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J Nerv Ment Dis. 1995 Oct;183(10):615-22.

Dissociation and vulnerability to psychotic experience. The Dissociative Experiences Scale and the MMPI-2.

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  • 1Menninger Clinic, Topeka, Kansas 66601-0829, USA.


Prior research on the MMPI has cautioned against misdiagnosing schizophrenia in patients with dissociative identity disorder. The present study examined the full spectrum of the dissociative experience in relation to MMPI-2 profiles. Ninety-eight women in treatment for trauma-related disorders completed the Dissociative Experiences Scale and the MMPI-2 in routine inpatient diagnostic evaluations. Consistent with prior research, severe dissociation was associated with high elevations on MMPI-2 scales typically associated with psychotic symptoms. Contrary to hypotheses, the ostensibly most benign form of dissociation, absorption and imaginative involvement, was somewhat more strongly related to MMPI-2 scores than the more pathognomonic forms of dissociation, depersonalization and amnesia. Although it should not be misdiagnosed, severe impairment on the MMPI in conjunction with dissociation should be taken seriously as suggesting vulnerability to psychotic experience. The dissociative retreat from the stressors of outer reality opens the door to the inner world of traumatic images and affects, along with compromised reality testing and disorganized thinking.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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