Dissociative fugue or fugue state is a dissociative disorder. In a dissociative disorder the person loses the usual integration between past memories, personal identity, awareness of sensations and control of bodily movements.

Features of the fugue state:

(1) reversible amnesia for personal identity, with an inability to recall one's past during an episode

(2) confusion about identity

(3) failure to recognize family and friends


The person may wander away and assume a new identity during an episode.


Possible associations:

(1) exposure to a violent, stressful or dangerous situation causing significant distress

(2) psychiatric disorder

(3) psychotropic drug

(4) traumatic brain injury

(5) delirium

(6) dementia


Differential diagnosis:

(1) normal forgetfulness

(2) malingering

(3) other forms of amnesia

(4) temporal lobe epilepsy

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