What is Dissociative Fugue?

What is Dissociative Disorders

Dissociative disorders, i.e. dissociative fugue, are mental problems involving memory loss, memories, and personal information. For example, people with this disorder do not exhibit a peculiar appearance or strange behavior from the outside. They do not show that they have a dissociative disorder from the outside. In this article, we will discuss the symptoms of this disorder, treatment methods, etc.

What are the main symptoms of dissociative disorder?

Dissociative fugue is one of the disorders under the heading of dissociative disorders. Individuals with dissociative fugue temporarily lose their personal identity and travel impulsively away from their homes or workplaces. Where they go, they often forget who they are, and they are there with a new identity.

The most important feature of this disorder is unexpectedly traveling away from home or where daily activities take place is not remembering some or all of the memories. Travels can take several hours or several months. Some people may even go thousands of kilometers away while in the dissociative fugue. At first, people may look completely normal where they go. However, confusion arises over time. Suddenly one can understand that he does not belong to his place.

dissociative fugue
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When one or more of the functions deteriorate, such as loss of memory, deterioration of personal information, and past life experiences, some symptoms may occur. These symptoms may cause general deterioration in personal relationships, including those in social, academic, or business life.

What are the Symptoms?

The symptoms of the disorder present in the person are difficult to recognize by other people in the environment and the behavior of the individual from outside is normal. Common symptoms of the disorder are as follows:

  • Staying away from home by making sudden and unplanned trips
  • Inability to remember past events or important information from one’s life
  • Identity confusion and memory loss
  • Create a new ID to compensate for existing memory loss
  • Excessive distress and problems in the daily operation

What are the Causes?

This disorder can occur in extreme stress situations, which may be the result of traumatic events such as war, rape, accidents, natural disaster, or extreme violence experienced or witnessed by the person himself. Also, dissociative fugue-like conditions may occur as a result of alcohol and substance abuse. In brief, the following common reasons for the emergence of dissociative fugues may have a say:

  • Extreme shame
  • War-induced trauma
  • Trauma caused by accidents or natural disasters
  • Torture
  • Prolonged emotional or physical abuse in childhood
  • One does not necessarily have to experience these traumas. The person may have witnessed them and may have been severely traumatized by what they saw. Also, dissociative disorders in family history are likely to make the person genetically susceptible.

How is Dissociative Fugue Diagnosed?

If signs of the dissociative fugue are present, full life history and clinical observation will be performed by a specialist. Although medical tests are not performed, especially for dissociative disorders, various tests can be performed to eliminate the effects of physical diseases or drugs. Epilepsy, head trauma, substance abuse, and alcohol abuse can also cause symptoms similar to dissociative disorders. The main purpose of these medical tests is to know exactly what the cause of dissociative fugue is.

what is dissociative fugue? 1
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If a person has a dissociative fugue independent of a physical problem, they can go to a psychologist to diagnose and treat mental illnesses. Psychiatrists and psychologists use specially designed tests and assessment tools to assess a person with dissociative disorder.

How to Treat Dissociative Fugue?

The main purpose of dissociative fugue is to help resolve the stress or trauma that triggers memory loss in the individual. The treatment also aims to help the person develop mechanisms to deal with traumas and stress that cause dissociative fugue. The treatment approach includes a combination of the following treatment methods. It depends on the individual and the severity or frequency of symptoms.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a psychotherapy method that focuses on changing dysfunctional thinking patterns and negative automatic thoughts that occur within the framework of the emotion, thought, and behavior cycle. This method improves the ability to cope with stress and traumas that cause dissociative fugue.

Can we prevent Dissociative Fugue ?

It may not be entirely possible to prevent dissociative fugue but as soon as the symptoms mentioned above have begun, it’s helpful to seek help from a specialist and start treatment. In addition, working with the traumatic or stressful condition therapy methods experienced by the person and causing dissociative fugue will also help to reduce the risk of developing a new dissociative fugue.

When Should I Get Expert Help?

In cases where a beloved person is exposed to severe or prolonged trauma or stress, it may be advisable to consult a specialist if any of his thoughts show any signs of confusion as well as memory loss. You should also remember that you should seek help from a psychiatrist and psychologist if you can see that this person also disappeared after stress and trauma, went to other places, and had memory interruptions. Also, if the above-mentioned symptoms do not appear to have any physical condition after medical checks, psychological help should be sought. Working early with dissociative fugue reduces symptoms and worsens the likelihood of developing a new dissociative fugue.

Last Updated on October 18, 2021 by Patric Johnson

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Currently studying psychology and researching cognitive behavioral therapy. Also have studied comprative literature,interested in gender studies,.

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