Why Do I Always Feel Out of It? Causes, Symptoms and Treatment of Derealization Disorder

We can all admit that we have felt very out of it. It’s common for people to feel this way. However, when this feeling is consistent, you may want to consider why it keeps happening. 

So, have you been feeling why do I always feel out of it constantly?

Derealization can make you feel disconnected from your mind and surroundings. You have no reason to be alarmed if you occasionally have such episodes. However, with derealization disorder, you may experience feelings for long periods. You may also face interference and disruptions of your daily work with these feelings. 

It’s vital to have a healthcare professional provide you with a proper diagnosis if you suspect derealization disorder. Fortunately, several strategies may help you manage these feelings better. So, without further ado, let’s jump right into it. 

Most people experience this feeling at least once in their lives. However, only 2% develop the dissociative mental condition of depersonalization/derealization disorder.

What Is Derealization/Depersonalization Disorder? 

As I’ve already mentioned, you may feel disconnected from reality in a derealization state. The objects and the people around you may appear distorted and disproportionate. Additionally, you may be fully aware that what you’re experiencing isn’t real. 

derealization-disorder

Most people experience this feeling at least once in their lives. However, only 2% develop the dissociative mental condition of depersonalization/derealization disorder. You may see these terms synonymously. But in depersonalization, you may feel like you’re looking at yourself from an outsider’s perspective. 

Symptoms

As I’ve already mentioned, the symptoms of depersonalization and derealization differ. It’s best to learn about both of them. The symptoms of depersonalization are listed below: 

  • Having an out-of-body experience
  • Numbness
  • Feeling detached 
  • Having no control over what you say or do
  • Perceiving body parts as the wrong size 
  • Difficulties with emotional memories

The symptoms of derealization may include the following:

  • Your surrounding feel almost dream-like 
  • You feel as if you can see what’s beyond you but can’t reach–like looking through a glass 
  • The surroundings appear distorted–flat, too big, too small, blurry, too close, or too far 
  • Sense of time may also distort–you may think of far-off events as recent and recent events as dated
  • Hyperawareness of your surroundings

For several people, it can be challenging to communicate their symptoms for fear of others labeling them as crazy. But remember that you’re not alone, as most adults experience these once at least. 

Why Do I Always Feel Out of It? Possible Causes

You may have asked yourself, “why do I always feel dizzy and out of it? Why do I randomly feel out of it? Why do I constantly feel out of place? Why do I feel like nothing is real?” 

These questions are common if you’ve experienced an episode of derealization. And it’s also natural to look for explanations. The bad news is that there’s no concrete answer for depersonalization/ derealization disorder or DDD. 

why-do-i-always-feel-out-of-it

However, it does seem to correlate with trauma, particularly if you experience them at a young age. For instance, growing up in a violent household may make people mentally remove themselves from triggering situations. As a result, these dissociating tendencies may provide you with an escape in similar triggering situations. 

Certain drugs like ketamine, salvia, hallucinogens, and marijuana may also trigger a dissociative experience. A small-scale 2015 study also provides evidence for this phenomenon. 

Additionally, like other mental illnesses, some people are more susceptible to developing psychiatric disorders. You may also experience such episodes if your environment is over-stimulating and from sleep deprivation. 

Having a neurotic personality, adjusting poorly to demanding situations, and prolonged depression or anxiety may also induce a dissociative experience. Extreme stress is also almost always why some people experience dissociative episodes more than others. 

How is Depersonalization/Derealization Disorder Diagnosed?

It’s common and natural to feel removed from some situations. So, when does it begin to feel like a mental condition? 

You must consult a mental health professional before you label yourself with DDD. Generally, it’s a good idea to go to a professional when the symptoms start interfering with your daily activities. You’ll want to seek help if you are distressed about your symptoms and experience dissociative episodes frequently. 

The mental health professionals will assess your symptoms thoroughly before arriving at a proper diagnosis. They may order a depersonalization test, where you may have to answer questions centering on these episodes. 

Besides, they might also ask you if you are aware of the reality when you experience an episode. People with depersonalization/derealization disorder are aware of the unrealness in these episodes. You may have a different condition if you aren’t aware of the reality during the experiences. 

They will also rule out recreational drugs and other mental health conditions such as PTSD, schizophrenia, panic disorder, or other types of dissociative disorders. Remember to let your primary care provider know if you also suffer from anxiety or depression. 

Treatment and Coping 

You will need some kind of therapy to manage your DDD symptoms if you have a proper diagnosis. Psychodynamic therapy or cognitive therapy is most effective when it comes to treatment options. 

Your therapist will work to uncover the reason you have been experiencing dissociative episodes in the first place. They might also try to find any risk factors and explore past traumas that may have triggered your condition. 

For some people though, recovery may occur organically, and they might not need formal treatment. However, treatment options like psychotherapy will facilitate dealing with the source of the problem better than trying to resolve the issue on your own. 

Psychotherapy 

Cognitive therapy is a specific type of therapy that helps individuals recognize and change maladaptive patterns. Your therapist may ask you to talk about your past while trying to pinpoint the source. Additionally, you may also learn strategies to cope with these experiences. You may also get assignments that help you design a better and healthier thinking pattern. 

psychotherapy

People with DDD may choose other types of psychotherapy besides CBT or cognitive behavior therapy. For instance, your counselor may also recommend dialectic behavior therapy if your symptoms are severe. This option is helpful for those who have gone through abuse or trauma. Besides, it might also help you deal with challenging emotions better. 

EMDR

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing technique has been the most effective when dealing with past traumatic experiences. So, if past trauma is the reason you experience dissociative symptoms

The treatment option may take place in eight or ten sessions or two times weekly. It may vary by case. By the end of each phase, you will understand your situation better and can effectively deal with stress or trauma. 

emdr

Coping

If your symptoms are mild, you can consider trying a few coping strategies that seem to have worked for others with DDD. You can also try these strategies together with therapy. I have listed a few of them below.

  • During an episode, pinch your palms to bring yourself back to reality
  • Keep your eyes in motion to prevent zoning out 
  • Place a hot or cold object on your hand and use the temperature to focus 
  • Verbally count the items in your surrounding
  • Practice breathing exercises 
  • Exercise regularly
  • Consider reaching out to your friend

Your recovery depends on finding the right therapist and asking the right questions.

coping-strategies

When you start searching for a therapist, consider asking the following questions to yourself. 

  • Are there any particular traits you’d want your therapist to have?
  • What are the issues you’d like to discuss in your sessions?
  • How much can you spend on therapy realistically?
  • How do you want your therapy session schedule to look?

Quick intervention plans following the traumatic events might help you prevent having dissociative episodes and reduce the risks of developing DDD. 

FAQs

Why do I feel out of it every day?

There could be several reasons why you may feel fuzzy in the head. It could be your mood for the day. Or it could be because you’re exhausted. Sleep deprivation may also be a reason. 

Why do I randomly get derealization?

You may be under tremendous stress to randomly get derealization. If the experiences persist, consulting a doctor may be a good idea. Derealization could occur for several reasons. It could also be in association with other mental health conditions. 

What is it called when you feel out of it?

Feeling out of it may be a symptom of a dissociative experience. Typically, it may suggest depersonalization/derealization disorder. 

Is it normal to feel detached from reality?

Feeling disconnected from reality may also indicate anxiety besides derealization. Occasionally, it may not be a threat. But if you experience detachment frequently, you’ll want to get a diagnosis for it. 

Final Words

If one of your loved ones is struggling with DDD, remember to stay empathetic and understanding. Always try to be there for them and validate their condition. It’s also a great idea to read up on their condition and offer to accompany them in therapy. 
Feeling out of it can be very challenging to cope with in your everyday life. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. With the strategies I’ve mentioned above, you’ll successfully help yourself to some extent. So, by now, you should have the answer to your question, “why am I always out of it?” Until next time, wishing you all health and success.

Munira Binte Hasan

Munira Binte Hasan

Munira is an aspiring psychologist from the University of Dhaka. She loves reviewing and writing content. In her free time, she loves to read or listen to music. She believes in advocating mental health issues and healthy expression of emotions.

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