Depersonalization in children and adolescents

Last reviewed by: Aleksey Portnov , medical expert, on 12.12.2018

Most experts are inclined to believe that it is almost impossible to detect depersonalization in children before adolescence. It is difficult for even adults to communicate their complaints to the verbal form, it is simply impossible for children to deliver them to a doctor.


The representatives of the younger generation, abusing psychoactive substances, are subject to the development of this syndrome.

Some consider the syndrome of depersonalization / derealization in adolescence the first bells of progredient schizophrenia.

In adolescents suffering from epilepsy, attacks of depersonalization are often observed before the seizure or in place of it.

But the depersonalization-depressive syndrome for adolescence is not typical.

Symptoms of depersonalization in a child

The child is dominated by sensory forms of self-awareness - self-perception, including a sense of activity, body and subject sensations. Rudiments of depersonalization can already be noticed in children over the age of three. It manifests itself in gaming reincarnation, for example, in animals, in other people. Children want to be fed with animal feed, they say that they have a ponytail and paws, go on all fours, ask to be called by other people's names. A healthy child can play like that, and the difference is that it is almost impossible to distract a sick child from such a game. He completely reincarnates.

Often in children there is a somatopsychic form of the syndrome - children do not feel hunger and thirst, they feel that their parts of the body live their life. Typically, these rudiments of symptoms are observed in children with schizophrenia or epilepsy.

The rudiments of allopsychic depersonalization can already be seen from the age of ten. Are manifested by attacks of deja vu or zemu vu. Such seizures are also characteristic of epileptics or epileptoid states, early schizophrenia.

In the process of development, a cognitive form of self-consciousness is born from children's self-feelings, giving the growing individual an opportunity to delimit his inner world from what is happening from the outside. The child begins to distinguish the act of his own consciousness from external influences, to objectify his "I", to analyze his thoughts and behavior.

"Adult" complaints about manifestations of depersonalization in adolescents are formed to late puberty and are manifested mainly by mental anesthesia, visual and auditory disorders. Much less frequent are disorders of taste and tactile sensations, phenomena of deja vu and zemu vu.

Teenagers often experience a personal transformation with the alienation of emotions. Somatopsychic form of the phenomenon is represented by sensations of loss of unity of one's own body, changes in its proportions, the absence of any parts. Adolescent age is characterized by depersonalization and derealization disorders due to the fact that during this period there is the formation of personality, rapid physical growth and physiological changes in the body, emotions ripple. In this period, the tendency to get stuck and self-rooting increases. Experts believe that such disorders in adolescence are frequent, it's just that teenagers find it difficult to express their feelings.

Correction of depersonalization in children

In an excitable child against a background of a psychotraumatic situation, feelings similar to depersonalization can develop. Also they can be caused by the violent imagination of the child, viewed on the eve of a movie not intended for children.

Depersonalization in children can go on independently, however, if symptoms are observed for a while, it is better to contact a child psychologist or psychiatrist. Especially if this condition is accompanied by panic fear.

The state of alienation of one's own "I" from the body in a child can be dangerous and lead to suicide, because in childhood there is still no concept of physical death.

In pediatric practice, they try to limit themselves to psycho-correction without resorting to medications. The regime of the day is adjusted, classes are held in a playful form. Teach such practices of the parents of the child.

Methods of psychological and pedagogical correction of depersonalization symptoms in children can be conditionally divided into three groups-the use of games, isotherapy, and fairy-tale therapy. In the game form, by drawing or verbalizing fears, the child is taught to switch to positive thoughts and actions, and not be afraid of his fears, presenting them as pathetic, small and cowardly.

Correction is carried out, mainly, individually, since children with depersonalization are not many. At the final stage, there may be group sessions with children with other problems. The main task of children's psycho-correction is to teach the child to switch to positive emotions, which is good for the child's psyche.

It is important to know!

If the patient feels the strength and desire to fight for the normalization of his mental status, you can try to regain his "I". It is not necessary to delay and consider the process for a long time, it is necessary to undertake correction of one's way of life. Read more..

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