What is confabulation
Confabulation is a mental disorder that is accompanied by a memory disorder with inaccurate and untruthful memories. For example, a person remembers some event from his life, but it did not actually happen. At the same time, the person is convinced that fictional events were. In some cases, confabulation means confusion in time, when certain events of the past are not remembered in the exact time. All this refers to a memory disorder, which can be treated with medication and with the assistance of a qualified psychiatrist.
Features of confabulation
In Latin, the name of this disorder means confābulārī (talk, tell). Initially, such a person can be called a talker, a liar, a boastful narrator. After all, there are no other signs of a memory disorder. At the same time, a person is able to lead an absolutely normal and adequate lifestyle without any deviations. Most often, a deviation in memory occurs after 55-60 years. Then a person begins to invent memories that did not exist in reality. He can confuse the time of real events, being 100% sure that he is right. On accusations of interlocutors of untruthfulness, he can react touchily or aggressively.
What causes this memory disorder?
The actual reasons for the development of confabulation:
- Alcohol intoxication – in a state of intoxication, a person ceases to control his speech and thoughts in parallel with a growing desire to show himself better than he really is. With alcohol intoxication, cases of confabulation can be single or permanent;
- Mental disorders – a mental illness can be the direct cause of impaired memory function. For example, schizophrenia or other psycho-somatic disorders;
- Damage to the central nervous system – symptoms of a memory disorder can occur against the background of the development of diseases such as Pick’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, central atherosclerosis, aneurysms, ischemic stroke, bipolar personality disorder;
- Mental trauma – some unwanted events from the past can be forced out by a person, because of which he replaces such memories with completely different ones. Against the background of this confusion, a memory disorder arises, in which it is very difficult to restore the truth.
The provocateur of this memory impairment is a general disorder of the psyche and the functioning of the brain. When a person begins to forget something from his life, he has an increased risk of developing confabulation.
Categories of memory impairment
There are several classifications of confabulation:
- Delusional thinking – characterized by absolutely fictitious events and phenomena that did not happen in the past and could not happen in any way;
- Suggested thoughts – a person voices not his own opinion, but suggested thoughts under the influence of someone else;
- Mnestic disorder – characterized by the replacement of some historical events by others. Often occurs with amnesia and other memory disorders;
- Oneiric disorder – untrue memories arising under the influence of psychosis.
How does confabulation manifest in humans?
As already mentioned above, the main symptom of confabulation is the discrepancy between a person’s memories and real facts. At the same time, the person believes that he is right and speaks the absolute truth. In the process of his beliefs, he may experience euphoria. Especially if it concerns his past and some achievements. For example, the narrator may be convinced that he made a great scientific discovery in his youth or was an aide to the president of a country. Delusional confabulations are often confused with schizophrenia and other mental disorders. Since a person can even claim that he is a student and yesterday he took exams at the university, although he himself is already of retirement age.
When such symptoms appear, you should immediately consult a doctor who will prescribe a course of treatment.
Diagnosis and treatment of confabulations
Most often, the diagnosis of this type of memory disorder is carried out by the following methods:
- Passing general tests (to understand how the heart, brain and central nervous system work);
- Personal conversation with a psychiatrist;
- The study of memory through CT, ultrasound of the brain and other techniques.
If the diagnosis showed the absence of health problems, then only general stabilizing and strengthening therapy is carried out. For example, doctors prescribe a course of medications to improve brain function and memory. Depending on the clinical picture, psychotherapy and psychocorrection, as well as constant medical support, can be carried out. In the presence of primary diseases of the brain and central nervous system, it is necessary to start their treatment.