Derealization Disorder

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With any disorder, it is common to have your parents doubt how serious the impact of the disorder can have on you. Derealization is described as “a feeling that one’s surroundings are not real, especially as a symptom of mental disturbance.” It is more likely that the individual that suffers through it had childhood trauma, causing the individual to block certain things out. Many people who deal with the disorder don’t typically tend to know that it is an actual disorder, and the most unfortunate thing about it all is that it isn’t treatable.

“I didn’t understand it at all, when it was being described to my I just couldn’t wrap my head around the concept at first,” said Sebastian Torres, who suffers from derealization.

I’m aimlessly walking down the halls trying to keep my body into bumping into another. Most days it feels like I have little to no control over my body. Little did I know I’d be bumping into a person with a nasty attitude causing my cheeks to fill with redness.

I get into class and I hear someone call my name, so I look up from staring at the familiar carpet and know I should be smiling so I force one. If I am not looking at the hard floor, I am looking in the sky, but never directly at what’s in front of me. When I look at the sky, I forget where I am for a second and I am at peace, more so I am in the clouds.

If you’ve ever been heartbroken, regardless of what you lost, you know what it’s like for a brief second to feel this emptiness inside your chest. That’s kind of similar to what I feel on a daily basis except there’s a little more of this feeling of hopelessness along with it. According to an article written by The Mighty, one woman shares her experience as, “Depersonalization for me feels like I’m just now realizing everything around me is life. It’s like I never noticed before. And then like that, I’m lost and I’m not even sure how I actually feel. I feel as if I’m not even here. I’m a shell amongst shells.”

I can truly say I’ve never related to someone more than that.

“It gave an explanation to some behaviors, at first I wasn’t understanding of it at all, but with time I understood a bit more and saw you need some help just like all of us do,”said Torres. “Honestly I’m still fairly confused by it because I’m not dealing with it, but I know to more patient with it.”

Like every other disorder, there is a lot of many people don’t understand about it, or simply refuse to try to. When I was about nine years old, I suffered through sexual abuse, which caused my mind to completely block everything out. As expected, I didn’t know how to cope with what was happening, so my brain did what it figured was best -it shut things out. Because of this, I never really felt like I got to experience childhood.

“The hardest part to grasp would be the idea of floating above yourself,” said Torres. “That’s how it was described to me and I just thought how does someone not know that they’re there in the moment?”

I’ve only ever told a select few about my disorder, because it is more than common that I have people doubt my disorder actually being real. According to, “Persistent and recurrent episodes of depersonalization or derealization or both cause distress and problems functioning at work or school or in other important areas of your life.”

Similar to most disorders, it impacts my life like crazy, making me struggle immensely with the simplest of tasks.