The DSM-5, published in 2014, recognized a new, distinct subcategory within Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder entitled “PTSD, dissociative subtype” -- a variant of the PTSD syndrome where dissociative symptoms are especially prominent. In a study performed before the publication of DSM-5, we interviewed 325 inner-city psychiatric outpatients and gathered extensive data concerning their trauma histories, their level of function (including self-harm and suicidality) and the presence or absence of a number of psychiatric diagnoses, including PTSD and dissociative disorders. We found that, as has been reported in the literature, patients with PTSD were more likely to report suicidality in the past than non-PTSD patients. However, when we controlled for the presence of a comorbid dissociative disorder, this apparent increased suicidality was no longer present. We discuss this finding as a contribution to the young, but growing, literature on clinical characteristics which may turn out to distinguish between dissociative and non-dissociative PTSD.
Albert Einstein College of Medicine/ Montefiore Medical Center
Bronx, New York
Ashley Ford is a third year psychiatry resident at Albert Einstein College of Medicine/ Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, New York.