Dissociation : Vol. 5, No. 4, p. 227-235 : Dissociative symptoms and disorders in patients with eating disorders

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Title: Dissociation : Vol. 5, No. 4, p. 227-235 : Dissociative symptoms and disorders in patients with eating disorders
Author: McCallum, Kim E.; Lock, James; Kulla, Mary; Rorty, Marcia; Wetzel, Richard D., Ph. D.
Abstract: This study sought to describe the relationship between dissociative symptoms and syndromes in patients with eating disorders. We studied 38 patients clinically identified with eating disorders. They were evaluated in two sites by experienced clinicians using standard interviews to elicit symptoms of eating disorders, dissociative disorders and to obtain histories of traumatic abuse. A self report measure, the Dissociative Experiences Scale, was used to identify those with frequent dissociative symptoms. The temporal relationship of these symptoms to eating and sexual behaviors was explored by a uniformly administered interview. Diagnoses of dissociative disorders and other comorbid syndromes were made using DSM-III-R criteria. We found that dissociative disorders were prevalent in our sample (29%). The prevalences of multiple personality disorder and depersonalization disorder were 10% and 18% respectively. The presence of dissociative disorder was significantly related to a history of self-harm. Dissociative symptoms which occurred frequently were temporally associated with the binge/purge cycle or severe restriction in 74%, with sexual behavior in 39% and with self-harm in 28%. A dissociative disorder diagnosis was correlated to history of trauma or abuse but was not limited solely to sexual abuse. We conclude that dissociative symptoms are relevant to the behaviors characteristic of patients with eating disorders. Trauma should be considered in those who present with discrete dissociative disorders. These comorbid syndromes may alter outcome in patients with eating disorders.
Description: p. 227-235
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1794/1725
Date: 1992-12

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