Simplifying Fugue

For those who have never heard of Fugue, or Dissociative Fugue Disorder, consider this. One day you wake up, and it seems like any other day. Then all of a sudden, for no apparent reason, you do not know who you are, where you are, and everything around you is terrifying because it's totally recognizable. That situation culminates in an inexplicable urge to run away and look for something, anything, that looks familiar.

This is what happens when someone has a Fugue state hit. They run thinking eventually they will find something they know. This often leads to drinking and drug use as a way to cope with nothing in the person's entire life being recognizable. What's worse is that doctors can link Fugue to trauma or stress after it happens, but there is nothing that can be done to warn people who may get it.

If a person in this state starts using drug or drinking, he or she may never be found by the friends and family that are often searching for them after they disappear. They could look all over the place, but most families don't search through homeless drug addicts on the street.

If you have been through some type of severe trauma that could lead to a similar situation, get help. There are counseling centers all around the world that will help. They take many types of insurance, and many of them even take state aid. If you need help figuring out who you are, there are people who can and will help!


Brody, J. "When a Brain Forgets Where Memory Is." The New York Times (Website). (2007).
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  • I think this happened to me twice, one time shortly after waking up, but it was a sudden sensation of not knowing who or where I was that shortly after began to be dissipated looking to my surrounding.

    The other time was a more sever confusion, coming after hearing that my father was hospitalized due to a sudden stroke. I felt the earth moved under my feet, then later I was kind of lost and the only I can remember with clarity was when the confusion moment began to went away and I was feeling my jaw too rigid that I was truly scared and thought to call 911 for help, but everything turned to normal before doing it.

    Probably what happened could be associated with this disorder, but thankfully never has happened to me again in years since.
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