Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Delusions are, in part, attempts to explain confusing anomalous experience. Depersonalization, a key subset of anomalous experience, has been little studied in relation to persecutory delusions. The aims of this study were to assess the presence of depersonalization in patients with persecutory delusions and to examine associations with levels of paranoia and worry. Fifty patients with a current persecutory delusion completed measures of depersonalization, psychotic symptoms, and worry. Depersonalization experiences were common: 30 patients (60%) each reported at least 10 different depersonalization symptoms occurring often. A greater number of depersonalization experiences were associated with higher levels of paranoia and worry. The positive association of worry and paranoia became nonsignificant when controlling for depersonalization. Overall, depersonalization may be common in patients with persecutory delusions and is associated with the severity of paranoia. The results are consistent with the view that worry may cause depersonalization experiences that contribute to the occurrence of paranoid thoughts.

Original publication




Journal article


J Nerv Ment Dis

Publication Date





752 - 758


Adult, Anxiety, Comorbidity, Delusions, Depersonalization, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Paranoid Disorders, Psychiatric Status Rating Scales, Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic