Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 77–86 | Cite as

Dissociative disorders in Vietnam combat veterans

  • Joel Osler Brende


A group of Vietnam combat veterans were surveyed to determine the quantity and quality of their dissociative symptoms. The results suggest that the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and dissociative disorders in this group of patients may be much more closely intertwined than we have heretofore considered. Those who suffer from PTSD have a continuum of severity of dissociative symptoms ranging from the frequent experience of a partially forgotten traumatic experience to the rare occurrence of a full blown case of multiple personality disorder (MPD). Most cases of MPD are related to trauma during childhood in environments fraught with extreme ambivalence and victimization, in association with abandonment and betrayal. However, the high frequency of dissociative symptoms and even occasional occurrences of MPD in Vietnam veterans suggests a similarity in the environmental factors associated with the Vietnam war.


Public Health Environmental Factor Social Psychology Stress Disorder Personality Disorder 
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© Human Sciences Press 1987

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  • Joel Osler Brende

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