You have described an unusual incident. What you may have experienced is a dissociative fugue. A dissociative fugue involves temporarily losing one’s sense of identity. Individuals who are experiencing a dissociative fugue might be confused about who they are and even create a new identity. Individuals who experience dissociative episodes are often under extreme duress or have experienced or witnessed extreme trauma.
Symptoms of dissociative fugue include sudden or unplanned travel away from home or work, the inability to recall past events or important information about oneself, experiencing confusion about self-identity or gaps in memory, and extreme distress and problems with daily functioning.
In cases where a dissociative fugue is suspected, it’s important to rule out physical conditions such as epilepsy or head injuries. Sleep deprivation can also mimic certain dissociative conditions.
Your doctor may also refer you to a psychologist or psychiatrist who can diagnose and treat mental health conditions. Mental health treatment would likely focus on the stress or trauma that triggered the dissociative episode.
In the meantime, try to keep track of these usual experiences. Ask your husband to assist you. Document any unusual behavior before and during an incident. That information would be helpful in understanding what may be wrong. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle
Mental Health & Criminal Justice Blog