Dissociative Experiences Scale - II
DES-IIInstructions: This questionnaire asks about experiences that you may have in your daily life. We are interested in how often you have these experiences. It is important, however, that your answers show how often these experiences happen to you when you are not under the influence of alcohol or drugs. to answer the questions, please determine to what degree each experience described in the question applies to you, and select the number to show what percentage of the time you have the experience.
For example: 0% (Never) 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100% (Always)
There are 28 questions. These questions have been designed for adults. Adolescents should use a different version. Download a printable version of this screening tool.
Dissociative Experiences Scale Scores Explained
High and Low DES Scores
High levels of dissociation are indicated by scores of 30 or more, scores under 30 indicate low levels. :22 Successful treatment of a dissociative disorder should reduce the DES score when compared to the result before treatment began. :23 Very high scores do not necessarily mean a more severe dissociative disorder is present, this is because the scale measures both normal and pathological dissociation.:18
Dissociative Identity Disorder and the DES
Only 1% of people with Dissociative Identity Disorder have been found to have a DES score below 30. A very high number of people who score above 30 have been shown to have Posttraumatic Stress Disorder or a dissociative disorder other than Dissociative Identity Disorder.
Clinical Uses of the Dissociative Experiences Scale
If a person scores in the high range (above 30) then the DES questions can be used as the basis for a clinical interview, with the clinician asking the client to describe examples of the experiences they have had for any questions about experiences which occur 20% of the time or more. Alternatively, the Dissociative Disorders Interview Schedule (DDIS) or Structured Clinical Interview for Dissociative Disorders (SCID-D) can be used to reach a diagnosis.
|Average DES Scores in research |
|General Adult Population||5.4|
|Borderline Personality Disorder||19.2|
|Posttraumatic Stress Disorder||31|
|Dissociative Disorder Not Otherwise Specified||36|
|Dissociative Identity Disorder (MPD)||48|
1. Carlson, E.B. & Putnam, F.W. (1993). An update on the Dissociative Experience Scale. Dissociation 6(1), p. 16-27. Note: Dissociative Experiences Scale-II included in Appendix.
2. Bernstein, E.M. & Putnam, F.W. (1986). Development, reliability and validity of a dissociation scale. Journal of Nervous & Mental Diseases. 174(12) p.727-735. PMID: 3783140. DOI: 10.1097/00005053-198612000-00004 Note: Dissociative Experiences Scale-I included in Appendix but with Q25 missing.
3. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-5. (5th ed.). Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Association. ISBN 0890425558.
4. International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation. (2011). Guidelines For Treating Dissociative Identity Disorder In Adults, Third Revision: Summary Version. Journal of Trauma & Dissociation,12(2), 188-212. DOI: 10.1080/15299732.2011.537248.
Cite this pageDissociative Experiences Scale - II. Traumadissociation.com. Retrieved from .
The copyright for the questions, answers and scoring method belongs to E.B. Carlson & F.W. Putnam, the original authors of the research, who have given permission for it to be copied, distributed or reproduced for research and clinical use. See references.
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