Depersonalization disorder  

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Depersonalization disorder (DSM-IV Dissociative Disorders 300.6 (DPD) is a dissociative disorder in which the sufferer is affected by persistent or recurrent feelings of depersonalization and/or derealization. The symptoms include a sense of automation, going through the motions of life but not experiencing it, feeling as though one is in a movie, feeling as though one is in a dream, feeling a disconnection from one's body; out-of-body experience, a detachment from one's body, environment and difficulty relating oneself to reality.

Occasional moments of depersonalization are normal; persistent or recurrent feelings are not. A diagnosis of a disorder is made when the dissociation is persistent and interferes with the social and occupational functions necessary to everyday living. Most cases of depersonalization disorder are triggered by abuse, trauma, and drug use, although a variety of genetic and environmental factors are implicated. Depersonalization disorder can be conceptualized as a defense mechanism as the core symptoms of the disorder are thought to protect the victim from negative stimuli. Depersonalization disorder is often comorbid with anxiety disorders, panic disorders, clinical depression and/or bipolar disorder.

An individual diagnosed with depersonalization disorder may feel as if he or she is going insane although reality testing remains intact during episodes and continuous depersonalization, such that a person suffering from the disorder will be able to behave and interact normally with his or her environment. This fact can be distressing for those with DPD; the friends and family of the victim do not realize that anything is wrong, because the subjective experience of dissociation is not a visible phenomenon. While a nuisance, and very distressing to the sufferer, people with depersonalization disorder represent no risk to society, since their grasp on reality remains intact.

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

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