The graphs and statistics provided have been calculated through surveys from 35 randomly selected currently depersonalized individuals. All surveys were conducted on online forum dpselfhelp.com
Short lasting episodes of depersonalization, known as fleeting DP are a common occurrence in the lives of many people. It has been found that, fleeting occurrences of depersonalization tend to be reoccurring, which suggests an individual predisposition. Depersonalization may likely involve genetic predispositions, followed by early life events, which may enhance vulnerability. Later life occurrences may trigger the onset of chronic symptoms.
Recent surveys on a large series of chronic sufferers found a similar ages of onset. The onset was calculated to usually occur during adolescence or early adulthood, with the majority of cases claiming that the condition began between the ages of 15 and 19.
To support this claim a study carried out by myself on 35 randomly selected chronic DP sufferers from online forum dpselfhelp.com, shows the average age of onset is between 10-20 years of age.
The onset of depersonalization found to be high around the age of puberty and adolescence, suggests that identity restructuring during this time may predispose to depersonalized experiences. Most studies have not found any significant differences in the prevalence of DP/DR between men and women.
Depersonalization disorder is a chronic condition. In one large series the mean duration was found to be 14 years. The intensity of symptoms varies and are usually made worse by stressful situations, fatigue, sleep deprivation and hangovers. It can be made more tolerable by relaxing situations or cognitive distraction.
Some sufferers report the rare occurrence of sudden ‘symptom-free’ gaps, which unfortunately only last a few seconds in most cases of chronic depersonalization.