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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

Is this a medical issue? Bizzare DD derealization issue

(19 Posts)
elstan Tue 23-Dec-14 16:37:40

Hello, I have a DD aged 10 and she has just described to me something quite terrifying and I do not know at all how to handle it.
Basically, she just told me quite nonchalantly that she is having feelings of being 'outside her body'. I asked her what she meant and she described that whilst she was sitting last week she suddenly had a feeling like 'nothing was real' and she felt that she was 'floating'. She said that it felt like very intense déjà vu except that instead of unknown things feeling familiar, she felt that familiar things like her surroundings felt extremely unfamiliar and foreign. She says it lasted about half a minute and then she 'snapped out of it'.
Most worryingly, when I asked her has it happened before she said it has happened 'lots of times before' and that she first had it at the primary school disco when she looked at the disco lights and she said that she had this feeling. I wondered why she didn't tell me straight away and she said that she thought everybody gets this feeling.
I don't know where on earth she could have heard about something like this. Although she is mature, I was shocked to hear a child of 10 describing something like this. I have tried to write down what she has described but I don't think that she even knows how to fully describe it.
I honestly don't know where to turn. Do we go to the doctor? Is this even a medical issue? Does anyone have any ideas/similar experiences? I'm sorry that this sounds so bizarre but this really is such a strange issue!

CMOTDibbler Tue 23-Dec-14 16:40:15

I think it would be well worth a GP visit as its possible that it could be a type of seizure.

youbethemummylion Tue 23-Dec-14 16:40:28

I would maybe go to the Drs I had a friend who had a form of epilepsy and sometimes instead of a full fit she described something similar. Dont worry though it may not be that serious but worth getting checked out.

creamoftomato Tue 23-Dec-14 16:49:57

Just to be reassuring, I had this exact feeling from a similar age (maybe slightly younger) and it continued all through my teens. I very occasionally get it now (almost 30) and quite miss it. Reading this was very odd actually, it's such an accurate description - right down to the school disco, as I first experienced this in a similar scenario. I don't think I told anyone about it until I was much older, just accepted it.

Anyway I think if you're worried there won't be any harm in getting things checked out but also it might be just one of those things!

Goldrill Tue 23-Dec-14 16:51:41

Gosh - I think I had something similar when I was a bit younger than her. I was taken to the docs and it was suggested it may be a form of epilepsy. I also had my vision checked and it was actually connected to that: I had very bad sight and a complicated squint and I think my brain was having a hard time processing - and odd lighting of any sort could make it come on (walking downhill outdoors at twilight is a distinct memory!).

Might be something as straightforward as this?

crazygooselady Tue 23-Dec-14 16:53:59

I get this smile normally when I'm anxious like in an interview. It's annoying when it happens in important situations, but I quite like it when it takes me by surprise at home smile

SunnaClausIsComingToTown Tue 23-Dec-14 16:55:27

I get this, I can't remember a time when I didn't. it doesn't worry me, I wonder if it's a type of meditation.

serengelly Tue 23-Dec-14 17:00:03

There was a programme on Radio 4.....it's called 'Alice in Wonderland Syndrome'.......

Schmoozer Tue 23-Dec-14 17:08:55

I had that experience many times in my childhood and didn't understand it of course
In my twenties it happened again a few times at a stressful time in my life and was part of me developing an anxiety disorder that I now take medication for
When I take my meds escitalopram I don't get anxiety or derealisation
If I miss doses it starts to creep back !!
I understand it as
A
Protective mechanism of distancing you when the environment or life is overwhelming x

elstan Tue 23-Dec-14 17:16:31

Thanks for all the responses - it's really an interesting topic. I researched a bit regarding seizure/epilepsy possibility (shock) and although I know it's really unlikely, I guess there is no harm in just getting it checked out.
I don't know quite how to tell DD that we'll be seeing the doctor about it since she honestly didn't seem bothered at all and thinks that others get it too - it seemed like quite a personal issue for her to tell me about so I don't want her to think that it's like we're going blabbing to the doctor.
Better safe than sorry I suppose smile

lemisscared Tue 23-Dec-14 17:20:05

It could be a symptom of migraine.

VerucaInTheNutRoom Tue 23-Dec-14 17:25:58

I have experienced this, I think it's related to low blood sugar.mi need to eat to feel better.

Rafflesway Tue 23-Dec-14 17:26:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

shaska Tue 23-Dec-14 17:32:07

Fucking hell, I have spent my entire life wondering what I call 'big and small at the same time' is and whether I'd ever be able to explain it well enough to anyone to tell me what the hell it is. Seems like 'Alice in Wonderland Syndrome' might be it! Good name for it, it feels a lot like going down a rabbit hole.

I got it a lot as a kid, normally just before sleep. Only occasionally now, normally when doing maths type tasks or repetitive things. I never got migraines, seizures, or anything else and don't wear glasses.

Obviously your DD could have something else, but the 'out of body' thing sounds very familiar. Maybe ask her if things seemed... well, the only way I can put it is 'big and little at the same time and moving very fast but also very slowly'.

Schmoozer Tue 23-Dec-14 17:32:16

I'd suggest seeing GP without her to start with ??

BalloonSlayer Tue 23-Dec-14 17:37:35

Someone in my family has temporal lobe seizures, described them very like your DD did.

Eventually went to the Dr and was diagnosed. IMO, as soon as he said "deja vu" to the Dr, the Dr knew what it was.

It's easily controlled with medication.

CaulkheadUpNorth Tue 23-Dec-14 17:47:13

I used to have it all the time, I always thought everyone did. Sometimes it would happen if my blood sugar was low teenage annorexia but it began when I was about 9 or 10.

sanfairyanne Sat 27-Dec-14 17:07:59

how interesting. just read up about this. i had this for years. it started after mumps and again after glandular fever. never told anyone about it and no clue what it was but 'alice in wonderland syndrome' fits the bill
op, i would mention it to gp just in case

elstan Mon 29-Dec-14 20:40:58

Hi,
If anybody is interested, we saw the GP today who said hopefully it could just be strange or intense daydreaming although he said it sounded very much like a 'focal seizure' which was a shock! He asked when it started and when she said it happened for the first time at the disco he said that he would refer her for some type of neurological exam just to make sure that she is not having focal seizures and also he was suspicious about whether there was any flashing lighting at the disco that may have initially caused it.
Although there is still a very large chance that it is nothing, it's great to be sure.
Thanks to all those who replied smile

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