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Investigating the Transdiagnostic Value of Subjective Emptiness.

  • Author(s): Konjusha, Arta;
  • Hopwood, Christopher J;
  • Price, Adrian L;
  • Masuhr, Oliver;
  • Zimmermann, Johannes
  • et al.
Abstract

It is common for people with mental health problems to report feelings of emptiness. However, the association of subjective emptiness with specific disorders and its unique role within dimensional taxonomies of personality pathology is not well understood. The present study assesses the transdiagnostic value of subjective emptiness using a recently developed self-report measure in a mixed sample of 157 participants. The authors investigated the associations of emptiness with clinically relevant variables, including borderline personality disorder symptoms, depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, and suicide attempts. Subjective emptiness showed strong positive relationships with all criteria. Regression models controlling for impairments of personality functioning, maladaptive personality traits, and current symptom distress supported the incremental validity of emptiness for specific disorder constructs and suicidality. These findings indicate that emptiness represents a facet of psychopathology that can be particularly useful for the classification of mental disorders, and in particular internalizing disorders involving self-dysfunction and detachment.

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