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Psychiatry. 1996 Fall;59(3):255-66.

Lifetime axis I and II comorbidity and childhood trauma history in dissociative identity disorder.

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  • 1Dissociative Disorders Unit, Charter Health System of Dallas, Plano, TX, USA.


According to DSM-IV, dissociative identity disorder is characterized by the existence within the person of two or more distinctly different identities or personality states that from time to time take executive control of the person's body and behavior, with accompanying amnesia (American Psychiatric Association, 1994). By retrospective patient report, dissociative identity disorder usually occurs in conjunction with severe childhood trauma (Kluft 1985; Putnam et al. 1986; Ross 1989; Ross et al. 1989a, 1990a). The disorder appears to be the most severe form of disturbance on the dissociative disorders continuum (Boon and Draijer 1993; Coons 1992; Ross 1985; Ross et al. 1992). There is evidence that dissociative identity disorder may be more prevalent than once believed in the general population (Ross 1991) and among general adult psychiatric inpatients (Latz et al. 1995; Ross et al. 1991; Saxe et al. 1993).

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