International journal of eating disorders vol:13 issue:2 pages:187-193
This study explores the relationship between traumatic experiences and dissociative phenomena in a large group of eating disorder patients (N = 98). Traumatic experiences were assessed by means of a self-report questionnaire and a clinical interview; dissociative experiences were assessed with the newly developed self-reporting Dissociation Questionnaire (DIS-Q). About 25% of the patients reported to have experienced traumatic events in their personal life and this subgroup had significantly higher scores on the DIS-Q, compared with normal control subjects. About 12% of our patient sample mentioned dissociative experiences to a degree as high as in a group of patients with dissociative disorders. Amnesia turned out to be the most specific characteristic in trauma-induced dissociation. These data suggest that trauma-induced dissociative experiences may play an important role in the development of a subgroup of patients with an eating disorder.