Walking around your house is a familiar thing, you can even do it with your eyes closed. Yet what if you could remember yourself walking through your house, driving or just living day to day life like you already did it? This creepy feeling is called Déjà vu and is common among humans and some primates. No one quite knows what causes this feeling, although there is a 23-year-old man from Great Britain who has been living in this strange realm for quite some time.
What caused this phenomenon in the British man? Scientists say it is stress and a misfiring in the temporal lobes of the brain. The man experienced a history of anxiety and OCD impulses; however, these were by no means chronic mental disorders. He claims that the episodes came on when he entered university and became a frequent user of LSD (a hallucinogenic drug). When he referred to specialists in 2008, each of the tests came back entirely normal, no notable discrepancy. This is the first time that there is a provable link between stress and the persistent déjà vu syndrome.
What does that mean for everyone else? In all reality, nothing, yet it could explain certain moments when a person does experience these feelings. When a person is under extreme stress, their body goes into the flight of fight mode, which if pushed enough, can give you the type of out of body experience. That, in turn, can give you that sinking feeling (if you think you remember a bad event) or even when you are expecting a surprise at all. Ultimately, this means that students, new drivers, shoppers, anyone can experience déjà vu at any given time. While not every great stress moments will bring these feelings on, it is something to consider.
The fact that this man had quit his school and continued to undergo these moments still baffles scientists. There is a consensus that the man, and thousands of others around the globe (who are not documented), undergo a vicious cycle of a misfire in the neurons of the brain. That misfire causes a spike in anxiety. This misfire causes the déjà vu which causes more anxiety. The cycle is completed when the threshold level for the neuron is reached (due to anxiety), and it misfires once more.
There is hope for people suffering from anxiety, which could turn into a horrible “trip” from déjà vu. Drugs that block the neurons that cause stress seem to help with the root cause, as for if it prevents these moments of “been there, done that” has yet to be seen. Overall, if you are trying to reduce your risks of having a déjà vu moment, lower your stress and anxiety levels.