A distinct pattern of personality disturbance following exposure to mixtures of organic solvents

J Occup Med. 1989 Sep;31(9):743-6. doi: 10.1097/00043764-198909000-00011.


To assess systematically the pattern of psychologic distress in chemically exposed workers complaining of personality changes, we administered the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory to 22 men with a history of exposure to mixtures of organic solvents. Results indicated clinically significant profile elevations in more than 90% of the exposed workers. Moreover, a consistent response profile was noted, indicating a high rate of somatic disturbances, anxiety, depression, social isolation, and fear of losing control. In addition, those workers with the longest exposure duration had the highest elevations on the scale measuring disturbances of thinking, social alienation, poor concentration, and anxiety. Comparisons between these subjects and a group of former prisoners of war with posttraumatic stress disorder revealed strikingly similar clinical profiles. We present a case history that illustrates the nature of this psychologic disturbance.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Humans
  • MMPI*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nervous System / drug effects*
  • Occupational Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Occupational Diseases / psychology
  • Personality Disorders / chemically induced*
  • Personality Disorders / psychology
  • Prisoners / psychology
  • Solvents / adverse effects*


  • Solvents