Why can’t I recognize myself in the mirror?
One of the most common symptoms of depersonalization and disassociation is a detachment from your own reflection in the mirror. Many people with depersonalization disorder say that they avoid looking in the mirror because their own reflection is so foreign that it frightens them. Why does this happen? Well, when humans get too stressed out, the limbic part of the brain temporarily shuts down. The limbic part of the brain is responsible for awareness, reality, and making connection between people places and things. When the brain shuts down it dissociates from one self, in laymen’s terms “abandon’s the self”- You no longer can make the connection between your feelings, thoughts and physical body sensations. Disconnecting from your painful reality also forces you to disconnect from yourself, this is why you don’t recognize yourself in the mirror. You can see yourself there but it doesn’t fee like you, you are not able to make that connection.
Once the symptoms of depersonalization start to wear off you will slowly start to connect with yourself in the mirror again.
This takes time and is part of the recovery process of depersonalization.
For the full recovery program, download the book here.