Depersonalisation was described clinically over 100 years ago, yet there has been little research into this interesting but distressing psychiatric disorder. The symptom of depersonalisation can occur alone or in the context of other psychiatric and neurological illnesses and is characterised by the experience of detachment from one's senses and the outside environment, and may be present for several years without remission. Two years after the establishment of the depersonalisation research unit at the Maudsley Hospital, London, we report on current neurobiological and clinical research findings, including functional magnetic resonance imaging, psychophysiology and neuroendocrinology and progress regarding the development of effective treatments.
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