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I’m Not Feeling Like Myself: What Can I Do About It?

Written by Evan Gove

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Experiencing a sense of detachment from oneself can be alarming and unsettling, casting shadows on daily life and overall well-being. The not feeling like yourself can stem from a variety of factors, including stress, anxiety, or even deeper underlying mental health issues. It’s important to recognize that this sensation is not uncommon, and seeking appropriate mental health treatment is a crucial step toward restoration. Professional mental health facilities and resources, such as mental health first aid, can provide the guidance and support needed to navigate these challenging emotions. Whether it’s engaging in therapy, considering inpatient mental health care, or exploring tailored treatment options, prioritizing mental health matters. Addressing these concerns with diligence and care can pave the way for a renewed sense of self and a brighter path toward emotional well-being.

Why Don’t I Feel Like Myself?

Experiencing a persistent disconnect from one’s usual self can be a perplexing and distressing phenomenon. Several factors can contribute to this unsettling sensation, often leaving individuals wondering, “Why don’t I feel like myself?” Stress, major life changes, trauma, and sleep disturbances are common triggers that can lead to feelings of detachment and unease.

In some cases, the root cause could be attributed to underlying mental health disorders. One such disorder is Depersonalization-derealization disorder (DDD), characterized by an ongoing sense of detachment from oneself or the surrounding environment. A brief summary of the DSM-V diagnostic criteria for Depersonalization-derealization disorder includes:

  • Persistent or recurrent experiences of depersonalization, derealization, or both.
  • During these experiences, one may feel detached from or as if an outside observer of one’s thoughts, feelings, sensations, body, or actions (depersonalization), or that one’s surroundings are unreal or distant (derealization).
  • The experiences cause significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other areas of functioning.
  • The experiences are not attributed to the physiological effects of a substance, medical condition, or another mental disorder.
  • The experiences are not part of a cultural or religious practice.
  • The symptoms are not better explained by another mental disorder.
  • Individuals with this disorder may feel as though they are observing their own life from a distance, leading to a profound sense of not feeling like themselves.

It’s essential to recognize that seeking professional help is crucial when grappling with these emotions. Your mental health matters, and addressing potential underlying issues through therapy, counseling, or other appropriate interventions can provide clarity and relief. By taking proactive steps toward understanding and managing these sensations, individuals can work towards reclaiming a sense of self and emotional well-being.

What Are Mental Health Disorders? 

Mental health disorders refer to a broad range of conditions that affect a person’s thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and overall well-being. These disorders can significantly impact daily functioning and quality of life. They often result from a complex interplay of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors. Common mental health disorders include:

  • Depression: Characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and a loss of interest in once-enjoyable activities.
  • Anxiety Disorders: Such as generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder, involve excessive worry, fear, or nervousness.
  • Bipolar Disorder: Marked by extreme mood swings between depressive lows and manic highs.
  • Schizophrenia: Involves disordered thinking, perception, and emotional responses.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): Characterized by unwanted intrusive thoughts (obsessions) and repetitive behaviors or mental acts (compulsions).
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Develops after exposure to a traumatic event, leading to flashbacks, nightmares, and severe anxiety.
  • Borderline Personality Disorder: Involves unstable moods, self-image, and relationships.
  • Eating Disorders: Such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder, are characterized by unhealthy eating behaviors and distorted body image.

These disorders vary in their symptoms, severity, and impact on daily life. They often require diagnosis and treatment from qualified mental health professionals to achieve recovery and improve overall well-being.

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What Is Depersonalization-derealization Disorder?

Depersonalization-derealization disorder (DDD) is a complex mental health condition characterized by persistent and distressing feelings of detachment from oneself (depersonalization) and one’s surroundings (derealization). Individuals with DDD may describe feeling like they are observing themselves from outside their own body or that the world around them seems unreal, dream-like, or distant. These experiences can lead to a profound sense of not feeling like oneself and can be deeply unsettling.

The exact cause of depersonalization-derealization disorder is not fully understood, but it is believed to result from a combination of factors, including traumatic experiences, severe stress, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. People who have experienced trauma, such as physical or emotional abuse, or have a history of anxiety or panic disorders may be more at risk for developing DDD.

The disorder can significantly impact a person’s daily life, relationships, and overall well-being. Treatment options, such as therapy (including cognitive-behavioral therapy and mindfulness-based approaches) and medication, can help individuals manage and alleviate the symptoms of DDD, enabling them to regain a sense of self and connection to their reality.

How Is Depersonalization-derealization Disorder Treated?

Depersonalization-derealization disorder (DDD) is typically treated through a combination of psychotherapy and, in some cases, medication. Psychotherapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), aims to help individuals recognize and challenge distorted thoughts and feelings that contribute to their sense of detachment. Mindfulness-based approaches can also be effective in grounding individuals in the present moment.

Medications, such as certain antidepressants or anti-anxiety drugs, may be prescribed to address underlying anxiety or depressive symptoms that often accompany DDD.

For severe cases, inpatient mental health facilities may provide intensive treatment and support. Mental health professionals can offer guidance on managing symptoms and improving overall well-being. If you or someone you know is experiencing depersonalization-derealization disorder, seeking mental health first aid and reaching out to qualified professionals is essential to regain a sense of self and address the challenges associated with not feeling like oneself.   

Footprints to Recovery Mental Health provides outpatient treatment programs in New Jersey.

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Mental Health Treatment at Footprints to Recovery Mental Health

At Footprints to Recovery Mental Health, we offer a comprehensive range of mental health treatment options designed to support individuals on their journey to well-being. Our programs are tailored to meet diverse needs and provide a continuum of care. We provide:

  • Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP): Our IOP provides flexible scheduling for those who require ongoing support and therapy while maintaining their daily routines.
  • Outpatient Program: Our outpatient program offers individualized treatment with less frequent sessions, allowing individuals to focus on their recovery while managing other responsibilities.
  • Aftercare: Our aftercare programs provide continued support to maintain progress and prevent relapse, helping individuals confidently transition into their everyday lives.

At Footprints to Recovery, our dedicated team of mental health professionals is committed to providing effective and compassionate care, guiding individuals toward improved mental health and a sense of well-being. Your mental health matters. Contact us today to start your journey toward health and wellness.


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