Unreality, De-realisation & De-personalisation


Some of the strangest and most worrying of all feelings from constant high anxiety and panic attacks are the sensations of unreality. It can be best described as an alteration of your sensory perception where you can feel outside of yourself but with an emptiness that borders on depression. It can leave you feeling very alone and isolated and that you are broken or malfunctioning in some way.

When suffering from an anxiety disorder it is very common to experience a mild related depression. It can lead to feeling like you don’t want to leave the house, socialise or even get up in the morning. This type of depression that is associated with high anxiety is very different from clinical depression and is temporary in nature. Once anxiety levels return to normal we do not experience the mild depression.

When we get these feelings during high anxiety:
  • Excessive worrying
  • Constant panicking
  • Obsessing
  • Constant fear

the nervous system becomes physically and emotionally exhausted.

Have you ever noticed that you feel quite emotional after a Panic Attack?

The build up of stress chemicals can exert a slight delay in processing information between the mind and the body; between thoughts and action. The sensation is one of delayed perception. I remember these feelings well, how could you forget! It is these feelings that can lead us to question ‘am I going mad?’ Or ‘there must be something seriously wrong with me!’ These feelings and sensations are an unwanted but ARE normal side affects of anxiety disorders. Because the nervous system is fatigued due to constant stress we get some unwanted symptoms.

The way to resolve these feelings is to just accept whatever happens. Unreality/DP/DR are temporary in nature. They only stay alive by your fear of them. Like panic, two elements are required for keeping the strange sensations of unreality going – fear and what if’s. Letting the sensation go on without making attempts to stop it, hide from it, panic over it – really is the way to lose it. Stop responding with fear and these symptoms will subside quickly.

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