What is the outlook for people with dissociative amnesia?

For most people with dissociative amnesia, memory eventually returns, sometimes slowly and sometimes suddenly, which makes the overall outlook very good. In some cases, however, the person is never able to fully recover his or her lost memories.

To improve a person’s outlook, it is important to treat any dissociative amnesia problem as soon as possible. It is also important to treat any other problems or complications, such as depression, anxiety, or substance abuse.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 05/20/2016.

References

  • American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing, 2013.
  • International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation. Dissociation FAQs Accessed 5/20/2016.
  • Mental Health America. Dissociation and Dissociative Disorders Accessed 5/20/2016.
  • Steinberg, M. Interviewers’ guide to the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Dissociative Disorders (SCID-D). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing, 1994.

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