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I don't always feel like a real person. I have

Customer Question
Hi, I don't always...

Hi, I don't always feel like a real person.

Doctor's Assistant: How is your mood? Are you experiencing regular sleep disturbances (e.g. trouble falling asleep, waking up early)?

No

Doctor's Assistant: Anything else in your medical history you think the Psychologist should know?

I have schizoaffective disorder.

Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Mental Health
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Answered in 7 hours by:
11/16/2017
Mental Health Professional: LeahMSWuofm, Clinical Social Worker replied 8 months ago
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm, Clinical Social Worker
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1,117
Experience: 10 years post-MSW experience
Verified

Hi, thank you for writing. My name is***** feeling you are describing is called "depersonalization" and is where a person doesn't feel connected to themselves, their thoughts or the world around them. It can be a result of active psychosis where someone really has lost touch with reality but it can also be a symptom of anxiety or resultant from a trauma or significant stress.

Honestly, there isn't too much understood about depersonalization as a symptom but the treatment mostly includes assessing and treating underlying disorders, for instance, making sure you schizoaffective disorder is well-managed, and by helping someone stay relaxed, calm, and in tune with their surroundings. So when you do have a state where you don't feel connected to yourself or things around you, try to do some calm breathing. Then, seek to engage in the environment around, taking time to engage all five sense and notice the world around you and how you fit into it. For instance, notice your feet touching the ground and the way that feels. Notice the sounds of the wind in the trees or cars passing. Feel the warm sun on your skin. Seek to smell something familiar and comforting like the smell of a coffee shop or fresh cookies baking. Try to "ground yourself" by being aware of yourself in the moment, and hopefully, the feelings of disconnectedness will dissipate.

Lastly, when you do have those thoughts, remember that they are only thoughts. Your thoughts are not always true and unfortunately, we don't often have full control over the things our brain sends to conscious. So sometimes, just acknowledging "I am having that weird thought about not being real again. It is just a thought and isn't true" and choosing to notice but generally ignore it, should help keep it from being so persistent and impactful.

I hope this helps!

-Leah

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Mental Health Professional: LeahMSWuofm, Clinical Social Worker replied 8 months ago

Hi, just checking back since this question remains open since it is unrated. Can I help further?

-Leah

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