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Levitan, H.L. (1967). Depersonalization and the Dream. Psychoanal Q., 36:157-171.

(1967). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 36:157-171

Depersonalization and the Dream

Harold L. Levitan, M.D.


The traumatic dreams of a patient suffering from periods of depersonalization, peculiar in that they did not progress to intense affect and awakening, are presented in support of the hypothesis that depersonalization is a compromise state between dreaming and waking. Some theories about varying levels of sleep within the process of dreaming are suggested to explain this abrogation of affect. The depersonalization itself seemed to be a night residue of this dream mechanism which persisted into the next day as a type of screen memory. The 'dream screen' seemed to play an important part in this mechanism. A tentative hypothesis relates mania and depersonalization to the successive stages within the process of dreaming.

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