The Prevalence of Depersonalization-Derealization Disorder: A Systematic Review

J Trauma Dissociation. 2023 Jan-Feb;24(1):8-41. doi: 10.1080/15299732.2022.2079796. Epub 2022 Jun 14.


Depersonalization-Derealization disorder (DDD) is a psychiatric condition characterized by persistent feelings of detachment from one's self and of unreality about the outside world. This review aims to examine the prevalence of DDD amongst different populations. A systematic review protocol was developed before literature searching. Original articles were drawn from three electronic databases and included only studies where prevalence rates of DDD were assessed by standardized diagnostic tools. A narrative synthesis was conducted. Twenty-three papers were identified and categorized into three groups of participants: general population, mixed in/outpatient samples, and patients with specific disorders. The prevalence rates ranged from 0% to 1.9% amongst the general population, 5-20% in outpatients and 17.5-41.9% in inpatients. In studies of patients with specific disorders, prevalence rates varied: 1.8-5.9% (substance abuse), 3.3-20.2% (anxiety), 3.7-20.4% (other dissociative disorders), 16.3% (schizophrenia), 17% (borderline personality disorder), ~50% (depression). The highest rates were found in people who experienced interpersonal abuse (25-53.8%). The prevalence rate of DDD is around 1% in the general population, consistent with previous findings. DDD is more prevalent amongst adolescents and young adults as well as in patients with mental disorders. There is also a possible relationship between interpersonal abuse and DDD, which merits further research.

Keywords: Dissociative disorders; epidemiology; systematic review.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Depersonalization* / epidemiology
  • Depersonalization* / psychology
  • Dissociative Disorders / psychology
  • Humans
  • Prevalence
  • Substance-Related Disorders*
  • Young Adult