BACKGROUND: Despite the fact that the assumption of a relationship between self-mutilation and dissociative disorders (DD) has a long history, there is little empirical evidence to support this premise. The present study examined this relationship and investigated whether this commonality is associated with innate hypnotic capacity. METHODS: Fifty patients diagnosed with DD and 50 control subjects with major depression were assessed by using a self-mutilation questionnaire, Dissociative Experiences Scale, Traumatic Experiences Checklist, and the Eye-Roll Sign for their self-mutilating behaviors, dissociative symptoms, early trauma, and innate hypnotic capacity, respectively. RESULTS: We have found that 82% of the present sample of patients with DD injured themselves. They had higher scores on trauma, dissociation and eye-roll measurements than controls. In addition, DD patients with self-mutilation were more likely to have high scores of trauma, dissociation and eye-roll than those without self-mutilation. Innate hypnotic capacity was a strong predictor of self-mutilating behavior in DD patients. CONCLUSIONS: This study strongly supports the assumption that patients with DD are at high risk for self-mutilating behavior and points to the necessity of routine screening for self-mutilating behavior as well as the hypnotic capacity which may constitute a high risk for self-injury in this patient group.
Isr J Psychiatry Relat Sci. 2008;45(1):39-48. Ebrinc S, Semiz UB, Basoglu C, Cetin M, Agargun MY, Algul A, Ates A. GATA Haydarpasa Training Hospital, Department of Psychiatry, Istanbul, Turkey.