FALSE ALARM 11. ‘Derealisation’ and ‘Depersonalisation’

Correcting common Misinterpretations

‘Derealisation’ – A feeling that the world around you is unreal and unfamiliar
‘Depersonalisation’ – A feeling that your own sense of self is unreal in comparison to ‘reality’ outside yourself

These are perhaps the scariest symptoms of panic. It’s bad enough that you feel that your health or sanity is under threat – but when you start to wonder about the truth of your very existence that can be VERY scary indeed.

The feeling is so bizarre you really begin to question your sanity and wonder if you will EVER return to ‘normality’

It is extremely hard for other people to understand this feeling which increases the sense of alienation. Try describing THIS to someone.. not easy..

ACTUAL REALITY This feeling is simply a temporary sensory ‘overload’ caused by the escalating cycle of fear

This is a VERY common experience with panic. When people are in ACTUAL danger they often report that it ‘didn’t feel real’ – we accept this because we can attach it to a cause – but without a cause we feel we are losing our ‘grip on reality’.

Treat this feeling like any other symptom of panic and apply the skills you learn in this book particularly the Mindfulness exercises. You will soon lose this fear.


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