More threads by David Baxter PhD

David Baxter PhD

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by Robert T. Muller, York University: The Trauma and Mental Health Report
August 17, 2022

Individuals feel depersonalization when they repeatedly experience a state in which they believe they are viewing themselves as an external person. It is explained as an out-of-body state quite like a dream. It can interfere with your daily activities, productivity, and functioning. Individuals who experience traumatic experiences in their life are more susceptible to depersonalization.

Image Credits: Feature Image: Elyas Pablan, On Unsplash, Creative Commons.

Morgan Page took her own perspective of depersonalization by creating a piece of art portraying her feelings. She states feeling depersonalization but not knowing what it was. She created this art piece after discovering her emotional state was depersonalization. This art piece describes exactly how she felt, the head being detached from her body and once it reattaches she felt like herself again.

The piece, as well as over 30 more, is featured in The Perspective Project, a site to share works inspired by mental health.


Daniel E.
Checklist for symptoms of depersonalization and feelings of unreality (DPAFU):

Have a look at the checklist below that describes some of the main sensations associated with DPAFU.

Changes to feelings and emotions

  • Feeling cut off or detached from the world around you
  • Being emotionally numb
  • Lacking feelings towards other people, such as affection
  • Feeling in a dream-like state
  • Feeling like a robot or on ‘automatic pilot’
  • Loss of motivation due to everything seeming without meaning
  • Feeling isolated from the world around you
  • OC depersonalisation and feelings of unreality
  • Not caring about your actions or behaviour
  • Feeling like an observer of yourself
Problems with your thinking processes
  • Finding it difficult to concentrate
  • Feeling like your mind has ‘gone blank’
  • Experiencing thoughts that are speeded up and confused
  • Having significant problems remembering everyday things
  • Feeling detached from memories
  • Having difficulty picturing things in your mind’s eye
  • Struggling to take in new information
  • Finding yourself repeatedly absorbed in thoughts about the meaning of life and existence
Unusual physical and perceptual sensations
  • The world around you appears unreal or artificial
  • Physical numbness in parts, or all, of your body
  • Feelings of weightlessness or hollowness
  • Losing your sense of taste, touch or smell
  • Objects around you appearing smaller than they really are
  • Objects around you appearing larger than they really are
  • Experiencing distortions to sounds (including your own voice)
  • The world around you appears less colourful than it really is
  • Objects and the world around you appear flat or two-dimensional
  • Objects seeming not to be solid
  • Feeling detached from your own reflection when looking in a mirror
  • Feeling as if time has been stopped, slowed down or speeded up

From the self-help book:

Amazon product

Related website:



  • ChecklistofMainDPAFUSensationsp.7-9.pdf
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