A woman explained her experience with dissociative amnesia on CBS News. Here is a clip from her story:
“When I woke up the next morning, I sat up and I didn’t recognize the room. I didn’t recognize the bag that was sitting on the chair, or the clothes that were lying over the chair. I didn’t recognize myself in the mirror. I didn’t know my name.”
Dissociative amnesia is a form of dissociative identity disorder; it is characterized by the inability to recall pieces of information that cannot be explained by another illness or general forgetfulness. Psychology Today notes that the disorder can involve a person forgetting their own name and address, to forgetting family members, friends, coworkers, and events throughout one’s life. Moments of not remembering can last from a few minutes to several years. In addition, a person with this disorder may not remember certain bits of information or they may not remember some information altogether.
Healthy Place argues that this disorder is most often due to long-term childhood trauma related to physical, sexual, or emotional abuse. Other events of extreme stress, such as a natural disaster or an accident, may also trigger this disorder. If you have been experiencing this, seeking treatment is a great first step. In the meantime, there are a few coping strategies you can use to begin taking steps towards your recovery:
- Be gentle with yourself. If you can’t remember something, recognize that your body used this tool to protect you, and it’s okay.
- Keep a journal to remember events and people. Write down daily whereabouts and information so that you can look back and remind yourself of events that happened.
- Review past appointments on your phone or calendar. Looking at physical notes of what you’ve been doing may help ground you and comfort you in knowing that these things really happened.
- Recognize that everyone forgets things at some point. Not all instances of forgetting are due to the amnesia – some things are truly forgetfulness.
- Be aware of your stress levels and continue working on self-care. By staying aware of these things, you can better focus on your health and well-being.
- Build your support system by sharing your experiences with trusted loved ones. Social support is key to recovery success.
Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center. Our licensed, experienced health care professionals will work with you to restore your mind, body, and spirit. If you are ready to seek treatment, call us today at 888-958-7511 for a consultation.