Dissociative fugue is a type of amnesia that is caused by an extreme psychological trauma instead of physical trauma, illness, or another medical condition. The type of memories that they lose are sometimes referred to as autobiographical memories. A dissociative fugue may last only a few hours. In cases with such a short duration, the dissociative fugue might even go unnoticed by others. However, the condition may also last weeks, months, and sometimes even longer than that.
What Is a Dissociative Fugue State?
Dissociative fugue is a subtype of dissociative amnesia, which is characterized by loss of memories. A fugue state causes complete loss of identifying information, causing an individual to forget who he or she is. In this state the person then wanders or travels, sometimes not getting very far before the memories return, and in rare cases traveling long distances and starting new lives. Most people recover spontaneously and are only diagnosed with fugue after the fact. A therapist can treat patients who have experienced fugues learn to minimize the risk of it happening again.
Dissociative fugue is a rare disorder that is infrequently reported. Before now, no case of it had been reported in a medical student. This article focuses on the report of a case of dissociative fugue symptoms in a year-old male Nigerian medical student. The observation in this case report brings to the fore that dissociative fugue is often related to stressful life events and can comorbid with a depressive disorder. Dissociative fugue, formerly called psychogenic fugue, is one of a group of psychiatric conditions called dissociative disorders. Dissociative disorders are characterized by transient or chronic failures or disruptions of integration of consciousness, memory, perception, identity or emotion.
Dissociative fugue is a rare disorder which has been described as sudden, unexpected, travel away from home or one's customary place of daily activities, with the inability to recall some or all of one's past. There is no systematic data existing on it and very few cases reported in the literature. He has a loss of memory for episodes with patchy recall of few events. Longest duration of fugue episode was of 1-month. The case describes mode of presentation to hospital and treatment given to restore his identity and reunite him in society and family.