Depersonalisation is a dissociative disorder, also known as depersonalisation/derealisation disorder, that causes a feeling of being disconnected or detached from one’s own body and thoughts. It is often described as a dream-like state, or as observing yourself from outside your own body. Sufferers may have out-of-body experiences or may not accept that the reflection in the mirror is theirs, or wonder where their own voice is coming from.

Dissociative disorders are mental conditions that are accompanied by the breakdown or disruption of awareness, memory, perception, consciousness, and/or identity. When these functions are impacted, symptoms may arise that interfere with the affected person’s relationships and social and work activities.

In the case of depersonalisation, people are aware that they are experiencing a disorder; they don’t completely lose touch with reality. The experience of depersonalisation can last for just a few minutes or, in very rare cases, it can be an ongoing condition lasting for as long as a few years.

Depersonalisation symptoms may be linked to other personality disorders, seizures, certain brain diseases, and substance abuse, among other potential causes.


Symptoms can be mild and short term or ongoing, lasting or recurring for years and leading to an inability to function on a daily basis.

Some of the symptoms that may be experienced include the following:

  • The affected person feels that they have changed, they are aware that something is wrong.
  • The perception of the body is distorted; the body may feel dream-like or robotic.
  • The person experiences feelings of disconnection from the body.
  • There are feelings that movement and speech are out of one’s control.
  • The sufferer feels divorced from his/her own physical sensations, emotions, and behaviours.
  • There is a sensation of experiencing one’s own life from a distance.
  • The experience may be highly disturbing and a source of depression, panic, anxiety, or a fear of insanity.
  • Physical symptoms may also be experienced, such as blurred vision, nausea, chest pain, and feelings of numbness and tingling, such as pins and needles in arms or legs.
  • There may be a sense that the affected person’s memories belong to someone else.


Depersonalisation can be experienced after an event that causes extreme stress or trauma. It is a rare disorder in its own right, but it can be present as a symptom in several other psychiatric disorders. After feelings of anxiety and depression, it is the third most common psychological symptom accompanying other disorders such as panic disorder, migraine, sleep deprivation, OCD, epilepsy, and others.


The causes of depersonalisation are still unclear. Psychological, biological, and environmental factors may play a role. The condition may be triggered by severe stress or trauma caused by events experienced or witnessed, such as abuse, violence, accidents, serious illness.

Childhood trauma, such as emotional abuse, may play a role in the later emergence of depersonalisation disorder. Symptoms are sometimes seen in sufferers of neurological diseases that affect the brain tissue, such as Alzheimer’s and MS. The symptoms can also be a result of drug abuse, or a side effect of anti-anxiety medications.

How Can Brain Training Australia™ Help?

At Brain Training Australia™ we offer Neurofeedback Brain Training for clients opting for a safe, natural and drug-free approach for clients struggling with Depersonalisation to retrain brain activity and to optimise brain functionality.

Let us help you achieve a higher quality of life.

Depersonalisation can be a debilitating condition, causing significant interference with daily activities and relationships, so it is helpful to seek help as soon as symptoms arise.

Next Steps

Your first step is to get in contact with us.

All new clients receive a free, complementary and no obligation 15-minute phone consult with a dedicated member of our team. If you’re on the fence, wondering if Neurofeedback Brain Training is right for you, then this is a really good place to start.

If you are ready to get started then you can just book in your First Appointment and get started straight away.

The team at Brain Training Australia™ recognise the unique qualities of all our clients and will work closely with you to personalise your Brain Training Program so that you can achieve your goals of optimal mental processes.

We look forward to helping you live a much richer, happier and healthier life.