety disorders, especially hypochondriasis
  • Sleep disorders and mental disorders like depersonalization disorder, borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and dissociative identity disorder
  • Substance use, including cannabis, psychedelics, dissociatives, antidepressants, caffeine, nitrous oxide, albuterol, nicotine, alcohol withdrawal, and benzodiazepine withdrawal

3. How common is chronic derealization?

  • Chronic derealization is fairly rare
  • Temporary derealization symptoms are commonly experienced by the general population, with a lifetime prevalence of up to 26โ€“74% and a prevalence of 31โ€“66% at the time of a traumatic event

4. How does derealization affect cognitive functioning?

  • Derealization has been shown to interfere with the learning process, with cognitive impairments demonstrated in immediate recall and visuospatial deficits
  • This can be best understood as the individual feeling as if they see the events in third person

[02] Relationship to Other Conditions

1. How is derealization related to depersonalization?

  • Derealization is a related symptom characterized by dissociation towards one's own body and mental processes
  • The two are commonly experienced in conjunction with one another, but are also known to occur independently

2. What is the link between derealization and trauma/PTSD?

  • Instances of recurring or chronic derealization are strongly linked to experiences of extreme trauma and/or PTSD
  • Up to 30% of PTSD patients report recurring feelings of derealization and depersonalization, compared to only around 2% in the general population
  • Experiencing trauma can cause individuals to distance themselves from their surroundings and perception as a coping mechanism or reflexive response

3. How does derealization relate to other mental disorders?

  • Derealization is a symptom that can occur in various mental disorders, including depersonalization disorder, borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and dissociative identity disorder

[03] Cultural References

1. How is derealization referenced in popular culture?

  • The 2021 comedy special by Bo Burnham called "Bo Burnham: Inside" references the concept of derealization in the song "That Funny Feeling"
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