Objective: This study compared dissociative symptom areas in Vietnam combat veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and in Vietnam combat veterans without PTSD.
Method: The Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Dissociative Disorders (SCID-D) was used to compare dissociative symptoms in 40 Vietnam combat veterans with PTSD and 15 Vietnam combat veterans without PTSD. The SCID-D yields a total score and scores in five symptom areas: amnesia, depersonalization, derealization, identity confusion, and identity alteration.
Results: The PTSD patients had more severe dissociative symptoms in each of the five symptom areas of the SCID-D and higher total symptom scores. Amnesia was the symptom area with the greatest difference in scores between the PTSD patients (mean = 3.68, SD = 0.73) and the non-PTSD veterans (mean = 1.06, SD = 0.26).
Conclusions: The finding of higher levels of dissociative symptoms in Vietnam combat veterans with PTSD than in Vietnam veterans without PTSD is consistent with a level of dissociative symptoms in PTSD similar to that in dissociative disorders.