Dissociative amnesia, also known as psychogenic amnesia or functional amnesia is a disorder characterized by memory loss caused by an intense episode of psychological stress, and that can not be attributed to cerebral neurological damage or other organic causes.
Symptoms of dissociative amnesia
It can be characterized by:
- Presence of retrograde amnesia: inability to retrieve previously stored memories.
- Absence of anterograde amnesia: inability to create new long - term memories.
Types of dissociative amnesia
Psychogenic amnesia can be of two types:
- Global amnesia: also called dissociative fugue, is a sudden loss of personal identity that can last from a few hours to several days. It occurs after a severe and / stress or depressed mood, intense internal conflict (eg confusion because remorse haunt him) or intolerable life situation.
- Specific dissociative amnesia situation appears as a result of an intensely stressful experience, as in the case of a posttraumatic stress disorder from childhood sexual abuse, situations of military wars, witnessing a shocking event, domestic violence, disasters (suicide natural, terrorist acts, murder of a loved one), etc.
Treatment of dissociative amnesia
The main goal of treatment is to reduce symptoms and improve the problems arising from the disorder.
Psychotherapy, in general, helps the person to express and process painful memories, helping to develop new coping strategies, recovering a more standardized operation and improving personal relationships.
On the other hand, drug treatment is not specific for amnesia, although consultations Psychiatry is almost always indicated to make a significant help, since this disorder often coexists with depressive-anxious states.