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Why Do I Have so Many Déjà Vu Moments?

 
By Elsie Goycoolea. Updated: January 16, 2017
Why Do I Have so Many Déjà Vu Moments?

Déjá vu is a French term that some people use to describe the feeling of living through novel experiences that somehow seem strangely familiar. In English déjà vu means “already seen” and this phenomenon has widely picked the interest of scientists and psychologists. If you have ever traveled to a new place but could swear you have been there before, you could be experiencing a déjà vu moment.

In this OneHowTo article we answer the question: why do I have so many déjà vu moments?

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What causes a déjà vu moment?

Despite the efforts to explain a déjà vu episode there isn’t a clear explanation as to why people have déjà vu moments. A theory argues that when the brain is able to distinguish familiar objects in a new setting, then it tricks you into believing that you have been in that place before. For instance, imagine that you moved the objects and furniture of one room to a new room and rearranged them. You might believe you are in the old room just because the objects look familiar.

Other theories have looked more carefully at brain structures and argue that a possible temporal disorientation of the hippocampus can cause you to experience a déjà vu moment. The hippocampus is responsible for forming long-term memory but can be easily disrupted if stress, threat or fear is perceived.

Why Do I Have so Many Déjà Vu Moments? - What causes a déjà vu moment?

Why do I have so many déjà vu moments?

You shouldn’t be alarmed if you have many déjà vu moments. It is common for people between the ages of 15 and 25 years old to have a high rate of déjà vu moments. At a younger age the brain may still be developing and creating new neural connections that may affect different areas of the brain.

The brain is still a mystery to the scientific world and it is possible that we are unconsciously storing information in the brain. The term “cryptomnesia” is used to describe the process of forgetting learned information yet it is still stored in the brain. Certain triggers may pull this information back out leading to a déjà vu moment. For example, you might not recall having seen a picture of a cathedral on a magazine when preparing for a trip, but then have a déjà vu moment when you visit that same cathedral.

When is it bad to have many déjà vu moments?

While experiencing a déjà vu moment may be harmless there are certain situations when this phenomenon may hide other pathologies. Studies have linked déjà vu with temporal-lobe epilepsy. It is believed that people may have a déjà vu moment before or during an epilepsy seizure. Additionally, anxiety and stress has been previously linked with a higher risk of having a déjà vu.

It is possible that certain drugs can cause déjà vu moments. Studies on a male subject revealed that flu medication containing amantadine and phenylpropanolamine contributed to a development of reoccurring déjà vu moments. This is explained by the medication having an effect on the level of dopamine in the mesial temporal areas of the brain.

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Why Do I Have so Many Déjà Vu Moments?, we recommend you visit our Mental health category.

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