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Theories of Depersonalization: A Re-appraisal

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 January 2018

G. Sedman*
University of Sheffield; now Consultant Psychiatrist, Herrison Group, St. Ann's Hospital, Canford Cliffs, Poole, Dorset


Introduction There have been many theories put forward to explain the not uncommon symptoms of depersonalization. They were aptly summarized by Ackner (1954) in the following way. There are theories which regard depersonalization as a symptom with an organic basis; there are theories which consider it a disturbance of a particular psychological function; there are analytic theories; and finally there is a theory which would suggest that depersonalization is a form of schizophrenia. This paper is concerned with a re-appraisal of all these theories in the light of recent and current research on the subject.

Research Article
Copyright © Royal College of Psychiatrists, 1970 

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