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depersonalization and derealization with vestibular disorders

Are you feeling Depersonalization or Derealization?

Author: Cheryl Wylie, PT

Did you know a common, but less discussed vestibular symptom is depersonalization or derealization?

Our vestibular system has two main areas:

  1. The semicircular canals which tell our brain about angular movement

  2. Our otolith organs which give us our sense of gravity

When our otolith organs aren't functioning properly, we can lose this sense of gravity which results in altered body representation of self. This is called depersonalization or derealization and it can feel like...

  • Feeling "spaced out"

  • Having difficulty concentrating

  • Body feeling strange

  • Feeling out of control of one's self or body

  • Feeling as though the ground is shifting

Luckily, Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT) can help this. By working on stimulating our vestibular system in the right way, we can increase the input from our otolith organs, as well as drive up our proprioception (sensory or touch) system to help you feel more grounded. 

About the Author 

Cheryl Wylie, is a vestibular physiotherapist and owner of Healing Vertigo. She is also the creator of our Vertigo Treatment App, and instructs vestibular courses to other healthcare professionals.
She offers virtual vestibular therapy for all Ontario Residents. If you're interested in working with Cheryl, connect below!