Psychiatry & Psychology--General/Depersonalization Disorder


Hello, I was wondering if Depersonalization Disorder is a precursor to something more severe, such as Schizophrenia? I suffer from both Depersonalization and Derealization and its constant/chronic. I noticed that over the years it seems to be getting way worst and I am scared that I am going to eventually lose all cognitive capabilities. My memory, perception of objective reality, social and cognitive skills in general are gradually deteriorating. I often feel like Psychosis is right around the corner. My current Diagnosis is PTSD w/ dissociative features, MDD and GAD w/ panic attacks. My therapist is not a Psychologist but a simple MSW so he doesn't really know whats going on, my GP knows I have depersonalization and wants me on ssri's but I refuse medications as I am paranoid of them, my childhood psychiatrist had me on Zoloft, lamictal and Seroquel and she also warned me about developing schizophrenia in my young adulthood due to my heavy cannabis use which I stopped the past two years. To reiterate my question, is depersonalization a precursor to a more severe mental illness, if so, how long until the illness typically becomes active?


Hi Danne, thanks for your question... and sorry for the delay, I never saw it come thru!

You asked, "if Depersonalization Disorder is a precursor to something more severe, such as Schizophrenia?"

The answer is almost certainly no. Feelings of depersonalization is a pretty common phenomena. That is, it happens to a lot of people.

As a side note, I rarely give out, or talk about diagnoses with patients. Diagnoses are what we call iatrogenic - that is, they create problems rather than solve them. People then become focused on their diagnosis, rather than trying to live your life. I wonder, based on this very short question from you, whether that is happening to you.

Also, people then label themselves. They might say things such as "I am paranoid", or "I am XXXXXXX", which is a very limited way of understanding a very complex human being.

So, I usually advise patients to stop thinking about diagnosis and to try to solve their problems

Psychiatry & Psychology--General

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Bruce Borkosky, Psy.D.


any related to psychology, especially related to forensic psychology


15 years as a licensed psychologist, 15 years in private practice. My practice began primarily doing individual and group psychotherapy, is now devoted to assessments, but I occasionally do take on clients in therapy.

American Psychological Association

B.A. psychology, B.A., music, Ohio Wesleyan U., 1978 MCS, computer science, University of Dayton, 1984 MA, psychology, Miami Inst. of Psychology, 1991 Psy.D., psychology, Miami Inst. of Psychology, 1993 post doctoral training in Neuropsychology, Fielding Institute, 1995-1997

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