Dissociative Amnesia


This is a mental health disorder. It's a type of memory loss that is different from normal forgetfulness. With it, you may forget a specific event or important details about your life. Typically, these memories do come back. And when they do, they may return all at once.


We don't fully understand dissociative amnesia. It's usually linked to extreme stress. It can be triggered by combat and by physical abuse. It can be caused by a traumatic accident. It can happen in times of disaster. And, it's possible that certain genes may raise your risk for this type of amnesia.


Symptoms depend on your specific type of amnesia. You may lose your memory of a single event, or of a specific time in your life. You may lose the memories of large parts of your life and identity. And, in rare cases, people have completely forgotten who they are. They can't remember their family members, or anything about their life. Some people become lost. They start a new life somewhere else and don't remember their old one. People who have this disorder don't usually feel concerned about their memory loss when they are told about it.


Treatment options include talk therapy and a safe, supportive environment. Over time, the memories usually return. If there are other problems making the amnesia worse, medications may help. Your healthcare provider can create a plan that's right for you.