Jeff Ingram left Olympia, Washington, on September 6th to drive to Alberta, Canada to visit a friend (Washington Post). He never showed up there. Somehow, he ended up in Denver for a month, and didn't know who he was or where he was.
Ingram's identity came to light last weekend after he appeared on several news shows asking the public for help: "If anybody recognizes me, knows who I am, please let somebody know."So, the guy's fiancee calls the television station to identify him and they were reunited Monday in Seattle. That's the end of the story, right? NOT - Apparently, this is not the first time this has happened.
Ingram had experienced an episode of amnesia in 1995 when he disappeared during a trip to a grocery store. Nine months later, he was found in a Seattle hospital, according to Thurston County, Wash., officials. His mother said he never fully regained his memory.When I first heard this story, I totally thought that this guy was making this up -- for attention -- kind of like the whole runaway bride thing a year and a half ago. Apparently, his story is true. And, there is a clinical diagnosis for Jeff Ingram's condition called dissociative fugue.
Dissociative fugue, formerly called psychogenic fugue, is one of a group of conditions called dissociative disorders. The word fugue comes from the Latin word for "flight." People with dissociative fugue temporarily lose their sense of personal identity and impulsively wander or travel away from their homes or places of work. People with dissociative fugue often become confused about who they are and might even create new identities. Outwardly, people with this disorder show no signs of illness, such as a strange appearance or odd behavior.I admit I had to dust off the textbook to re-learn about fugue. Interesting story. In 10 years, I wonder if we're going to hear another story from this guy when his fugue strikes again.
Dissociative disorders are mental illnesses that involve disruptions or breakdowns of memory, conscious awareness, identity and/or perception. When one or more of these functions is disrupted, symptoms can result. These symptoms can interfere with a person’s general functioning, including social and work activities, and relationships.