Misidentification of Self and the Riel Phenomenon

    Volume 37, Issue 3 (May 1992)

    ISSN: 0022-1198


    Published Online: 1 May 1992

    Page Count: 6

    Perr, IN
    Professor of psychiatry, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway, NJ

    Paul Fedoroff, J
    Assistant professor of psychiatry, The Clarke Institute of Psychiatry, Toronto, Ontario

    (Received 2 August 1991; accepted 29 October 1991)


    Misidentification syndromes or phenomena are found in a number of psychiatric situations that may become the subject of forensic science review. One of the most curious is misidentification of self in which the individual perceives himself or herself as another being while able to explain the loss of the original identity. Recognizing these phenomena may be helpful in accurate diagnosis, in considering such conditions as psychosis of whatever type, multiple personality disorder, and other amnesia and fugue states, and in understanding the person's psychopathology. Two cases are presented to illustrate a process that the authors have named the Riel Phenomenon, after the person who was a party to what is often recognized as the most famous case in Canadian history.

    Paper ID: JFS11995J

    DOI: 10.1520/JFS11995J

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    Title Misidentification of Self and the Riel Phenomenon
    Symposium , 0000-00-00
    Committee E30