What is Dissociative Fugue?
Dissociative fugue, formerly fugue state or psychogenic fugue, is a DSM-5 Dissociative Disorder.
It is a rare psychiatric disorder characterized by reversible amnesia for personal identity, including the memories, personality, and other identifying characteristics of individuality.
The state is usually short-lived (ranging from hours to days), but can last months or longer.
Dissociative fugue usually involves unplanned travel or wandering, and is sometimes accompanied by the establishment of a new identity.
It is no longer its own classification or diagnosis as it was in the DSM-IV, but now a facet of Dissociative Amnesia according to the DSM-5.
Furthermore, after recovery from fugue, previous memories usually return intact, but there is typically amnesia for the fugue episode
Causes of Dissociative Fugue:
Dissociative fugue has been linked to severe stress, which might be the result of traumatic events that the person has experienced. Such events include:
- Extreme violence
Furthermore, the use or abuse of alcohol and certain drugs also can cause fugue-like states, such as alcohol-induced “blackouts.”
Symptoms of Dissociative Fugue:
The following symptoms may be exhibited by those suffering from dissociative fugue:
- The predominant disturbance is sudden, unexpected travel away from home or one’s customary place of work, with inability to recall one’s past.
- distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning
- Mild confusion
- possible depression
- Suicidal impulses
- post-fugue anger
Diagnosis of Dissociative Fugue:
Dissociative fugue is diagnosed via a doctor’s evaluation.
- A doctor may suspect dissociative fugue when the affected individual seem confused about his/her identity or is puzzled about his/her past or when confrontations challenge the newly assumed identity or absence of one.
- The doctor carefully reviews symptoms and does a physical examination to exclude physical disorders that may contribute to or cause memory loss.
- An episode of fugue is not characterized as attributable to apsychiatric disorder if it can be related to:
- the ingestion ofpsychotropic substances
- to physical trauma
- to a general medical condition
- to other psychiatric conditions such as:
- dissociative identity disorder
- A psychological examination is done.
Sometimes dissociative fugue cannot be diagnosed until people abruptly return to their pre-fugue identity and are distressed to find themselves in unfamiliar circumstances.
The diagnosis is usually made retroactively when a doctor reviews the history and collects information that documents the circumstances before people left home, the travel itself, and the establishment of an alternative life.
Treatment of Dissociative Fugue:
The following treatment options are available:
- Hypnosis, in order to help the patient remember the events of the fugue period
- Drug facilitated interviews
By : Natural Health News