Self-induced depersonalization syndrome

Am J Psychiatry. 1976 Nov;133(11):1326-8. doi: 10.1176/ajp.133.11.1326.


The author reports two cases in which depersonalization occurred during the waking consciousness of individuals who had engaged in meditative techniques designed to alter consciousness. Psychiatrists should be aware of this phenomenon, as the number organizations in the "consciousness movement" is increasing, and should ask people manifesting depersonalization about any involvement in activities leading to altered states of consciousness. In some cases it might be appropriate to refer such patients to responsible groups that teach altered consciousness by meditation as an egosyntonic desirable state. The author cautions against the use of phenothiazines in cases where depersonalization is a prominent feature.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affective Symptoms / complications
  • Antipsychotic Agents / adverse effects
  • Anxiety / etiology
  • Consciousness*
  • Depersonalization / drug therapy
  • Depersonalization / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Phenothiazines
  • Relaxation Therapy*
  • Wakefulness
  • Yoga


  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Phenothiazines