Depersonalization is a feeling of being detached from one’s own body or feeling outside of one’s body. This may include experiences like feeling like you’re floating outside of your body, not recognizing yourself in the mirror, feeling like you’re standing next to yourself observing yourself, among other experiences which often feel confusing and difficult to explain. Individuals will often describe feeling floaty, spacy, or foggy.
Derealization is the feeling that the world is not real. People describe feeling as if they are looking at the world through a fog or from behind a glass wall. Individuals have described derealization in a range of ways, including the world looking like it’s made out of Legos, feeling as if they are in a cartoon, feeling as if they are looking through a camera or are watching a movie.
Both of these symptoms can present in a variety of ways depending on the individual. Individuals often have a difficult time describing these experiences, but feel them often. At times they can be accompanied by lack of emotion feeling, even when individuals know they should be feeling certain emotions. Individuals may say things like, “I know I’m sad, but I don’t feel sad.”