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Derealization is a form of dissociation where the person is distanced from their current reality. The dissociative person's point of view shifts to viewing things about the external world being fake, contrived, illusory, manipulated, vacuous, dystopian, etc. Often it includes other people as well as the environment.

So for example, thinking people are robots, or puppets. That the environment is an elaborate staged scene or movie set, like the walls are made of cardboard. Time sense can also be affected, so loss of time/place can occur such as riding the same elevator every day but not sure whether it's today or 20 days ago — or a moment of eerie uncertainty of whether it's about to open on the ground floor or the top floor.

Derealization can be a momentary flash and settle itself quickly, which is not dysfunctional or disturbing — such as deja vu (a sudden feeling like you've been here and/or done this before, when you know you have not). This is "normal derealization."

Derealization can also be persistent, disorienting, disturbing, uncomfortable, unrelenting, and affect functionality. It's extremely hard to experience trust and intimacy with your partner when you can't shake the sense that they're fake or programmed or having their strings pulled by some unseen power.

Derealization can also interfere with reality testing and presence.

Please feel free to comment some examples of how you have derealized.


when i walk out of the door of my apartment and nothing looks 'right' it feels as if im walking in some kind of dream-world. only it is vaugly familar , a place from my past coming back to say 'hi' its hard to really discribe it. sometimes this happens inside my apartment, a spooky kind of feeling that where i am and who i am don't exisit in the physical world. my surroundings take on a flat dull looking two-demensioal quailty.

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See Also


If youd like some additional experience/examples/description, for us we get this sensation where everything we know came from a lore wiki or fictional setting. We know that what we know if factual, and referring to the real world, but it doesn't *feel* like it is.


If we focus on something (like our phone) our spacial awareness of everything around us gets 'off'. For example, we were in the bathroom and looking at our phone. If we didn't focus on our surroundings it felt like we were in a different building. It's kinda like that feeling you get when you wake up in a hotel, and before you open your eyes you think you're in your own bed at home, but when you realize you're not you feel disoriented and need to take a moment.

Comment by The Olivia Set on February 15, 2022

Thank you so much! Yes, we get that 2nd one…if we're doing something on the computer we've done before we can't tell which time/place we've done it that we're in now and get disoriented for year/time/place. We spent a few years going between houses & dogsits, and even though we aren't now we kinda lose our grip on when/where we are at times.

Comment by Crisses on February 21, 2022

We play a lot of VR and derealization episodes can feel like the real world has become a VR game. Like if you pushed your head into the wall next to you, you could clip through it. You know you're still in reality so you wouldn't actually do anything crazy, but at the same time it feels like you could if you tried hard enough. People start to feel fake, like they're just NPCs. Color seems less vivid, objects have less depth.

Comment by Symphony System on February 22, 2022

Thanks, yes we definitely have that "everything is fake" issue (including other people). I guess we ought to write up this article better. : ) It's a long time coming.

Note folks we do take actual article contributions; this is a wiki and we can attribute contributions or keep them anonymous : )

Comment by Crisses on February 24, 2022

*I have been recently diagnosed and am still struggling to use 'we' so please excuse that*

Derealization seriously has brought me to the brink of sanity- for me, it makes me feel like everything is digital, like I'm living in the matrix. things literally sometimes look a bit pixelated, and i feel like its all been coded and that it isnt 'real'. it doesnt help seeing elon musk and other tech guys talk about how 'its possible that this world is all code and AI blah blah..' or how neurotypical people on the internet constantly joke about this all being the matrix, because sometimes (often times) that is how I genuinely feel. My vision will get blurred too, or things will feel super loud and bright, like everything has been turned up, or like being super hung over almost. If I lay down and look up at a blue sky, I can sometimes literally see pixels in it (obv not real, but thats how the derealization appears for me.)

Comment by Jo on August 12, 2022

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