Better understanding your own depersonalization: the depersonalization diary

Some of those people who suffer from depersonalization disorder suffer from relapsing (always recurrent) symptoms, which are often experienced suddenly in a similar manner as attacks. Often, those affected can only find the triggers for such a depersonalization attack with great difficulty. Others suffer from continuous symptoms that are experienced constantly. For those people it can be difficult to perceive fluctuations in the depersonalization experience.

For both groups it can be helpful to start a diary in order to better make visible the connections between their own experience of depersonalization, and inner processes or outer influences. Such a diary should contain in which situations depersonalization occurs or gets worse. What exactly happened before? Which feelings and thoughts were involved? It should also contain when the depersonalization attack ended or instances in which an unmistakable improvement of depersonalization took place. It is particularly important to also keep track of small changes, for example those that only last several seconds. For such cases, the depersonalization diary should be carried at all times at the beginning.

By keeping such a diary, patterns will become visible to those affected after some time. While the diary in itself is not a tool to decrease or to overcome depersonalization, it enables those affected to gain deeper insight into their own experience and helps them to better understand depersonalization.