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12/6/15Dr. Tom Welch Ph.D.

What is Depersonalization Disorder?


Topic: Depersonalization Disorder
What I know so far: I dont know a whole lot about this topic besides that I have indeed
suffered from it and I know that it can lead to and runs along with severe depression.
Questions for Research:

What is the exact definition of Depersonalization disorder?


What is it caused by?
What are all the Symptoms?
How is it Diagnosed?
How is it treated?

Methods for research: I plan to research for this topic by;

Using scholarly websites and databases


Going to the library to read though books
Reading through the schools archives or news and journals
Try to find a teacher with knowledge on this topic
Try to find someone who has career experience with this disorder

Timeline of Research:

My first course of action when I go further into the research of this topic will be head to
the library. I will use ECCs Summon to bring up any and all material on the subject of
Depersonalization Disorders. From there I will try to narrow down any material I find
until I has to do with the subject of the topic I wish to write about first. After I work my
way through each subject I will continue my research online by reading though scholarly
journals and reports for further information. Following this I will try to find a local

professor at the college to get more real world information. If this option is not available
or I am in need of more information I will try to contact an expert on the disorder by
means of phone, email, or in person.

Of all the recognized psychiatric conditions in this world there is one not well known to all
but affect a large number of people. Its name is Depersonalization Disorder. This is a mental
disorder that falls into the same area as dissociative disorder. The purpose of this research paper
is to delve into what this disorder is and what it does. It affects around half of all Americans at
one point or another in their lives. Depersonalization disorder is a serious mental disorder but to
fully understand it you must know what causes it, what its symptoms are, how to diagnose it and
how to treat it.
The exact cause of Depersonalization Disorder remain unknown, however; there a few
factors known lead to this disorder. One factor tied to depersonalization disorder is stress. Stress
can cause a number of problems when it comes to a persons mental state but it is a prevalent
cause of this disorder. Another Factor thought to be a predictor to this disorder is trauma.
Especially trauma occurring early childhood experiences. (Brand & Loewenstein, 2010) People
who are suffering from psychiatric problems have 40% more of a chance to develop this disorder
than those who arent. (21 Interesting Depersonalization Disorder Statistics, 2015) You have
experiences of unreality or detachment from your thinking, emotions, or your body. You may
also feel like an outsider watching your own thoughts sensations, feelings or actions. In addition
you may feel as though you are in a dream.
As many people as well as some professionals in the medical field dont know of this
disorder, it is not often diagnosed correctly when one has it. More often than not it people come
to their doctors having diagnosed themselves with the disorder. To be diagnosed with this
disorder there are many factors you must meet. For example, you may have persistent or
recurrent experiences of depersonalization, derealization or both. Also, during the
depersonalization or derealization experience, you are aware that the experience is not real. In

addition, your symptoms cause significant distress or interfere with your social life, job or other
important areas of your life. (Hunter, Philips & Chalder, 2003) Your symptoms are not caused
by another mental health disorder, such as schizophrenia or panic disorder, or are not the after
effects of alcohol, substance misuse or other medical condition.

Treatment of this disorder is primarily psychological counseling, also called talk therapy.
However, sometimes medication may be added to treatment plan. As in the case of
psychological counseling, this helps you understand why depersonalization and derealization
occur, and helps you gain control over the symptoms so that they go away. Two such techniques
include cognitive behavioral therapy and psychodynamic therapy. Depersonalization disorder
may also improve when counseling helps with other mental health conditions, such as
depression. While there are no medications specifically approved to treat depersonalization
disorder, certain medications that are used to treat depression and anxiety may help. (Medford,
Sierra, Baker & David, 2005) Examples that have been shown to relieve symptoms include
fluoxetine prescribed as Prozac, clomipramine prescribed as Anafranil and clonazepam
prescribed as Klonopin.
Depersonalization Disorder or DPD is a serious condition effecting countless Americans as
well as other populations around the world. My purpose and goal of this research was to find out
more about it to so I could expand my knowledge on the subject. This knowledge will not only
enlighten me but those who are close around me who I frequently converse with as well. I feel
compelled to study this because half of Americans suffer from this disorder or have a
depersonalization attacks at least a few times in their lives. It can be hard and if more people can

know about this disorder, then more can be helped or ask for help before severe depression or
worse effects of the disorder arise.

Works Cited
1. Brand, B., & Loewenstein, R. J. (2010, October). Dissociative disorders: an overview of
assessment, phenomonology, and treatment. Psychiatric Times, 27(10), 62.
2. Hunter, E. M., Phillips, M. L., & Chalder, T. (2003). Depersonalisation disorder: a cognitivebehavioural conceptualisation. Behaviour Research & Therapy, 41(12), 1451-1467.
3. Medford, N., Sierra, M., Baker, D., & David, A. (2005). Understanding and treating
depersonalisation disorder. In Advances in Psychiatric Treatment (2nd ed., Vol. 11, pp.
92-100).
4. 21 Interesting Depersonalization Disorder Statistics - HRFnd. (2015, January 16). Retrieved
December 6, 2015, from http://healthresearchfunding.org/21-interestingdepersonalization-disorder-statistics/