The British Journal of Psychiatry
Depersonalization in Temporal Lobe Epilepsy and the Organic Psychoses


The occurrence of depersonalization in 32 cases of epilepsy and 64 cases of organic psychoses was studied. Among the epileptics depersonalization was confined to those who suffered from psychomotor or multiple types of attacks. Epileptics with an insecure (sensitive or anankastic) personality and a present illness mood of depression had a significant incidence of depersonalization. There were also highly significant associations between the presence of depersonalization and an "attack" mood of depression, and between the presence of depersonalization, insecure premorbid personality and an "attack" mood of depersonalization in the epileptic group.

As regards the organic group, there was a trend to an association between depersonalization, insecure premorbid personality and depressed mood. These findings tend to support the authors' earlier studies.

The findings are discussed in relation to recent views on the subject, particularly in relation to "organic" hypotheses of depersonalization.