Throughout the history of psychiatry, the phenomenon of dissociation has been continuously debated, negotiated, and redefined. Outside the field of psychiatry, an understanding of dissociation and its impact is even more elusive. In this partial review of the literature, depersonalization disorder, a little known psychopathology intimately related to dissociation, is analyzed in detail. From defining the disorder in terms of our current understanding to exploring its prevalence and origins (both traumatic and biological), this analysis seeks to reveal this disorder to a public largely unaware of its existence. By examining depersonalization disorder in-depth, it is hoped that this analysis may aid in bringing the commonly experienced phenomena of depersonalization and derealization into public awareness and discourse. Future studies should strive to bolster the growing empirical data related to the understanding and treatment of these phenomena in their pathological form.

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I am indebted to my professor and mentor Bethany Brand, Ph.D., for her expertise and guidance.