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DSM Code No. 300.12
The essential feature of Dissociative amnesia is an inability to recall important personal memories, usually of a stressful nature, that are too extensive to be explained by normal forgetfulness. As well as occurring alone, amnesia may occur during the course of other dissociative disorders and in post-traumatic stress disorder, acute stress disorder, and in somatization disorder. The diagnosis is only made when these other conditions are not present.
Dissociative amnesia must be distinguished from amnesia having a medical cause. It has been described in two forms:
. circumscribed amnesia for a single recent traumatic event;
. inability to recall long periods of childhood.
Amongst patients who present in this way, some have concurrent organic disease.
Deliberate amnesia can be extremely difficult to distinguish from genuine amnesia.
Dissociative amnesia is characterized by an inability to recall important personal information, usually of a traumatic or stressful nature, that is too extensive to be explained by ordinary forgetfulness
Most major professional organizations that have examined dissociative amnesia recognize that full or partial forgetting of genuine memories of abuse can occur.
The disturbance does not occur exclusively during the course of Dissociative Identity Disorder, Dissociative Fugue, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Acute Stress Disorder, or Somatization Disorder and is not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication) or a neurological or other general medical condition (e.g., Amnestic Disorder Due to Head Trauma).
The symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
Dissociative amnesia types
- Localized amnesia
- Selective amnesia
- Generalized amnesia
- Systematized amnesia
Cause of Dissociative amnesia
Dissociative amnesia appears to be caused by stress associated with traumatic experiences endured or witnessed (eg, physical or abuse, rape, combat, natural disasters); major life stresses (eg, abandonment, death of a loved one, financial troubles); or tremendous internal conflict (eg, turmoil over guilt-ridden impulses, apparently unresolvable interpersonal difficulties, criminal behaviors). Additionally, some persons are believed to be more predisposed to amnesia, eg, those who are easily hypnotized.
Treatment of Dissociative amnesia
The treatment for dissociative amnesia is therapy aimed at helping the person restore lost memories as soon as possible. If a person is not able to recall the memories, hypnosis or a medication called Pentothal (thiopental) can sometimes help to restore the memories. Psychotherapy can help an individual deal with the trauma associated with the recalled memories.
Hypnosis is often used in the treatment of dissociative fugue. Hypnosis can help the client/patient recall his/her true identity and remember the events of the past. Psychotherapy is helpful for the person who has traumatic, past events to resolve.
Facts and Tips about Dissociative Amnesia
- Dissociative amnesia, usually know as psychognic, is a pervasive loss of memory of significant personal information.
- Dissociative disorders lead to mental illnesses that involve disruptions or breakdowns of memory, consciousness or awareness, identity and/or perception.
- Dissociative amnesia, different other types of amnesia, does not result from other medical trauma, for example a blow to the head.
- Symptoms of dissociative amnesia such as memory loss, mental health problems like depression and anxiety, a sense of being detached from yourself, a blurred sense of identity, derealization.
- Dissociative amnesia is happen when a person blocks out certain information, typically linked with a stressful or traumatic event, leaving him or her unable to keep in mind important personal information.
- Dissociative disorders usually causes like grow as way to cope with trauma, frequently form in children associated to chronic physical, sexual or emotional abuse or less frequently, home environment.