Inside ‘derealization,’ the psychological disorder affecting Landon Barker

Inside ‘derealization,’ the psychological disorder affecting Landon Barker

When Travis Barker’s son hinted on social media that he had spent time in a Los Angeles hospital earlier this week, fans of the young musician worried that it might have been due to a psychological malady that makes you feel like you are living in a dream.

Landon Barker, 18, told his 1.9 million Instagram followers earlier this month that he suffers from “derealization” — a little-known psychological disorder that affects 2% of the population, with many saying it makes them feel like robots, according to studies in the US and the United Kingdom.

Derealization affects 6.4 million people in the US, according to the studies.

People who suffer from the ailment have described feeling as though they are observing their life through a piece of glass or as if they are appearing in a movie or a dream.

Also known as “depersonalization,” the ailment mainly affects teens and young adults, making them feel emotionally disconnected from loved ones and distorting their perceptions of time, shape and distance, according to reports.

Landon (center), along with his sister Alabama, are the kids of drummer Travis Barker (right).Landon and his sister Alabama with dad Travis Barker.Getty Images for boohooMANHe attended his dad's wedding to Kourtney Kardashian (left, with sister Khloé, right).Landon with stepmom Kourtney Kardashian and her sister Khloé.@landonasherbarker/ Instagram

Symptoms can become so severe that they interfere with a person’s ability to maintain relationships and, in some cases, can require hospital stays and medication.

“Depersonalization-derealization disorder occurs when you persistently or repeatedly have the feeling that you’re observing yourself from outside your body or you have a sense that things around you aren’t real, or both,” according to a post on the Mayo Clinic’s website. “Feelings of depersonalization and derealization can be very disturbing and may feel like you’re living in a dream.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, it’s not clear what causes derealization, although stress and childhood trauma could be contributing factors.

Landon recently posted about his derealization disorder on Instagram.Landon recently posted about his derealization disorder on Instagram.@landonasherbarker/ instagram

Earlier this month, Landon, the stepson of Kourtney Kardashian, told his social media followers via Instagram Stories that “My derealization has been really bad and I just wanna come on here and tell everyone your [sic] not alone and we are all imperfect in our own ways,” he wrote “I love you guys. #mentalhealthawareness.”

The teenager, who is dating TikTok star Charli D’Amelio, went on to share multiple graphics regarding other mental health disorders, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, which is related to depersonalization.

The disorder can also be linked to brain diseases, seizures and schizophrenia and dementia, according to reports.

Some experts believe that it acts as a shield to emotional stress or trauma.

He's dating TikTok star Charli D'Amelio.He’s dating TikTok star Charli D’Amelio.GC Images

“The emergence of depersonalization at the edge of stress can be compared with the explosion of an airbag at the edge of a car crash,” wrote Elena Bezzubova in a 2016 article in Psychology Today. “The fog of unreality shields from psychological traumas like an exploded airbag protects from physical injuries. The fog of unreality falls as a barrier between person and trauma as if virtually removing this person from a threatening situation.”