Dual Diagnosis – Depersonalization Derealization Dissociative Disorder and Substance Abuse

Depersonalization derealization dissociative disorder is characterized by a person observing themselves from an outside perspective, or outside of themselves. It is similar to the idea of an out of body experience. The person suffering from depersonalization derealization disorder feels like they are living in a dream, a surreal existence where they may even feel as if they aren’t real, let alone everyone around them.

Depersonalization derealization dissociative disorder is a mental health disorder that starts showing symptoms in a person just after puberty, or during early adolescence. The National Alliance on Mental Illness says the following about depersonalization derealization dissociative disorder.

This disorder involves ongoing feelings of detachment from actions, feelings, thoughts and sensations as if they are watching a movie (depersonalization). Sometimes other people and things may feel like people and things in the world around them are unreal (derealization). A person may experience depersonalization, derealization or both. Symptoms can last just a matter of moments or return at times over the years. The average onset age is 16, although depersonalization episodes can start anywhere from early to mid childhood. Less than 20% of people with this disorder start experiencing episodes after the age of 20.”

The experience of dissociation is more common in Florida and throughout the wider United States than you may think and not at all specific to the people diagnosed with the disorder. Almost everyone experiences some form of dissociation at some point in their lives. People often experience a mild version of this this while driving for instance. They drive from their point of origin to their destination without really being aware of their actions. There’s something of muscle memory in this, but it’s also true that it’s a form of dissociation with reality. People who suffer with the disorder experience this sort of incident on a regular basis. It is often triggered by stress or anxiety.


Common Comorbidities with Depersonalization Derealization Dissociative Disorder

  • PTSD
  • Neurological disorders
  • Chronic migraines or
  • Temporal lobe epilepsy
  • Depression
  • Schizophrenia
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Alcohol or drug addiction
  • Borderline personality disorder


What Triggers a Depersonalization Derealization Dissociation?

  • Fatigue
  • Jet lag
  • Life threatening experiences such as a natural disaster
  • Experiencing or witnessing an act of violence
  • Sexual assault
  • Domestic Violence
  • Childhood abuse
  • Pre developmental abuse
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Illicit drug use
  • Seizure
  • Ocular migraine
  • Migraine
  • Prolonged stress
  • Acute stress


Treatment for Depersonalization Derealization Dissociative Disorder and Substance Abuse

Just like drug and alcohol addiction, depersonalization derealization dissociative disorder is a lifelong struggle. There is no cure available for those who suffer from this disorder, however there are treatment programs in Florida available to try and manage the symptoms of the disorder. Psychotherapy such as cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy can help the person struggling with this disorder over a long term period.

If someone suffers from depersonalization derealization dissociative disorder as well as a substance use disorder their first course of action should be to look at medical detox centers in Florida. You cannot treat one disorder and not the other, however, the best detox and rehabilitation programs can treat both at once. FHE Health offers comfortable amenities as well as superior mental health treatment with qualified therapists. Call us now at (844) 299-0618 to learn more about our detox center. We’ll be glad to answer all of your questions about how we can accommodate your needs for dual diagnosis treatment with programs shaped personally for you.



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