Dissociative Fugue

By: William Kaufmann

Dissociative fugue affects about 2 of 1,000 people in the United States.

Definition of Dissociative fugue

The DSM 5 defines Dissociative Fugue as a recurrent gap in the recall of everyday events, important personal information, and/or traumatic events that are inconsistent with ordinary forgetting. It is also a subcategory to Dissociative.

Dissociative Episode

Some behaviors of Dissociative Fugue are that the state amnesia is usually short and ranges from hours to days, but can last months or longer. It usually involves an unplanned travel or wandering, and is sometimes accompanied by the establishment of a new identity. After recovering from fugue, the patients previous memories usually don't return and they don't remember who they are or who their family is.

Causes of Dissociative Fugue

Dissociative Fugue is mostly caused for stress or traumatic events and it mostly depends when these events took place during your lifetime. It depends on when your symptoms start and this tends to happen later in your life.


How common is it and who does it affect?

There is really no gender or age that is effected more than another from dissociative fugue. This is usually diagnosed when you are older or later in your life because these are when the symptoms start to show. And this disease is mostly caused for stress or traumatic events. These events play a role towards when an episode may happen depending on the timing of the events in your lifetime. This disease can be found all over the world and impacts many ethnic and racial groups.

Real life

Forty-six-year-old Jeff Ingram has dissociative fugue. He was married to his wife Penny. When he has an attack, his memory was wiped clean and he doesn't remember who he is or where he's from. Jeff has experienced states of amnesia: in 1994, 2006 and 2007. Penny reminds him of the first one they shared together in 2006, three years after they first met. He had wandered to Denver during a state of amnesia and didn't remember his identity. Penny had to reintroduce everything to him and she didn't know what to do, and so I offered to sleep in the spare room considering you didn't know me. They got married again on New Year's Eve of 2006.

Works Consulted

Famous People with Dissociative Fugue - HRF. (n.d.). Retrieved December 7, 2014, from http://healthresearchfunding.org/famous-people-dissociative-fugue/

Dissociative Fugue Symptoms. (n.d.). Retrieved December 7, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/disorders/dissociative-fugue-symptoms

Mental Disorders. (n.d.). Retrieved December 7, 2014, from http://www.minddisorders.com/Del-Fi/Dissociative-fugue.html

For Man With Amnesia, Love Repeats Itself. (n.d.). Retrieved December 16, 2014, from http://www.npr.org/2012/12/14/167187734/for-man-with-amnesia-love-repeats-itself