Dissociative Amnesia Symptoms

(Also Known As: Psychogenic Amnesia Symptoms, Retrograde Amnesia Symptoms, Dissociative Disorder Symptoms, Identity Disorder Symptoms)

(Reviewed by: Paul Peterson, Licensed Therapist)

What are the Symptoms of Dissociative Amnesia?

The basic symptom prevalent in dissociative amnesia is the inability of the person to recall past information resulting in memory loss. The amnesia involved with dissociative amnesia is quite different from the amnesia resulting from physical trauma. The forgetfulness involved with dissociative amnesia is one that is too extensive that can be attributed to any ordinary case of forgetfulness.

It is notable to understand that amnesia is a common symptom manifested due to medical and mental disorders with distinguishable characteristics. Head trauma usually results in both retrograde (memory loss on events before the head injury) and anterograde amnesia (memory loss on events after the head injury). Those with seizures often manifest amnesia with a sudden onset, while those with dementia often manifest disturbances on speech, perceptions, emotions, cognition and behavior. The symptom of amnesia in dissociative amnesia is typically always anterograde which involves memory loss that is limited only within the period after the traumatic event is experienced by the patient. Despite the condition, the patient remains capable of learning new information.

While the major symptom of dissociative amnesia is manifested by memory loss or an inability to recall past information about a certain part of the patient’s life there are also other associated symptoms that are manifested in patients with dissociative amnesia as follow:

  • Mild depression
  • Confusion
  • Emotional distress which is often limited to the extent in proportion of the degree of what has been forgotten and the consequences of forgetting important events. Not all patients with dissociative amnesia suffer from emotional upset though.
  • Behavioral problems leading to:
    • Disturbed interpersonal relationship
    • Employment problems
    • Sexual dysfunction
    • Self mutilation
    • Aggression
    • Suicidal attempts
  • Mental health problems including anxiety
  • Distorted perception of the things and people around them are unreal
  • Depersonalization or feeling the sense of being detached from one self.
  • Blurred sense of identity.

Could You Have Dissociative Amnesia?

Dissociative Amnesia Topics

Related Conditions

Depersonalization Disorder – automation, derealization, dissociation, out of body experience
Dissociative Identity Disorder – two distinct personalities, memory loss, depersonalization, depression
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – Nightmares, Insomnia, Sexual Abuse, Irritation, Social Impairment, Problems with Memory and Concentration, Intrusive Memories, Hyper-Vigilance