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a pathological state of altered consciousness in which an individual may act and wander around as though conscious but his behavior is not directed by his complete normal personality and is not remembered after the fugue ends.
dissociative fugue (psychogenic fugue) a dissociative disorder characterized by an episode in which an individual forgets his past, assumes a partial or complete new identity, and travels away from home or work, in some cases taking up a new name, occupation, and lifestyle. During the fugue, patients are unaware that they have forgotten anything and seem to other people to be behaving normally; following recovery, they recall nothing that happened during the fugue. The disorder is usually related to emotional conflicts due to some traumatic, stressful, or overwhelming event, remits spontaneously, and rarely recurs.
Sudden, unexpected travel away from one's home or place of work with inability to recall one's past. The individual may assume a partial or complete new identity. The condition is not due to organic brain disease. It may follow severe mental stress such as marital quarrels or a natural disaster. It is usually of short duration but can last for months. Recovery is the usual outcome without recurrences.
See also: fugue