What is dissociative amnesia?

Written by: Dr. Alfonso Prieto Rodríguez
Edited by: Ester Izquierdo Romagosa

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.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

By Dr. Alfonso Prieto Rodríguez

Prestigious specialist in Psychiatry, Dr. Prieto Rodríguez has a degree in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Valladolid and a Specialist Doctor in Psychiatry at the Dr. Villacián Psychiatric Hospital by the University of Valladolid since 1982.

Throughout his career, he has gained experience in the Management and Management of Health Services, in addition to having been Head of the Mental Health and Psychiatric Assistance Service at the Castilla y León Board.

Currently, he works as a doctor in the psychiatric hospitalization unit of the Virgen del Rocío University Hospital in Seville. He combines his assistance work with teaching, as Associate Professor of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Seville.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

View Profile

Overall assessment of their patients

TOPDOCTORS utiliza cookies propias y de terceros para facilitar su experiencia como usuario de nuestra web y captar datos estadísticos mediante el análisis de sus datos de navegación. Si usted continúa con la navegación, entendemos que nos ofrece su consentimiento para el uso de cookies. Puede cambiar la configuración de cookies u obtener más información here.