Dissociative Amnesia: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis And Treatments.

The amnesia dissociative, also known as psychogenic amnesia, is a disorder of memory characterized by the sudden loss of episodic memory retrograde, which occurs over a period ranging from hours to years. It has been defined as a dissociative disorder characterized by retrospectively reported memory gaps. These gaps involve the inability to remember personal information, usually traumatic.

The atypical clinical syndrome of memory disorder is that a person with psychogenic amnesia is profoundly unable to remember personal information; a lack of conscious self-knowledge affects even simple self-knowledge, such as who they are. Psychogenic amnesia is distinguished from organic amnesia. It is assumed to result from a non-organic cause; no structural brain damage or brain injury should be apparent, but some form of psychological stress should precipitate amnesia.

Symptoms and signs of dissociative amnesia

The main symptom is memory loss that is inconsistent with normal forgetfulness. Amnesia can be

  • Located
  • Selective
  • Generalized
  • Continues

Localized amnesia

It involves not being able to remember a specific event or events or a specific period; These memory gaps are often related to trauma or stress. For example, patients may forget the months or years of abuse as a child or the days spent in intense combat. Amnesia may not manifest for hours, days, or longer after the traumatic period. Usually, the forgotten time, which can vary from minutes to decades, is restricted. Usually, patients experience one or more episodes of memory loss.

Selective amnesia

It involves forgetting only some of the events during a specific period or only part of a traumatic event. Patients may have localized and selective amnesia.

Generalized amnesia

Patients forget their identity and life history, for example, who they are, where they went, who they spoke to, and what they did, said, thought, experienced, and felt. Some can no longer access well-learned skills and lose previously known information about the world. Dissociative amnesia is widespread rare; it is most common among combat veterans, people who have been sexually assaulted, and people experiencing extreme stress or conflict. The onset is usually sudden.

Systematized amnesia

Patients forget information in a specific category, such as all information about a particular person.

The amnesia continues

Patients forget each new event as it occurs.

Most patients are partially or compwhollyware that they have memory gaps. They only realize when personal identity is lost or when circumstances make them aware, for example,, when,n others tell them or ask them about events they cannot remember.

Patients seen shortly after becoming amnesiac may appear confused. Some are very distressed; others are indifferent and haveand difficulty forming and maintaining relationships.

Depressive and functional neurological symptoms are common, as are suicidal and other self-destructive behaviors. The risk of suicidal behaviors can be increased when amnesia resolves suddenly, and patients are overwhelmed by traumatic memories.

Causes of dissociative amnesia

The misleading is stress associated with traumatic experiences that the patient has survived or witnessed. These can include life stressors such as serisevereancial problems, the death of a parent or spouse, extreme internal conflict, and guilt related to seriseveremes or turmoil caused by difficulties with another person.

Susceptibility to hypnosis appears to be a predisposing factor in dissociative amnesia. However, as of 2002, no specific genes have been associated with vulnerability to this amnesia.

Some personality types and character traits appear to be risk factors for dissociative disorders. A group of researchers in the United States has found that people diagnosed with dissociative disorders have much higher scores for immature psychological defenses than normal subjects.

Diagnosis of dissociative amnesia

  • Clinical criteria

The diagnosis of dissociative amnesia is clinical, based on the criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition:

  • Patients cannot recall important personal information (usually related to trauma or stress) that would not normally be lost with ordinary forgetting.
  • Symptoms cause significant distress or significantly affect social or occupational functioning.

Also, symptoms cannot be better explained by the ug or other disorders (e.g., complex partial seizures, substance abuse, traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, other dissociative disorder).

The diagnosis requires a medical and psychiatric examination to rule out other possible causes. The initial evaluation should include

  • Magnetic resonance imaging to rule out structural causes.
  • EEG to rule out a seizure disorder.
  • Blood and urine tests to rule out toxic causes, such as illicit drug use.
  • Can psychological tests help to bto characterize the nature of dissociative experiences better if dissociative amnesia is treated?

How is dissociative amnesia treated?

The goal treatment goals are to relieve symptoms, ensure that the patient and those around him are safe, and “reconnect” the person with lost memories. Treatment also aims to help the person:

  • Confidently cope with and handle painful events.
  • Develop new coping skills and life skills.
  • Get back to work as well as possible; and
  • Improve relationships.

The best treatment approach depends on the person, the type of amnesia, and the severity of the symptoms. Treatment will most likely include some combination of the following methods:

Psychotherapy is sometimes called “talk therapy,” and is the primary treatment for dissociative disorders. This is a broad term that includes various forms of therapy.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy:  This form of psychotherapy focuses on than changing harmful king patterns, feelings, and behaviors.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing: This technique is designed to treat people who have ongoing nightmares, flashbacks, and other symptoms of PTSD.

Dialectical behavior therapy:  his form of psychotherapy is for people with severe personality disorders (which may include dissociative symptoms) and often occurs after the person has suffered abuse or trauma.

Family therapy: Thps teach the family about the disorder and helps family members recognize if the patient’s symptoms return.

Creative therapies (eg, e.g.t therapy, music therapy):  Tow patients to explore and express their thoughts, feelings, and experiences in a safe and creative environment.

Meditation and relaxation techniques:  Help people better manage their dissociative symptoms and become more aware of their internal states.

Clinical hypnosis:  This is atreatments intense relaxation, concentration, and focused attention to achieve a different state of consciousness an allows people to explore thoughts, feelings, and memories that they may have hidden from their conscious minds.

Medications:  There are no medications to treat dissociative disorders. However, people with dissociative disorders, especially those with depression and andiety , can benefit from treatment with antidepressant or anti-anxiety medications.

People with dissociative amnesia generally respond well to treatment; however, progress and success depend on many things, including the person’s life situation and whether he othey have support of family and friends.

Georgia Tarrant
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Hello, how are you? My name is Georgia Tarrant, and I am a clinical psychologist. In everyday life, professional obligations seem to predominate over our personal life. It's as if work takes up more and more of the time we'd love to devote to our love life, our family, or even a moment of leisure.