Deja Vu - Seeing the Unseen

Déjà Vu- Seeing The Unseen

What is Déjà Vu?

Déjà vu is a French phrase meaning "already seen", and it’s used to describe the psychological experience of feeling sure that one has witnessed or experienced a new situation previously. An individual feels as though an event has already happened in the recent past although the exact circumstances of the previous encounter are uncertain.
In medical terms it is also called paramenisa or promnesia.

The experience of déjà vu is usually accompanied by a compelling sense of familiarity, and also a sense of "strangeness" or "weirdness".

Common misconceptions used by people to explain Déjà Vu?
The previous experience is most frequently attributed to:
1. a dream,
2. past life experience
3. black or white magic /spells
4. prophecy

How does the memory system in our brain work?
To understand the concept of Déjà vu we have to understand how the memory system works. It can be divided into following steps (the language used is minimally scientific to ease its understanding):

1. Experience presentation- The conscious mind comes in contact with an experience. This experience is a combination of one or more of the 5 basic senses along with emotions and feelings.

2. This experience stimulates the brain to secrete neuro-chemicals. These chemical act on different parts of the brain to instantly create a short-term memory.

3. Short term memory is part of the memory system, were a memory is stored for a very short time. This could be a few seconds to few minutes. It’s because of this volatile nature that most information stored into it is normally lost.
When a short-term memory is recalled into the conscious mind, an individual feels the sensation of present time. The notion of present time, place and person is based on this interaction.

4. Long term Memory- When a short term memory is further reinforced by some stimulus or experience, a new set of neuro-chemicals react to store it into the deeper cells of the brain. It then gets converted into what is called a long term memory. The duration of this memory ranges from a few hours to years or even a life-time.
When this memory is brought into the conscious mind, an individual describes it as recalling an experience from the past.

Why does “Déjà Vu” really happen?
1. Scientifically déjà vu is not an act of "precognition" or "prophecy," but rather that it is an anomaly of memory system in the brain.
This can be proved by the fact that the sense of "recollection" at the time is very strong in most cases, but that the circumstances of the "previous" experience (when, where, and how the earlier experience occurred) are quite uncertain.
In “Déjà vu” the new stimulus or experience of an individual is stored both in short term and long term memories simultaneously. This anomaly gives a perception of having previously experienced a newly encountered situation.

2. Neuro-chemically it’s attributed to being a hyperdopaminergic state. That means increased secretion of dopamine in certain lobes of the brain.

When does “Déjà vu” happen?
The experience of “Déjà vu” has been linked with a serious of psychological causes, namely:
a. Highly psychologically emotional states
b. High anxiety
c. Dissociative identity disorder or depersonalization disorder
d. Clinical Depression
e. Schizophrenia

It has also been linked with certain neurological disorders:
a. Temporal Lobe Epilepsy
b. Non-pathological epilepsy like Hypnagogic jerk- the sudden "jolt" that frequently, but not always, occurs just prior to falling asleep

It has also been found to commonly occur in other general medical conditions like:
a. Combined Intake of drugs amantadine and phenylpropanolamine (used in common cold medications).
b. Drugs that increase the dopamine levels of the brain.

Treatment for “Déjà vu”?
“Déjà vu” isn’t classified as a disorder by modern medicine. But in cases of a more than one episode per month, an immediate neuro-psychiatric consult is required. In many cases it’s a very important symptom to early diagnose and cure otherwise dreadfully dangerous disorders.
If you know someone who is suffering from symptoms of the same, do get him the right treatment.


Dr.Hemant Mittal (MBBS, PGDPM)


  1. but dr,smtime we actually feel deja vu. it's like instant connection. forget about science. i feel smtime it's supernatural.__neelanjna

  2. @neelanjna

    well it depends on your belief system.
    if you see scientific explanation of it.
    the process happens in fractions of milliseconds.

    the difference between supernatural and natural can be found, as in case of a deja vu the experience of earlier memory doesnt have any details with it.
    if its supernatural, then details of the same shud be present.

    demonstrating it too be mostly a memory anomaly.

  3. If it is TLE than a person should feel DeJa Vu often. I had several events of Deja vu as a child then about five years ago I had them a lot more than once a month, and then it went away for several years. Then in lecture I sneezed and had another Deja vu experience and then three days later had it again. I haven't had it since. I saw a doctor and the test was inconclusive, they told me to come back if I started having the feelings again. The doctors have been vague and frustrating. My real question is TLE doesn't take a break, right?

  4. @hemant

    Try and justify my experience-

    When i was 13 i used to see a babay in my thoughts who was cute.I used to see her often nd remembered how she giggled and laughed.I used to wonder why i see her.I saw her 7-8 times.Exactly same scenes each time

    3 years later my neighbor had that baby.I went to their home and i felt the same scenes.I predicted what the baby was going to do.I told them she was going to smile three times in a row,she did.I told them that she will take a turn.She did it in 10 secs.I told that she will close her eyes.She did in 3 seconds.I was 16 years old then.It was an unique experience in had.My neighbour was awestuck.

  5. @ Suchetan

    I bet you had also predicted the baby would blink its eyes!...let me see if i can predict something...hmm, one day when you are standing at a street, you will see an old man, a mother & child, & a woman wearing blue clothes...after seeing them something important will happen to your life!!....I never knew predicting is so simple! :)

  6. I think its time to make RAAZ Z (A movie concept idea made by Dr. Hemant Mittal). Storyline at end truth is found that Raaz is not pechla janam but another chemical locha . Munna Bhai has already converted some aspect of Psychiatry. I think some interesting movie should be best on Psychiatry. Western people develop some idea if any movie based on Psychiatric on positive note if exist please inform us