Journal of Abnormal Psychology vol:107 issue:1 pages:63-73
The authors hypothesized that there would be a similarity between animal defensive responses to variable predatory imminence and injury and certain somatoform dissociative symptoms of trauma-reporting patients who have dissociative disorder. As a first test of this hypothesis, 12 somatoform symptom clusters consisting of clinically observed somatoform dissociative phenomena were constructed. All clusters discriminated between patients with dissociative disorders (n = 50) and patients with other psychiatric diagnoses (n = 50). Those expressive of the hypothesized similarity-freezing, anesthesia-analgesia, and disturbed eating-belonged to the 5 most characteristic symptoms of dissociative disorder patients. Anesthesia-analgesia, urogenital pain, and freezing symptom clusters independently contributed to predicted presence of dissociative disorder. Using an independent sample, it appeared that anesthesia-analgesia best predicted presence of dissociative disorder after controlling for symptom severity. The results were largely consistent with the hypothesized similarity.