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May 1939

Ueber nihilistischen Wahn und Depersonalisation.

Arch NeurPsych. 1939;41(5):1084-1085. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1939.02270170222016

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Nihilistic ideas are "the affective, spontaneous verbal negations of the existence of objects or functions in spite of sensory impressions to the contrary." This concept is the fundamental starting point in the present monograph. These ideas are to be differentiated, on the one hand, from the phenomena of depersonalization and derealization, in which the person accepts the existence of objects but does not have the proper feeling of their reality. On the other hand, the condition is to be differentiated from negativism, which expresses itself in actions rather than words and takes place as a response to a stimulus rather than as a spontaneous occurrence. Although the title implies a study of depersonalization, the author deals with it only as it is related to the understanding and development of nihilistic ideas. The material, consisting of 67 patients, 43 of whom presented an especially characteristic picture, is almost entirely representative of

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