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Dissociative Amnesia Symptoms

The predominant disturbance of dissociative amnesia is one or more episodes of inability to recall important personal information, usually of a traumatic or stressful nature, that is too extensive to be explained by ordinary forgetfulness.

The disturbance does not occur exclusively during the course of dissociative identity disorder, dissociative fugue, posttraumatic stress disorder, acute stress disorder, or somatization disorder and is not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication) or a neurological or other general medical condition (e.g., amnestic disorder due to head trauma).

The symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

DSM-5 diagnostic code for dissociative amnesia: 300.12.

Sub-Specifier: Dissociative Amnesia with Dissociative Fugue

This occurs when an individual travels or wanders, either in a seemingly purposeful or bewildered fashion, without knowing who they are. Dissociative fugue involves amnesia of a person’s entire identity or for other important autobiographical information.

DSM-5 diagnostic code for amnesia with dissociative fugue: 300.13. 


John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

Dr. John Grohol is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Psych Central. He is an author, researcher, and expert in mental health online, and has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues since 1995. Dr. Grohol has a Master's degree and doctorate in clinical psychology from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Grohol sits on the editorial board of the journal Computers in Human Behavior and is a founding board member of the Society for Participatory Medicine. You can learn more about Dr. John Grohol here.

APA Reference
Grohol, J. (2020). Dissociative Amnesia Symptoms. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 4, 2020, from https://psychcentral.com/disorders/dissociative-amnesia-symptoms/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2020 (Originally: 17 May 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2020
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.