Depersonalization  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Depersonalization is an 'alteration' in the perception or experience of the self so that one feels 'detached' from, and as if one is an 'outside' observer of, one's mental processes or body. It can be considered desirable, such as in the use of recreational drugs, but it usually refers to the severe form found in anxiety and, in the most intense case, panic attacks. A sufferer feels that he or she has changed and the world has become less real, vague, dreamlike, or lacking in significance. It can sometimes be a rather disturbing experience, since many feel that indeed, they are living in a "dream."

Chronic depersonalization refers to depersonalization disorder, which is classified by the DSM-IV as a dissociative disorder. Derealization is a similar term to depersonalization, and the two are often used interchangeably. However, more specifically, derealization is the feeling that "nothing is real," while depersonalization is the feeling that one is "detached" from one's body or world. Though these feelings can happen to anyone, they are most prominent in anxiety disorders, clinical depression, bipolar disorder, sleep deprivation, and some types of epilepsy.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Depersonalization" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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