The Comparison of Ego Defense Styles in Patients with Somatization, Anxiety, and Normal Individuals



Introduction: Clinical psychologists tend to differentiate somatization and anxiety disorder.The main aims of this study were comparison of the ego defense styles among patients with somatization, anxiety disorders and normal subjects.
Method: The study population consisted all of patients with somatization and anxiety disorders referred to public and private clinics in Tehran in 1391, as well as, normal people living in this city. to achieve these goals, 90 participants (30 patients with somatization, 30 patients with anxiety, and 30 normal individuals) who were selected by purposeful sampling and answered to Defensive Styles Questionnaire (DSQ). In addition, normal group answered Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS-21). The data were analyzed by using descriptive statistics and multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) and the post-hoc test.
Results: The findings showed significantly differences in the mature ego defense style for 3 groups. In addition, there were significantly differences in the immature and neurotic defense styles between normal, anxiety and somatization groups. However, there were no differences in mature and neurotic defense styles between anxiety and somatization groups.
Conclusion: Based on research finding we can use defense mechanisms to differentiate between patients with somatization and anxiety disorder. These results suggest that ego defense styles should be considered as a focus of clinical attention in the treatment of physical disorders and anxiety.