MMPI-II personality profiles of patients with psychogenic nonepileptic seizures

Nynke M. G. Bodde*, Dimona C. J. Bartelet, Maria Ploegmakers, Richard N. C. Lazeron, Albert P. Aldenkamp, Paul A. J. M. Boon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This comparative study explored whether psychogenic nonepileptic seizures (PNES) are a unique disorder with distinctive personality characteristics or (seen from the personality profile) PNES are allied with the domain of a general functional somatic symptom and syndrome (FSSS). We compared the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory 2 (MMPI-2) results for 41 patients with newly diagnosed PNES and 43 patients with newly diagnosed insomnia. There were no statistically significant quantitative scoring differences on the main clinical scales, indicating that there is no substantial difference in "personality makeup" between the two groups with a FSSS. Additional subscale analysis indicated that patients with PNES reported significantly more somatic complaints (Hysteria 4) and bizarre sensory experiences (Schizophrenia 6). Further profile analysis revealed that the personality pattern of patients with PNES was characterized by a strong tendency toward "conversion V, a lack of control pattern and less excessive worries" as compared with patients with insomnia. Patients with PNES are characterized by a stronger tendency toward somatization and externalization, which has treatment implications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)674-680
JournalEpilepsy & Behavior
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011


  • Nonepileptic attack disorders
  • Functional somatic symptom and syndrome
  • Somatoform disorder
  • Personality factors
  • Psychological etiology
  • Conversion disorder
  • Insomnia

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