A disorder in which the memory fails with no known organic cause. Can occur spontaneously for a few hours or days (known as global dissociative amnesia), or after a traumatic event (situation-specific dissociative amnesia). Dissociative amnesia is also known as psychogenic amnesia.
This happens because of severe trauma/stress and is quite interesting because the entire continuity of the memories that are normally in the person’s brain is warped into a new way of thinking because of an extreme inner conflict. The person simply cannot accept that something has happened, so they dissociate.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 11 Aug 2010