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Psychopathology. 1994;27(3-5):144-7.

A continuum of misidentification symptoms.

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University Department of Psychiatry, Academic Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


A case study of a schizophrenic patient with differing forms of experiences of inappropriate familiarity is described. Reduplicative paramnesia is redefined as a delusion of familiarity related to a reduplication of time, place or person. The author proposes the concept of a continuum of positive and negative misidentification symptoms. The positive pole of the continuum ranges from the minor form of déjà vu experience to reduplicative paramnesia. The negative pole ranges from depersonalisation to nihilistic delusions. Differentiation is based on the severity of the disturbance of reality testing. The argumentation is based on the fact that both déjà vu experiences and depersonalisation occurring in pathological as well as non-pathological conditions are phenomenologically uniform.

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