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Dissociative Amnesia Research

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

(Reviewed by: Paul Peterson, Licensed Therapist)

Bulimia Nervosa Related Research

Various studies have been conducted to correlate certain events in a person’s life and its role in the development of dissociative amnesia. The following are a couple of studies done to show the relationship of various traumatic events that occurred in a person life that can lead to the occurrence of dissociative amnesia.

  1. Dissociative Amnesia and Memories of Childhood Abuse
    • According to the American Psychiatric Association there is a high correlation between childhood abuse and the development of dissociative amnesia. Individuals who reportedly experience a form of abuse during childhood are more likely to demonstrate higher level of dissociative amnesia condition than those who have not reported to have experienced any abuse. 6
    • There is a high correlation between the level of severity of the dissociative amnesia and the age by which the abuse was experienced. There are higher symptoms of dissociative amnesia in individuals who have experienced both physical and sexual abuse at an early age. The research concluded that dissociative amnesia is strongly related to the chronic abuse experienced by a person since childhood and its severity is always in proportion with the age of onset when the abuse was experienced.
  2. Dissociative Amnesia and Childhood Sexual Abuse
    • Based on the research study conducted by Linda Meyer Williams, a psychologist of University of New Hampshire most women who have suffered from sexual abuse during childhood often do not recall the occurrence of such traumatic event. This is significant in situations where the perpetrator is close to them and the sexual abuse occurred at a very young age.

Dissociative Amnesia and the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Dissociative Disorders

Diagnosing dissociative amnesia used to be a very difficult process since oftentimes it has been misdiagnosed with different types of mental illnesses owing to the overlapping of symptoms suggestive of other mental disorders. Misdiagnosing dissociative amnesia can hamper the formulation of an effective treatment plan.

Taking this into account, the advent of the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Dissociative Disorders proved to be a helpful tool in the accurate and reliable diagnosis of the symptoms significant with dissociative amnesia. This breakthrough resulted in the availability of the only diagnostic test specific for dissociative disorders which has been tested, evaluated, and funded by the National Institute of Mental Health which popularly became the gold standard of diagnostic tool for dissociative disorders. 7

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