Depersonalization Disorder: Living in a Dream World

May 30, 2011 Amy Kiel

Most of us never have the experience of feeling as if we are disconnected from our own body and mind, but if you are suffering from depersonalization disorder then you feel this detachment far too frequently. Our guest, Jeffrey Abugel, has experienced depersonalization disorder personally and has co-authored one of the seminal books on the topic. Recently, he has authored a second book about the experience of living with this disorder and he came on our show to share a deeper look into the world of depersonalization.

Describing Depersonalization Disorder

Jeffrey Abugel describes to us what it is like to experience depersonalization disorder, he says it can be very difficult for people to describe and most often people refer to metaphors to give a description: "it's as if my soul is detached from my body, it's as if I'm a robot going through the motions of life, it's as if I'm watching myself in a movie." It can be daunting to describe the experience and often a proper diagnosis can elude those suffering. Often times, a diagnosis of depression or anxiety is mistaken for depersonalization disorder or they can be commonly co-morbid conditions.

The Causes of Depersonalization Disorder

Jeffrey AbugelJeffrey shares with us treatment options and a greater insight into this disorder that is classified as a dissociative disorder, although frequently anxiety and panic attacks can be the trigger for it's onset. Additionally, drug use can lead to depersonalization disorder and be the culprit of it's onset. Therefore it occurs more frequently in young adults and even teenagers in comparison to the adult population. It is also believed that periods of long-term stress may predisposition some for DPD.

Listen to Depersonalization Disorder: Living in a Dream World

You can visit Jeffrey Abugel at his website: Depersonalization.Info You can find his books Stranger to My Self: Inside Depersonalization the Hidden Epidemic and Feeling Unreal: Depersonalization Disorder and the Loss of Self.

Share your experiences with Depersonalization Disorder

Do you have experience with depersonalization disorder or do you believe that you may have the disorder? We invite you to share your thoughts and experience with us. Leave comments below.

APA Reference
Kiel, A. (2011, May 30). Depersonalization Disorder: Living in a Dream World, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 20 from

Author: Amy Kiel

June, 17 2011 at 5:16 am

I was wondering if this disorder is something thats always there or if it just is something that happens sometimes... how would I learn more about this? I do sometimes feel like this but I don't know if its often enough to mean I could have it.

March, 4 2015 at 4:18 am

Sorry, I am four years late to reply, so I doubt you will ever read this Amy, but I will reply anyways, in case you return, or someone else stumbles upon this.
First, Depersonalization can be continuous, or it can happen in episodes. Episodes can last varying lengths of time, from mere minutes, to entire years. Maybe continuous cases a actually just very long episodes? It's hard to say.
Second, I have found a couple of good webpages.;;
I hope this is helpful to someone.

October, 5 2021 at 6:05 pm

I’ve lived in dream world the entire 47 years of my existence

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