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(1956). Journal of Mental Science. C, 1954: Depersonalization: I. Etiology and Phenomenology; II. Clinical Syndromes. Brian Ackner. Pp. 838-872.. Psychoanal Q., 25:294.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Journal of Mental Science. C, 1954: Depersonalization: I. Etiology and Phenomenology; II. Clinical Syndromes. Brian Ackner. Pp. 838-872.

(1956). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 25:294

Journal of Mental Science. C, 1954: Depersonalization: I. Etiology and Phenomenology; II. Clinical Syndromes. Brian Ackner. Pp. 838-872.

Ackner describes the confusion that exists in regard to the concept of depersonalization, part of which he believes is semantic and part of which springs from the difficulty in accurately delimiting this syndrome. He reduces the numerous clinical manifestations of depersonalization to four relatively basic symptoms: the feeling of unreality, the unpleasant quality of this feeling, the nondelusional quality of the sensation, and the loss of affective response that accompanies the feeling. He shows, however, that even these symptoms are not entirely consistent and reliable. In the second part of his paper, the author develops the idea that feelings of depersonalization develop when the individual is unable to integrate new experiences into the psychic apparatus. In this regard depersonalization occupies a position somewhere between the delusional and the nondelusional. For instance, in the early stages of a psychosis, sensations or perceptions may appear which the individual cannot accept as either within his own experience or as delusional. In this situation depersonalization may develop. As the delusional system develops, the patient may integrate these experiences into the delusional world with disappearance of the depersonalization. A comparable sequence of events is hypothecated in the nonpsychotic, who may have difficulty in integrating new experiences because of a change in the relationship of the individual to his world, his body, or his own psychic functioning. When the experience is integrated, the depersonalization diminishes. Ackner outlines a number of clinical syndromes in which depersonalization is found, each syndrome being named with reference to the main factor causing difficulty in the integration of new experiences: for example, the organic syndrome of depersonalization, the schizoid disturbance of identity, the hysterical disturbance of identity, the depressive syndrome of depersonalization. Relatively little consideration is given to dynamic or genetic factors that predispose toward the failure to integrate new experiences.

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Article Citation

(1956). Journal of Mental Science. C, 1954. Psychoanal. Q., 25:294

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