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Br J Psychiatry. 2003 May;182:428-33.

Depersonalisation disorder: clinical features of 204 cases.

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  • 1Hartside Unit, St Nicholas Hospital, Gosforth, Newcastle NE3 3XT, London.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Depersonalisation disorder is a poorly understood and underresearched syndrome.

AIMS:

To carry out a large and comprehensive clinical and psychopathological survey of a series of patients who made contact with a research clinic.

METHOD:

A total of 204 consecutive eligible referrals were included: 124 had a full psychiatric examination using items of the Present State Examination to define depersonalisation/derealisation and 80 had either a telephone interview (n=22) or filled out a number of self-report questionnaires. Cases assessed were diagnosed according to DSM-IV criteria.

RESULTS:

The mean age of onset was 22.8 years; early onset was associated with greater severity. There was a slight male preponderance. The disorder tended to be chronic and persistent. Seventy-one per cent met DSM-IV criteria for primary depersonalisation disorder. Depersonalisation symptom scores correlated with both anxiety and depression and a past history of these disorders was commonly reported. 'Dissociative amnesia' was not prominent.

CONCLUSIONS:

Depersonalisation disorder is a recognisable clinical entity but appears to have significant comorbidity with anxiety and depression. Research into its aetiology and treatment is warranted.

PMID:
12724246
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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