Chapter

Great escapes: Psychological forms of amnesia

Federica Corno and Michael D. Kopelman

in From the Couch to the Lab

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199600526
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754753 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med/9780199600526.003.0021
Great escapes: Psychological forms of amnesia

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Psychogenic amnesia can be ‘global’ or ‘situation-specific’. In this chapter, definitions are given and examples of different subtypes are provided (e.g. for offences, in post-traumatic stress disorder, fugue, and psychogenic focal retrograde amnesia). The differences between neurological and psychological forms of amnesia are briefly considered, and we describe the clinical and neuropsychological profile of psychogenic amnesia and its predisposing risk factors Treatment strategies and features which may predict subsequent recovery are discussed. Theories of psychogenic amnesia have embraced cognitive, psychodynamic, and neurophysiological concepts, and may involve mechanisms operating at differing levels of awareness. The putative role of such factors and their potential interaction are briefly considered.

Chapter.  6855 words. 

Subjects: Psychiatry

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