Dissociative Fugue

Powerful Essays
Topics: Mental disorder
Can you imagine suddenly waking up and not knowing who or where you are? Well for some people this is an all-to-real disorder they face everyday. I will discuss many issues with Dissociative Fugue including what it is, how it is triggered, what people try to use it for and treatment for this condition. Dissociative Fugue is an intriguing disorder. Dissociative Fugue, formerly called psychogenic fugue, is a condition where a person who is confused about their personal identity suddenly and unexpectedly travels to another location. The venture the person takes can be short, lasting only a few hours or days, or it might last for weeks or months. When a person is in this Fugue state they are unable to recall who they are or any personal details about themselves. Sometimes the person might even take on an entirely new role with a new name and new personality. He or she might get a new job, find a new place to live, and interact with others in a way that does not suggest anything is out of the ordinary. After this fugue state the person often has no memory of what took place during the fugue. This disorder is more likely to occur at specific times, such as during a war or natural disaster. Along with these specific times there appears to be an environmental stressor that often triggers a fugue state. These stressors might include distress at home or work and traumatic events. It is important to note that drug abuse, general medical conditions, and head trauma are not triggers of a fugue state. Dissociative Fugue is a subtype of Dissociative Amnesia. Dissociative Amnesia is a disorder characterized by a blocking out of critical personal information. This is generalized as the inability to retrieve old memories leading up to the onset of the amnesia or the inability to retain new long term memories. The prevalence of Dissociative Fugue has been estimated at 0.2%, but as stated above, is much more common in connection with wars, accidents, and natural disasters.


Cited: “Bourne’s Real Life Identity.” Updated August 3, 2007. ABC News. Accessed April 14, 2010. . “Defendant Was Fully Aware, Says State Expert.” Lynn, Adam. News Tribune, The (Tacoma, WA); 09/27/2007. Ebsco Host. Accessed April 17, 2010. . Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM-IV-TR. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association, 2000. Halgin, Richard P. Abnormal Psychology. Sixth Edition. New York, New York: McGraw-Hill, 2010. “Hannah Upp Breaks Her Silence Via Facebook.” Updated October 4, 2008. NY Daily News. Accessed April 14, 2010. . “Man With Amnesia Reunited With Family, Friends.” Updated October 24, 2006. MSNBC. Accessed April 12, 2010. .

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