The human brain is one of the most important organs in the body whose functioning is vital to one’s survival itself. Since the brain controls many voluntary and involuntary body functions, any illness associated with the brain can be a cause of major concern. Neurological and psychological disorders could lead to symptoms that have far reaching repercussions on one’s thought process and personality, thereby disrupting one’s day to day life.
Derealization is one such dissociative symptom that could be a consequence of psychiatric illness, neurological disorder, drug intoxication, stress or lack of sleep. It is important to comprehend that derealization is a symptom of a medical condition and not a solitary condition in itself. Other conditions that could cause derealization include occipital–temporal dysfunction, epilepsy, migraine and mild head injury.
An individual suffering from derealization perceives everything around him or her as odd and unreal. The immediate surroundings seem to be fake and unnatural. Another common symptom demonstrated by patients of neurological or psychiatric disorders is called depersonalization. While derealization is a feeling of fakeness linked to the exterior surroundings, depersonalization is a sense of emptiness experienced within oneself. Many researchers correlate these two feelings as in most patients these are seen to occur concurrently. Apart from medical disorders, excessive intake of cannabis, psychedelics, antidepressants, caffeine, nitrous oxide and nicotine; and withdrawal from alcohol and benzodiazepine can lead to symptoms similar to those experienced during derealzation as well.
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