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Depersonalization-Derealization Disorder (DPDR)

Do you feel as if the world around you is fake? Do you have trouble recognizing yourself in the mirror? Do loved ones look weird or unrecognizable to you? Lets dive deeper into DPDR.

What is DPDR?

Depersonalization-Derealization disorder is a mental health condition that affects an individual’s sense of self and surroundings. People with DPDR may feel detached from their thoughts, feelings, and body and may also experience a sense of unreality or detachment from their surroundings. The exact causes of DPDR are not fully understood, but several factors may contribute to its development. Some of these factors include stress, trauma, severe anxiety disorders, and substance use. Depersonalization and Derealization are slightly different but are still considered to be one condition. Let’s see what the differences are.


Depersonalization is when you feel detached or disconnected from your thoughts, feelings, emotions, senses, and body. You may feel as if you are observing yourself from a distance or as if your body is not your own.

Derealization is when you feel detached or disconnected from your environment. The world might look weird, 2D-shaped, and distorted. It may feel like the world around you is fake and that people around you are also not real.

Although the two have some differences, we will treat both as one disorder. It does not matter if you might have derealization over depersonalization or vice versa. It does not matter if you have both since recovery is the same.

Do I have DPDR?

Have you felt or possibly asked yourself these things?

  • "I can’t recognize myself in the mirror or in pictures".
  • "I feel like I am going insane; I think I might be going crazy".
  • "Time feels distorted; I feel like time is never moving forward or is moving too fast".
  • "I can barely remember anything; it feels like I have dementia".
  • "Everything looks so weird and 2D, like I am in a video game".
  • "I am plagued with random existential thoughts about the universe and my existence".

If you answered yes to all or most of these, then you might be dealing with DPDR. Reminder: Always consult with your doctor or therapist for an accurate diagnosis.

DPDR Symptoms

Let's explore some of the more common DPDR symptoms.

Feeling of unreality. You don’t feel real or like you exist.

You feel as if you are not real, as if you are a zombie or robot. You have trouble recognizing your arms, hands, movements, and thoughts.


Dreams and reality feel the same

Your dreams feel as real as reality. It becomes difficult to distinguish dreams from reality.


Existential Thoughts

You are plagued with several crazy existential thoughts. What if I am in the matrix? How do people exist around me? What if I am not human? What if I am an alien or a higher power?


Brain Fog / Confusion

You feel like you are in a state of mental confusion or lack of clarity. You have trouble concentrating, remembering things, or understanding things. You may feel fatigued and disoriented as well.


Memory Loss

You have trouble remembering everything. Your short-term or long-term memory might feel entirely off. You have fears of developing dementia or already having it.


Reality feels distorted

It feels as if you are observing the world behind a wall or pane of glass. Everything around you may look 2D, cartoonish, or like a dream.


Emotional Numbness

You feel like you have no emotions. You have trouble feeling any type of emotion like love, sadness, or joy.


These are just a few of many more types of DPDR symptoms. I had all of the symptoms above and many more. Thankfully, I made a near-full recovery and am back to enjoying my life!

Should I Worry?

NO! DPDR might have some of the scariest symptoms out of other anxiety disorders, but you can make a full 100% recovery! It does not matter if your DPDR was caused by stress, trauma, severe anxiety disorder, or drugs; recovery is generally the same for all of these causes, as long as we address any underlying factors.

DPDR is a response caused by your fight or flight system. You have not messed up your brain or nervous system. Your brain and nervous system believe they are protecting you, but instead, they are causing more harm than good.

My DPDR Story


Hey everyone, I'm Jared. I'm a software engineer who loves building websites and software, exploring new places, hiking, and playing many sports. I'm constantly captivated by the world of technology, engineering, and the endless cycle of learning. But I've got to be honest; I didn't realize how much I took all these things for granted until they were suddenly taken away from me. In June of 2022, I had a massive and intense panic attack that would completely change my world. I had a random intrusive thought that led me to have a panic attack. The next day I woke up completely disconnected from myself and my surroundings. I developed chronic depersonalization derealization disorder due to one panic attack. I had all the symptoms I listed on this page and many more. I was unable to recognize myself in pictures and in the mirror. I had severe brain fog and confusion. I felt confused about my identity, myself, and life 24/7. I also felt disoriented 99% of the time. I was unable to do simple math operations and write simple programs. It was like I entered a mental vegetative state overnight. I was afraid of the sky, people, my own shadow, and my thoughts. I lost everything I ever owned due to one panic attack. I felt trapped in my brain, watching myself from a distance, like in the movie "Get Out." It felt like I was stuck in a lucid dream and had not woken up yet. It seemed like I was in a video game or movie; everything looked flat and 2D-ish. I could not look at family members because they looked super creepy. I hid all the mirrors in my apartment because it scared me to death to look at myself(I looked alien-like and foreign). My wife looked so foreign, as if I had never seen her before in my life. I had a crazy amount of existential thoughts, they felt so real and scary back then, but ironically they seem so funny now. On top of DPDR, I began struggling with panic attacks, OCD, and more. (DPDR and Existential OCD are different things) I began to think I was going to be stuck in this paralyzed mental state my whole life. I continued to fight this disorder until I finally discovered what I was struggling with. I could not afford a $300 DPDR course, so I decided to venture by myself until I found what worked in DPDR recovery. Fast forward to today, I have made an almost full recovery! I am back to learning, back at school, and building this huge website from scratch for all of our members! At my lowest, I could not afford a $100-$500 anxiety, DPDR, or OCD course. FreeMind is the program I desperately needed back then - one that could provide guidance, understanding, and financial accessibility! Register for FREE today to see my full DPDR, anxiety, and OCD recovery story. I'll show you what I did right and what I did wrong.

DPDR Treatment

Research has shown that psychotherapy, self-help therapy, and lifestyle changes, such as stress management techniques and exercise, are critical for someone to make a full DPDR recovery.

Here at FreeMind, we use a combination of great self-help therapy, which uses crucial CBT/ACT techniques and methods, stress management techniques, personalized online support, and much more to ensure our members are on track to make a full recovery.


You can make a full recovery from DPDR. Here at FreeMind, our mission is to guide you through recovery so you can get back to living a fulfilling life!

IMPORTANT!: The DPDR recovery section is still in progress.

Why FreeMind?

I built this website with one intent, to provide anxiety disorder recovery services at no cost to you. When I was at my lowest, I was unable to pay my rent, let alone $300, for an anxiety recovery course.

FreeMind is the anxiety disorder recovery website I needed two years ago. It is free and continues to grow daily! FreeMind has several pages, links, audios, and much more to help you make a full recovery. (Videos coming soon)

New information is constantly added for support members. You will get the latest up-to-date anxiety disorder recovery information (OCD and DPDR Recovery sections coming soon!). Join hundreds of others in recovery today!

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