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The Ultimate List of DP Causes


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#1 silverhawk

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Posted 07 July 2015 - 05:42 AM

Hi guys,

So I've decided to create the go-to list of the causes of depersonalization to hopefully help some people out :)

NOTE: This is a list of the causes of depersonalization symptom, not depersonalization disorder. The cause of depersonalization disorder is unknown at this time.

NOTE 2: This list only includes the direct causes of DP, not the causes of the causes of DP. For example, low testosterone can cause depression, and depression can cause DP, so only depression will be included in the list. Example 2: psychological trauma can cause post-traumatic stress disorder, and PTSD can cause DP, so only PTSD will be included in the list.

The causes of depersonalization are divided into 4 parts: Physical causes, Neurological causes, Psychological causes, and Drug use.

Physical (non-neurological) causes:
1) Heavy metal poisoning
2) Vestibular disorders

Neurological causes:
1) Temporal Lobe Epilepsy
2) Alzheimer's Disease
3) Multiple sclerosis (MS)
4) Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
5) Neuroborreliosis (Lyme disease)
6) Migraine
7) Brain tumour

8)Brain lesion
9) Head injury
10) Traumatic brain injury

Psychological causes:
1) Stress
2) Anxiety
3) Depression
4) Major depressive disorder
5) Panic/panic attack
6) Panic disorder
7) Bipolar disorder
8)Acute stress disorder
9) Obsessive-compulsive disorder
10) Social anxiety disorder
11) Depersonalization disorder
12) Post-traumatic stress disorder
13) Dissociative identity disorder
14) Schizophrenia
15) Borderline personality disorder
16) Schizotypal personality disorder
17) Schizoid personality disorder
18) Sleep deprivation
19) Life-threatening danger

Drug use:
1) Marijuana
2) LSD
3) Dissociatives
4) Psychedelics
5) Caffeine
6) Alcohol
7) Alcohol withdrawal
8)Amphetamine
9) Minocycline
10) Nitrous oxide
11) Albuterol
12) Nicotine
13) Benzodiazepine dependence
14) Benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome
15) Antidepressant discontinuation syndrome

If you have symptoms of depersonalization or derealization, it is important to
1) Rule out physical causes by having a blood test, urine test, and vestibular test
2) Rule out neurological causes by having an MRI or CT scan (brain scan) and an EEG (brain wave test)
3) Ensure that you did not use any drug prior to having DP/DR symptoms.

After you rule out the physical, neurological, and drug causes, you will have to see a psychologist to do a psychological assessment, as well as a psychiatrist to do a psychiatric interview to find the correct diagnosis.



#2 luctor et emergo

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Posted 07 July 2015 - 07:13 AM

2) Rule out neurological causes by having an MRI or CT scan (brain scan) and an EEG (brain wave test)

 

I am curious if you have information to back up neurobiological causes, the opinions whether DPD, DRD is visible on MRI, CT, EEG, fMRI, qEEG et cetera are not unified.



#3 silverhawk

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Posted 07 July 2015 - 04:26 PM

2) Rule out neurological causes by having an MRI or CT scan (brain scan) and an EEG (brain wave test)

 

I am curious if you have information to back up neurobiological causes, the opinions whether DPD, DRD is visible on MRI, CT, EEG, fMRI, qEEG et cetera are not unified.

 

Ok, I think you may have a misunderstanding so I'll try to explain:

 

Neurobiological causes are not the same as the neurological causes. Neurological causes mean that they directly affect the brain tissue (physical brain diseases, such as Alzheimer's Disease, and brain tumours). Neurobiological causes mean the chemical imbalance causes (neurotransmitter problems) or brain receptor problems.

 

Depersonalization as a symptom is not the same as depersonalization as a disorder.

 

Depersonalization symptom can be caused by physical problems, neurological problems, psychological problems, and drug use.

 

If your depersonalization symptom is not caused by physical (rule out by having a blood test and urine test), neurological (rule out by having a MRI or CT scan, as well as an EEG), or drug use problems, then your DP is caused by a psychological problem.

 

If your depersonalization symptom is caused because of anxiety (DP worsens when anxiety worsens), then the diagnosis is anxiety or an anxiety disorder (depending on the severity of your anxiety). If your depersonalization symptom is caused by schizophrenia, then the diagnosis is schizophrenia. If you do not have any other psychiatric problems (no anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, etc), then the diagnosis is depersonalization disorder.

 

Psychiatric disorders are caused by 2 things: neurobiological problems and psychological problems.

 

Most psychiatric disorders are caused by a combination of neurobiological problems and psychological problems. For example, clinical depression can be caused by a combination of the neurotransmitter serotonin being too low and a psychological problem, such as environmental and social factors, or a death of a loved one.

 

The exact cause of depersonalization disorder is unknown, but it is thought to be caused by a combination of neurobiological (agonizing of the kappa opioid receptor) and psychological problems (trauma).

 

And to answer your question, no brain imaging technique can detect depersonalization disorder, although some research shows that fMRIs can show different results for people with depression, DPD, and PTSD.



#4 luctor et emergo

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Posted 08 July 2015 - 06:06 AM

Thanks for your explanation.

I indeed mixed up neurobiological and neurological causes.
Damn intensified brainfog due to benzowithdrawal... :-(

I have been diagnosed depersonalization disorder in 2006
and have had an MRI in 2007, no abnormalities except widened lateral vetrikels, there you go!
Have had a two qEEG's  in 2010 which read most notably abnormal high beta activity, especially in the left limbic lobe.

 

Anyone else had brain imaging techniques?



#5 aubsauce

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Posted 08 July 2015 - 05:07 PM

What about inner ear and sinus infections? I have been in a constant state of dr with on and off headaches and dizziness since ending a cold 4 weeks ago. My doctors will not listen to me...



#6 Grimmi

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 07:56 AM

I can totally confirm that neurological causes can cause severe DR and/or DP. I was diagnosed with Partial Frontal Lobe Epilepsy in April, and I had mild DR before that.

Basically, I do not lose my consciousness during the seizure, but my mind gets messed up and I have trouble doing anything during the seizure. The grand mal seizures where you lose consciousness are rare in this type of epilepsy, but I've had one already. I don't only feel DP or DR during the seizures, it is a constant and persistent feeling, but during the seizures it intensifies to the point my ego just "dies out" temporarily, and gets rebooted like a computer.

 

After the first grand mal seizure, my life changed completely. Now I'm having severe DR and DP, life feels unnatural, I can't recognize myself in the mirror, etc. you guys know what DR/DP is. I have this constant feeling that I could "wake up from my life" any moment now, as if it were a lucid dream, except a lot blurrier and worse. I have pretty much accepted my disease, and stress clearly isn't worsening things, for now. The worse days, however, become even worse because I tend to freak out when I feel like my ego tries to disappear.

For now, the doctors claim that the epilepsy could be idiopathic, with no clear cause, but I'm going to my second, more accurate MRI this week. EEG tests showed increased delta spike-waves originating from somewhere deep in my frontal lobe. My brain stem's central canal seems also dilated, which made the doctors worry that my spinal fluid is not flowing correctly, and could cause all kinds of different neurological problems, either as an independent problem, or even as the cause of the epilepsy.

The DR/DP is caused by both, the epilepsy, and something else wrong with my brain. My seizures however make the DR/DP feeling more intense every time, and it doesn't seem to recover very well always. Life is hell struggling with epilepsy and DP at the same time. :( The healthcare here tends to be very slow, and every week and month feels even worse as the meds do not work correctly.

 

Strength to everyone out there coping with DP/DR!!!



#7 King Elliott

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Posted 09 August 2015 - 04:48 AM

Ok, I think you may have a misunderstanding so I'll try to explain:

 

Neurobiological causes are not the same as the neurological causes. Neurological causes mean that they directly affect the brain tissue (physical brain diseases, such as Alzheimer's Disease, and brain tumours). Neurobiological causes mean the chemical imbalance causes (neurotransmitter problems) or brain receptor problems.

 

Depersonalization as a symptom is not the same as depersonalization as a disorder.

 

Depersonalization symptom can be caused by physical problems, neurological problems, psychological problems, and drug use.

 

If your depersonalization symptom is not caused by physical (rule out by having a blood test and urine test), neurological (rule out by having a MRI or CT scan, as well as an EEG), or drug use problems, then your DP is caused by a psychological problem.

 

If your depersonalization symptom is caused because of anxiety (DP worsens when anxiety worsens), then the diagnosis is anxiety or an anxiety disorder (depending on the severity of your anxiety). If your depersonalization symptom is caused by schizophrenia, then the diagnosis is schizophrenia. If you do not have any other psychiatric problems (no anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, etc), then the diagnosis is depersonalization disorder.

 

Psychiatric disorders are caused by 2 things: neurobiological problems and psychological problems.

 

Most psychiatric disorders are caused by a combination of neurobiological problems and psychological problems. For example, clinical depression can be caused by a combination of the neurotransmitter serotonin being too low and a psychological problem, such as environmental and social factors, or a death of a loved one.

 

The exact cause of depersonalization disorder is unknown, but it is thought to be caused by a combination of neurobiological (agonizing of the kappa opioid receptor) and psychological problems (trauma).

 

And to answer your question, no brain imaging technique can detect depersonalization disorder, although some research shows that fMRIs can show different results for people with depression, DPD, and PTSD.

 

This post should be pinned. This is the most coherent delineation of the DP situation that I've ever seen. The "cause" of DPD is probably more of a mystery and far less clear-cut than you portray here though.
 



#8 oyster

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Posted 14 August 2015 - 11:37 PM

I'd like to point out that in the case of drugs, it may not be the chemical properties of the drugs themselves that precipitated the DP, but the experience of panic that you had while on them. The case of DP/DR that I had was brought on by a horrible trip with magic mushrooms, and for the longest time I thought that it was the mushrooms alone that caused it- maybe the psilocybin got stuck to my thalamus or something! This wasn't the case- hallucinogens have a way of unearthing all of the psychological turmoil you've been repressing throughout your life, and the trip can be so bad and bizarre that you completely freak out but still don't know that it was coming from your issues, not the visuals and chemicals of the drug.

 

Maybe it can occur only from the drugs, but if you are changing your lifestyle, doing all you can and it isn't resolving, I would keep this in mind.



#9 silverhawk

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Posted 14 August 2015 - 11:43 PM

I'd like to point out that in the case of drugs, it may not be the chemical properties of the drugs themselves that precipitated the DP, but the experience of panic that you had while on them. The case of DP/DR that I had was brought on by a horrible trip with magic mushrooms, and for the longest time I thought that it was the mushrooms alone that caused it- maybe the psilocybin got stuck to my thalamus or something! This wasn't the case- hallucinogens have a way of unearthing all of the psychological turmoil you've been repressing throughout your life, and the trip can be so bad and bizarre that you completely freak out but still don't know that it was coming from your issues, not the visuals and chemicals of the drug.

Maybe it can occur only from the drugs, but if you are changing your lifestyle, doing all you can and it isn't resolving, I would keep this in mind.


Yeah you're right, most of these drugs can trigger DP in people with underlying psychological problems, but not cause DP themselves. There are tons of people who use these drugs on a daily basis, but remain immune to DP because they do not have an underlying psychological problem. But some of these drugs (mostly pharmaceutical drugs) can cause DP themselves. For example, a woman going through minocycline therapy was experiencing DP during the therapy, but the DP went away after the minocycline was discontinued. In that case, the minocycline itself was causing the DP. But if your DP continues after discontinuing a drug, then a psychological problem is causing your DP (for example, smoking pot once and DP not going away, which means the cause was something psychological (such as panic, anxiety, and trauma) and smoking the pot was just a trigger).

#10 StaciMarie333

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Posted 25 August 2015 - 03:05 PM

I have been diagnosed depersonalization disorder in 2006
and have had an MRI in 2007, no abnormalities except widened lateral vetrikels, there you go!
Have had a two qEEG's  in 2010 which read most notably abnormal high beta activity, especially in the left limbic lobe.

 

Anyone else had brain imaging techniques?


That's interesting. My neurologist asked if I had taken an antihistamine before the test as this could cause high beta waves, but I had not. I wasn't exactly relaxed through the testing, either. She didn't specify where the activity was though and I didn't think to ask. I'm getting my MRI results tomorrow so I can't say anything was different there yet.

Looks like I probably have derealization disorder, since the anxiety and stress came several years later.



#11 luctor et emergo

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Posted 26 August 2015 - 04:14 PM

Very curious what your mri will say! Hopefully nothing.

#12 StaciMarie333

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Posted 26 August 2015 - 11:44 PM

Very curious what your mri will say! Hopefully nothing.


Thank you, apparently upright MRIs aren't "good enough" and they want me to get another one in a closed MRI (Contrast with this one?? No thanks...). He says there were a few spots but even said if he were to have a scan he'd probably have them too, possibly from things like diabetes, MS, anything really, etc. Don't really understand the need for another one and on top of a CEEG for 2 days straight in a facility when I was told my first EEG was fine. I'm getting a second opinion...Sorry, I didn't mean to hijack but wanted to reply!!





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