Factors Associated with Pathological Dissociation in the General Population

Department of Psychiatry, Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Northern Savo, Finland
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 3.41). 06/2005; 39(5):387-94. DOI: 10.1111/j.1440-1614.2005.01586.x
Source: PubMed


This study assessed the prevalence of pathological dissociation in the general population, and the relationship between pathological dissociation and sociodemographic and several psychiatric variables.
The stratified population sample consisted of 2001 subjects. The study questionnaires included the Dissociative Experiences Scale, the Dissociative Experiences Scale-Taxon, the Toronto Alexithymia Scale, the Beck Depression Inventory, and sociodemographic background.
The prevalence of pathological dissociation (DES-T >/= 20) was 3.4% in the general population and did not differ significantly between genders. Men scored higher than women in the amnesia subscale, and women in the absorption and imaginative involvement subscale. The relationship between pathological dissociation, alexithymia, depression and suicidality was strong. The likelihood of pathological dissociation was nearly nine-fold higher among depressive subjects, more than seven-fold higher among alexithymic subjects, and more than four-fold higher among suicidal subjects than among the others. Frequent alcohol consumption also associated significantly with pathological dissociation.
A significant relationship between pathological dissociation, depression, alexithymia, and suicidality was found in the general population. The importance of these factors should be examined in a prospective study design to determine causality.

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Available from: Päivi Maaranen
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    • "Despite DD patients' evident safety struggles, few studies on self-harm focus specifically on DD patients, and most studies are either non-empirical or utilize mixed psychiatric populations (e.g., Boon & Draijer, 1993; Cerutti, Presaghi, Manca, & Gratz, 2012; Foote et al., 2008; Kluft, 1995; Loewenstein & Putnam, 1990; Maaranen et al., 2005; van der Kolk et al., 1991; Saxe et al., 2002; Yargiç et al., 1998). One exception is Engelberg and Brand (2012), who examined patient-reported self-harm over the 30-month TOP DD study and found depression severity positively correlated with patient-reported NSSI and negatively correlated with patientreported suicide attempts. "
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