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Dissociative Amnesia Treatments

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

(Reviewed by: Paul Peterson, Licensed Therapist)

What Kinds of Dissociative Amnesia Treatments are Available?

The main goal for treating dissociative amnesia is to control the behavioral problem and to relieve the symptoms. The patient should be encouraged to safely express as well as process their painful memories and help them develop coping skills to improve and restore their over-all functioning. 5 The usual treatment approach is dependent to the severity of the symptoms manifested by the patient

There are common treatment regimens applicable to dissociative amnesia that includes the following:

Therapeutic Intervention

  • Psychotherapy
    • This provides a therapeutic treatment approach to a patient who has mental and emotional disorder using psychological techniques that are aimed to promote communication of conflicts and providing insights into specific problems.
  • Family Therapy
    • This provides help to family members of persons with dissociative amnesia that is directed towards educating them about the nature of the condition, its symptoms and causes in order to get a better understanding and provide support to the patient. Education about dissociative amnesia also helps each family member to recognize symptoms of possible recurrence of the mental condition.
  • Cognitive Therapy
    • This therapy regimen aims to correct dysfunctional thinking patterns manifested by the patient.
  • Creative Therapies such as Music and Art Therapy
    • The therapy of this form helps a person with dissociative amnesia to express their thoughts and feelings through a creative and safe manner.

Pharmacological Approach

There is no specific medication that is exclusively administered to cure dissociative amnesia; however pharmacological treatment is an important supportive treatment approach significant in reducing the manifestation of anxiety syndromes and stress. The groups of drugs that are best prescribed for patients with dissociative amnesia are anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medicines.

Other Treatment Approach

  • Memory retrieval techniques are also effective adjunct treatments to dissociative amnesia especially when there is difficulty to spontaneously recall past memories.
  • Hypnosis is another common treatment approach used by mental health practitioners in putting the patient in a relaxed state of mind that reduces the anxiety. This is also an effective approach to relax the defenses of the person to safeguard themselves from recalling the painful and traumatic events from their past.
  • Drug facilitated interviews are also conducted using sedatives such as barbiturates and benzodiazepine that are given to the patient intravenously with the same effect as hypnosis, which help reduce the anxiety of the patient while the psychologist conducts an interview.

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