Treatment Options for Depersonalization/Derealization Disorder

Depersonalization disorder is often denoted by the episodes of feeling disconnected or separated from the body and mind. The disorder is at times characterized by the feeling that you are a spectator and are watching the body from the outside world. This may often seem like a delusion or a dream. The people who are suffering from such disorders are socially present, but they feel that the things that appear are unreal. The disorder and the episodes can last for a few minutes or it can stay for many years as well. Depersonalization may be caused by a variety of other factors like substance abuse, neurological disorders and seizures.

Treatment Options for Depersonalization/Derealization Disorder

Treatment Options For Depersonalization/Derealization Disorder

The recognition and the diagnosis of depersonalization/derealization disorder may have various benefits. Many patients often state that the problems that are associated with the disorder are unresolved. They may have a recurring pattern of recovery or they may claim that they are not suffering from the disorder at all. This is primarily why; the patients are often referred to a psychiatric clinic.

There is a hope that this article may help the sufferers to know more about the depersonalization/derealization disorder and have all the confidence in getting the right treatment. When you are thinking about getting a treatment for depersonalization/derealization disorder, a psychological and pharmacological approach might be of great help. Although in this article they are listed separately, it may often be combined to generate better results.

Psychotherapy or Talk Therapy for Depersonalization/Derealization Disorder

The depersonalization/derealization disorder can be treated with talk therapy, which can also be termed as psychological counseling. Such counseling helps a person in understanding how the disorder takes root in the body and leads to various symptoms in the body. With a continuous counseling, the symptoms of depersonalization/derealization disorder can be reduced and the mental health can be improved in an unusual way.

CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy For Depersonalization/Derealization Disorder:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy cannot help you in getting rid of the problem, but it can help you in dealing with it positively. The therapy is based on the concept that the feelings, physical sensations and the thought is interconnected. Any negative thought can set you a vicious trap or loop your mind. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helps you in breaking this loop by getting rid of the overwhelming huge problems into smaller portions. It will also guide you to change the perceptions and the patterns just to calm your mind. In contrast with all the other talk therapies, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy deals with the current issues in life and does not focus on those events, which occurred in the past.

When your therapist is undertaking your first session, he or she will gather the information and ask you to speak about those thoughts which you would like to change. Sometimes, the therapist may also ask you to speak about the incidences that relate the present to the past just to understand your state of mind. Determining a proper medication by the therapist may take a period of two to three sessions. This is done to determine the right course of action that has to be taken to revive you from the feeling.

The first session might also be a chance for you to speculate and understand the qualities of a therapist as well as see if he or she is a better match for your treatment of depersonalization/derealization disorder. Be sure to consider:

  • The therapist’s approach of treatment
  • The appropriate therapy that will help in getting rid of the problem
  • Treatment goals to achieve
  • The duration of each session
  • The number of sessions you may need.

If you do not feel comfortable talking to your therapist in the first session, try to switch your therapy with another person. Having a good rapport with the therapist will benefit you in cognitive behavioral therapy.

Your therapist will help you in encouraging throughout the process of recovery from depersonalization/derealization disorder and get rid of the issues that are troubling your mind. You do not have to worry if you are unable to speak about your problems in the first go. Your therapist will help you in building that confidence eventually. Cognitive behavioral therapy involves the use of goal-oriented approach and the entire sessions will help you in learning to combat with day-to-day problems.

Psychodynamic Therapy For Depersonalization/Derealization Disorder:

Psychodynamic therapy can also be termed as insight-oriented therapy that helps a person in focusing on the present behavioral patterns. The goal of such treatment is to create a self-awareness and relate to the past as well as present conditions. In short, this therapy helps a person in understanding the approaches that enable a person to live a calm life. It also helps them in dealing with the conflicts that relate to the dysfunctional relationships from the past.

Varieties of approaches are used in the psychodynamic psychotherapy and have been derived from the psychoanalytic theory. There are general considerations that support the approaches designed in such therapies. Psychoanalysis works on the idea of regulating the behavior of a person based on its effect on his unconscious mind and the experiences from the past. It involves exploring the feelings that are intense and open ended. The sessions are intense and may be held innumerable times in a week. During all the sessions, a patient’s feeling will be completely examined. The sessions may occur for half an hour or 50 minutes.

Medications For Depersonalization/Derealization Disorder

The drug for treating depersonalization is not yet recognized and the drugs are not licensed for the treatment as well. Prescription of medication may involve selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants or a combination of it with lamotrigine. These treatments have, however shown some significant changes in the sufferers.

SSRIs for Depersonalization/Derealization Disorder

Serotonergic dysfunction is often associated with depersonalization and there are evidences that show their relation. Metachlorophenylpiperazine, which is considered to be a partial serotonin agonist were included in the healthy volunteer diet. The beginning and the end of the depersonalization can be treated by involvement of drugs like clomipramine and fluoxetine.

Certain studies have shown some evidences that the benefits of SSRIs were seen in patients that showed higher levels of psychiatric occurrence of various disorders. Clomipramine have known to help in healing the symptoms that are involved in the primary depersonalization. The placebo controlled use of fluoxetine showed some effect on depersonalization on a variety of sufferers.

Lamotrigine For Depersonalization/Derealization Disorder

The release of glutamate can be reduced by consuming lamotrigine as it acts in the presynaptic membrane of the brain. It has also shown in reversing the phenomena of depersonalization in healthy individuals that is induced by a receptor known as N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA). The drug also helps in benefiting some patients from the depersonalization and can be used in combination with an SSRI.

The initial dosage of lamotrigine begins with a dose of 25 mg/day and it will be gradually increased at regular intervals. While this drug is being consumed, the patients will be monitored for the dermatological and hematological side effects. The blood levels should also be monitored when the drug is used along with the doses of sertraline.

The use of lamotrigine is intolerated or ineffective at times and clonazepam can be used to calm the senses. Although the use of such drug is not mentioned on the paper as evidence, it has shown a reduction in the levels of derealization in patients.

Hypnosis Therapy for Depersonalization/Derealization Disorder

A person can relax and build a better concentration, when the mind is relaxed and a deeper concentration is developed. The possibility of cure and the ideal theories can be imbibed in a patient with the help of hypnosis. However, this approach has been notorious and not all the patients are suggested to get them. When this treatment is followed under the guidance of a thorough and experienced therapist, there will be no side effects. When a person feels that he or she is being affected by depersonalization, it is better to seek help from a mental health therapist or a qualified physician.

Coping Tips For Depersonalization/Derealization Disorder

The feelings of Derealization and depersonalization can be quite ghastly, but they are not harmful as well. A realization that the disorder can be treated might render a feeling of assurance to the sufferer. Following things will help you in coping with the disorder easily:

  • Certain counseling techniques can help in resolving the Derealization and depersonalization feelings when done on a daily basis. When an early treatment is sought, it may help in generating better results.
  • The internet and books can be a reliable source of information to educate you about depersonalization. They might also teach you to cope with. Ask your therapist to help you out at such times.
  • Stay in touch with the friends and family for getting enough support at times of distress.

You can achieve some relief when the right treatment is sought at the right time. A complete recovery is possible at times, when the symptoms occur in a continuous pattern. People who cannot respond well to the treatment may improve the condition on their own. Antidepressants and antianxiety medications may be helpful when a person has depression as well as anxiety.

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:March 13, 2019

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