My experience with depersonalization/derealization

(This is a report, wrote today about what happened to me about 10 min. ago)

My sleep was terrible last night. I slept 3 hours then woke up and stayed up for 5:30 hours then got 3 more.

I then went out of the house.

I noticed that life felt way different: like everything had moved and I had stayed the same, like life was moving through me. Like the whole world went to bed and woke up and I’m just here having been awake all the time, there is no disconnection to yesterday. Everyday that I walk down the stairs of my building it feels different it feels like a new day but this felt the same. Like being on ground hog day.

Also I felt that I was gonna get found out. I could feel my facial expression. I was like an alien who had just took a body and was afraid of being found out. It’s not that my movement control was worse. Just that I was paranoid, afraid of being outed of *something*.

People were definitely picking up on this, staring a moment too long and turning their heads in a way they thought I didn’t notice in cafes.

Everyone felt like they were part of a movie, my movie. Sure they move and talk but they are just background figures to my movie, like trees, lifeless, except they aren’t still. Everything in my vision was just this huge mass. Not how I usually experience the world: I am a person in the world and these are other persons in the world. Now it was more like this is my life, and my life is a movie and you are all characters, no, props.

My speech was slurred as well. I knew what I wanted but I took a moment too long to say it, both because life felt so different and because I was trying to attend to the differences.

I have experienced this sense before, feeling not-like-myself, like this-isn’t-real-life. That is how it felt like. Like this is just a game and everything else is background and NPCs, like they aren’t real. Not that I am either, there is no *I* in the strong sense that there usually is always an  I. There is just stuff happening in my fields of vision mostly, and my field of awareness more broadly.

(Other phenomenological observations:

  • Usually it feels that decisions *happen* to me, but that I am the agent that is carrying them out. I feel responsible for the things I’m engaged in doing. Right now I feel like I make the decisions explicitly (which is strange, I usually get an urge to drink water I don’t feel like I *decide* to get a cup of water) but that them being carried out is done not by me but for me in an automatic-pilot sort of way.
  • My thinking feels different. Usually it is easy to be aware of what is happening. This is not the case now: I have to strain. Further (I usually think in words) for the most part I’m either getting fully-formed senses in my head or getting a sense that some thinking is being done in the background. Right now I am carving sentences and when I’m not doing that it feels like there is nothing happening, like there is only emptiness inside)

(This state is hella weird I attribute my ability to report it to having experienced one, in a much stronger way, and it going away just by sleeping)

(See this post by Mark for more on depersonalization/derealization and interventions surrounding it)


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