Feeling of depersonalization may:
- Begin with no apparent trigger
- Start after a life-threatening event, such as an accident or assault
- Be triggered by fear of having another depersonalization experience
With depersonalization disorder, feelings of depersonalization aren't directly caused by drugs, alcohol or a medical condition. However, depersonalization may be triggered by stress or trauma, and it often occurs along with other mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression or schizophrenia. In some cases, it starts suddenly without an apparent cause.
While the exact cause of depersonalization disorder isn't well understood, it appears to be linked to an imbalance of certain brain chemicals (neurotransmitters).
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- Kihlstrom J, et al. Dissociative disorders. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology. 2005;1:227.