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Is This Depersonalization?

by Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

From a 15 year old in the U.S.: Hi, I’ve had this problem for 4 months it’s been 24/7, but things have all of a sudden felt like everything is getting like fast forwarded or rushed like I sat in a dressing room for an 1 hour and it felt like 30 minutes I don’t know what’s wrong with my perception of time is there any way to fix this??? And I feel very emotionally numb like I’ll laugh but I won’t feel anything. and words on boards seem blurry to me even though I’ve never had reading issues like maybe not blurry just that my mind can’t quite comprehend. I know I have depersonalization but are some of these problems something else

Thank you so much for writing. As you already know, naming something doesn’t fix it. I don’t know enough to confirm that depersonalization is the issue.

The most important thing you said is that this is a marked change as of only a few months ago. For that reason, the first thing you should do is see your medical doctor and share everything you’ve said in your letter. Believe it or not, there are a number of physical problems that can account for what is happening.

Do make sure to tell the doctor about your sleep pattern, how much time you are on screens, whether your diet is healthy and how much exercise you get. Those may not seem to be related issues, but, really, they are. The doctor needs that information to make an informed diagnosis.

If you come up with a clean bill of health, then see a mental health counselor. If it is depersonalization, there are treatments to help it. If it is something else, you need to know what’s going on so you can get the best treatment for it.

You took an important first step in writing to us. Now – please – follow through by making that appointment with your doctor. If there is something physically wrong, early diagnosis and treatment is always the best way to manage it.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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