What is dissociative amnesia?

1 Answer
Jul 22, 2016

A form of amnesia caused by stress or a traumatic event.


Dissociative amnesia is a type of dissociative disorder that is usually caused by stress, a traumatic event, or stress caused by a traumatic event and is usually developed as a way to cope with trauma. Dissociative amnesia occurs when a person blocks out memories from a stressful event, resulting in the inability to recall personal information and memories, or develop a sense of self. This disorder happens in 'episodes' and they can last for minutes, hours, days, or even months or years. This disorder can affect a person's social and work activities, as well as relationships.

The symptoms of Dissociative amnesia include:

  • The sudden inability to recall personal information or specific times, people, and events
  • The lack of a 'sense of identity'
  • Depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts
  • The inability to feel emotions

The causes of Dissociative amnesia include:

  • Child abuse
  • Natural disasters
  • War

The treatments for Dissociative amnesia include:

  • Psychotherapy
  • Medications: used for anti-anxiety or anti-depression
  • Family therapy
  • Art therapy/Music therapy (and other forms of creative therapy)
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Clinical hypnosis
  • Cognitive therapy

Read more at:
nami.org and webmd.com

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