Psychiatry & Psychology--General/High frequency Deja Vu's?


Dear Mr. Auerbach,

Thanks for reading my question! Long story short, my girlfriend has been having very frequent deja vu's. It's not a big problem, a bit of a nuisance and a disorienting experience sometimes, but we were frankly curious what is going on and worried that it might be indicative of something else.

She has them about two-three times a day, sometimes more, sometimes less. They will come at entirely random times and at random places, and she can think of no particular pattern. Just an intense feeling of having experienced something already, sometimes a whole scene, sometimes just a particular part of an experience that seems intensely familiar, a face, a sound, a place, etc. The reason this is weird is that it started just 5-6 months ago. She is fairly used to it by now, but it just started happening out of nowhere (was kind of scary when it started! It happened quite suddenly) and she hasn't experienced anything like this before in her life.

Could it be indicative of anything? I personally have deja vu's maybe once a month if that (not that I'm keeping track, but I honestly can't remember the last deja vu I had). Another coincidence is that the onset coincided almost exactly with the time that we started dating, so we think it may have to do with that, change of circumstances could have prompted something...?

Anyway, thank you!

Hello, Nico, you certainly write English perfectly.

All we know for sure is that it is fairly common (between 0.5 and 1 percent of the population) and without any clearcut, known, dangerous indications. It has attracted various explanatory theories (none of which has mainstream acceptance) and not much research. "Contagion" has not been reported as far as I know.

To get more information, the entry in Wikipedia is quite detailed and authoritative. But as you read about all the correlates, remember that they are merely speculative. To offer to serve as a study participant, the leading current researcher on it is Dr. Moulin at Leeds University in England.

Hope that helps a bit.


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Alan Auerbach


Taught psychology for 30 years, authored four textbooks. Specialize in introductory and industrial/organizational psychology, but will tackle wider range of areas.

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