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Treatment of depersonalization disorder with fluoxetine: a case report


One small prospective series and two single case reports had described successful treatment of primary depersonalization disorder in a number of patients treated with fluoxetine [13]. But then, one recent randomized, double masked, placebo-controlled trial failed to show efficacy [4]. We present the case of depersonalization disorder that responded favorably to fluoxetine treatment.

Materials and methods

A 23-year old single man had a 1-year history of primary depersonalization disorder. He described feeling “detached from my body, as if I was observing myself from the outside, cut off from emotions and feelings, feeling as if I had completely lost my self and feeling like I was in a dream”. He felt far removed from everything. The patient was treated with fluoxetine 10 mg/day, which was slowly raised to 40 mg/day.


Eight weeks after beginning fluoxetine, the patient had a remarkable improvement. Following complete resolution of the depersonalization symptoms, the patient began to socialize, entertain and work. This is continued for 12 months of follow up.


Fluoxetine may be a promising pharmacological treatment for primary depersonalization disorder.


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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Saitis, M., Katsigiannopoulos, K. & Papazisis, G. Treatment of depersonalization disorder with fluoxetine: a case report. Ann Gen Psychiatry 7 (Suppl 1), S208 (2008).

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