Dissociation Mediates the Relationship Between Childhood Trauma and Experiences of Seeing Visions in a French Sample

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Abstract

Recent research has supported the mediating role of dissociation in the relationship between childhood trauma (CT) and voice hearing in clinical and nonclinical populations. However, this mediating role has not yet been explored with regard to seeing visions (visual hallucinations). This study aimed to explore the mediating effect of dissociation on the relationship between CT and seeing visions. In total, 425 voluntary participants recruited from the general population completed an online survey evaluating CT, dissociative experiences, and the experience of hearing voices and seeing things. The findings showed that defensive dissociation mediated the association between CT and the experience of seeing visions. A similar model in terms of pathways and the model's predictive accuracy was found for hearing voices. Therefore, seeing visions may partly reflect dissociated traumatic events intruding into consciousness. Trauma-based interventions for seeing visions may be beneficial in improving distress associated with these experiences.

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