Dissociative Amnesia

Dissociative Amnesia Occurs When A Person Blocks Out Certain Traumatic Memories

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Dissociative Amnesia

Dissociative Amnesia occurs when a person blocks out certain information, often associated with a stressful or traumatic event, leaving the person unable to remember important personal information.

Many scamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. victims find that after the traumaTrauma Emotional and psychological trauma is the result of extraordinarily stressful events that shatter your sense of security, making you feel helpless in a dangerous world. Psychological trauma can leave you struggling with upsetting emotions, memories, and anxiety that won’t go away. It can also leave you feeling numb, disconnected, and unable to trust other people. Traumatic experiences often involve a threat to life or safety or other emotional shocks, but any situation that leaves you feeling overwhelmed and isolated can result in trauma, even if it doesn’t involve physical harm. It’s not the objective circumstances that determine whether an event is traumatic, but your subjective emotional experience of the event. The more frightened and helpless you feel, the more likely you are to be traumatized. Trauma requires treatment, either through counseling or therapy or through trauma-oriented support programs, such as those offered by SCARS. of discovery, they lose many of their memories both before and after. Temporary memory loss has been known to occur with many victims as a result of their trauma, but in some cases, it can be long-term.

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What Is Dissociative Amnesia?

Dissociative amnesia is a condition in which a person cannot remember important information about his or her life. This forgetting may be limited to certain specific areas (thematic), or may include much of the person’s life history and/or identity (general).

In some rare cases called dissociative fugue, the person may forget most or all of his personal information (name, personal history, friends), and may sometimes even travel to a different location and adopt a completely new identity. In all cases of dissociative amnesia, the person has a much greater memory loss than would be expected in the course of normal forgetting.

Dissociative amnesia is one of a group of conditions called “dissociative disorders.” Dissociative disorders are permanent or temporary mental illnesses in which there is a breakdown of mental functions that normally operate smoothly, such as memory, consciousness or awareness, and identity and/or perception.

Dissociative symptoms can be mild, but they can also be so severe that they keep the person from being able to function, and can also affect relationships and work activities.

How Common Is Dissociative Amnesia?

Dissociative amnesia is rare; it affects about 1% of men and 2.6% of women in the general population. The environment also plays a role; rates of dissociative amnesia tend to increase after natural disasters and during the war.

What Causes Dissociative Amnesia?

Dissociative amnesia has been linked to overwhelming stress (which can include a relationship scamRelationship Scam A Relationship Scam is a one-to-one criminal act that involves a trust relationship and uses deception & manipulation to get a victim to give to the criminal something of value, such as money! Click here to learn more: What Is A Relationship Scam? discovery), which may be caused by traumatic events such as war, abuse, accidents, or disasters. The person may have suffered the trauma or just witnessed it. There also seems to be a genetic (inherited) connection in dissociative amnesia, as close relatives often have the tendency to develop amnesia.

What Are The Symptoms Of Dissociative Amnesia?

There are three types, or patterns, of dissociative amnesia:

  • Localized: Memory loss affects specific areas of knowledge or parts of a person’s life, such as a certain period during childhood, or anything about a friend or coworker. Often the memory loss focuses on a specific trauma. For example, a crime victim may have no memory of being robbed at gunpoint but can recall details from the rest of that day.
  • Generalized: Memory loss affects major parts of a person’s life and/or identity, such as a young woman being unable to recognize her name, job, family, and friends.
  • Fugue: With dissociative fugue, the person has generalized amnesia and adopts a new identity. For example, one middle manager was passed over for promotion. He did not come home from work and was reported as missing by his family. He was found a week later, 600 miles away, living under a different name, working as a short-order cook. When found by the police, he could not recognize any family member, friend, or coworker, and he could not say who he was or explain his lack of identification.

Dissociative amnesia is different from amnesia caused by medical problems, such as illnesses, strokes, or brain injuries. In medically caused amnesia, recovering memories are rare and generally a slow and gradual process.

Most cases of dissociative amnesia are relatively short. Often, when memories return, they do so suddenly and completely. Memory recovery may happen on its own, after being triggered by something in the person’s surroundings, or in therapy.

Another difference is that people who suffer medical amnesia are quite upset by their memory loss, whereas most people with dissociative amnesia seem to have surprisingly little concern over their amnesia.

How Is Dissociative Amnesia Diagnosed?

If a victim of a crime, for example, has symptoms of dissociative amnesia, the doctor will perform a complete medical history and physical examination. Although there are no laboratory tests to diagnose dissociative disorders, the doctor might use blood tests or imaging (X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs) to make sure the patient doesn’t have a physical illness or side effects from a medication.

If the person does not have a physical illness, he or she might be referred to a mental healthMental health Mental health, defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), is "a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community". According to WHO, mental health includes "subjective well-being, perceived self-efficacy, autonomy, competence, intergenerational dependence, and self-actualization of one's intellectual and emotional potential, among others". From the perspectives of positive psychology or of holism, mental health may include an individual's ability to enjoy life and to create a balance between life activities and efforts to achieve psychological resilience. Cultural differences, subjective assessments, and competing professional theories all affect how one defines "mental health". professional such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, or psychiatric social worker who is specially trained to diagnose and treat mental illnesses. This caregiver will perform a clinical interview to get a full picture of the person’s experiences and current functioning. Some psychiatrists and psychologists may use specialized tests or a standard interview such as the Structured Clinical Interview for Dissociation (SCID-D).

How is dissociative amnesia treated?

The goals of treatment for dissociative amnesia are to relieve symptoms, to make sure the patient and those around him or her are safe, and to “reconnect” the person with his or her lost memories. Treatment also aims to help the person:

  • Safely deal with and manage painful events;
  • Develop new coping skills and life skills;
  • Get back to functioning as well as possible; and
  • Improve relationships.

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

  • Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy, sometimes called “talk therapy,” is the main treatment for dissociative disorders. This is a broad term that includes several forms of therapy.
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy: This form of psychotherapy focuses on changing harmful thinking patterns, feelings, and behaviors.
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing: This technique is designed to treat people who have continuing nightmares, flashbacksFLASHBACKS A flashback is reexperiencing a previous traumatic experience as if it were actually happening in that moment. It includes reactions that often resemble the client’s reactions during the trauma. Flashback experiences are very brief and typically last only a few seconds, but the emotional aftereffects linger for hours or longer. Flashbacks are commonly initiated by a trigger, but not necessarily., and other symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Dialectic-behaviorBehavior   Behavior / Behavioral Actions Otherwise known as habits, behavior or behavioral actions are strategies to help prevent online exploitation that target behavior, such as social engineering of victims. Changing your behavior is the ONLY effective means to reduce or prevent scams. therapy: This form of psychotherapy is for people with severe personality disturbances (which can include dissociative symptoms), and often takes place after the person has suffered abuse or trauma.
  • Family therapy: This helps teach the family about the disorder and helps family members recognize if the patient’s symptoms come back.
  • Creative therapies (for example, art therapy, music therapy): These therapies allow patients to explore and express their thoughts, feelings, and experiences in a safe and creative environment.
  • Meditation and relaxation techniques: These help people better handle their dissociative symptoms and become more aware of their internal states.
  • Clinical hypnosis: This is a treatment that uses intense relaxation, concentration, and focused attention to achieve a different state of consciousness, and allows people to explore thoughts, feelings, and memories they may have hidden from their conscious minds.
  • Medication: There is no medication to treat dissociative disorders. However, people with dissociative disorders, especially those with depression and/or anxiety, may benefit from treatment with antidepressant or anti-anxiety medications.

People with dissociative amnesia usually respond well to treatment; however, progress and success depend on many things, including the person’s life situation and if he or she has support from family and friends.

What Is The Outlook For People With Dissociative Amnesia?

For most people with dissociative amnesia, memory eventually returns, sometimes slowly and sometimes suddenly, which makes the overall outlook very good. In some cases, however, the person is never able to fully recover his or her lost memories.

To improve a person’s outlook, it is important to treat any dissociative amnesia problem as soon as possible. It is also important to treat any other problems or complications, such as depression, anxiety, or substance abuse.

How To Get Help

If you have a suspicion that you have suffered from this, we strongly recommend that you see a trauma counselor or therapist.

To find local trauma counselors or therapists please visit https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/trauma-and-ptsd

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Society of Citizens Against Relationship ScamsSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS. Inc.

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