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Q: Passion of Mind ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: Passion of Mind
Category: Health > Conditions and Diseases
Asked by: norizuki-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 07 Jan 2003 00:25 PST
Expires: 06 Feb 2003 00:25 PST
Question ID: 138680
In a movie called "Passion of Mind" aound 1999, srarring Demi Moore, I
knew this psychological condition called "passion of mind". I am very
interested in this phenomenon. In this movie, a woman living with her
two daughters in France creates an imaginary life in which she's a
successful career woman in New York, and at the same time this
american woman lives imaginary life of the other. In the movie it was
explained as "psychological phenomenon called passion of mind" to the
effect, but this seems not to be true as I cannot find any medical
reference with searches with "passion of mind". My question, is this
phenomenon is actually medically recorded? If yes, how it is called?
Is there any sourse I could read other insidents of this psychological
condition? The condition does not have to be two ways as in the movie.
Subject: Re: Passion of Mind
Answered By: kutsavi-ga on 07 Jan 2003 18:28 PST
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Hi there Norizuki,

The condition that the character in the movie suffered from is known
as Dissociative Fugue.  It is a particular type of dissociative
disorder and is discussed very clearly and extensively in the Merk

Here is diagnostic criteria for Dissociative Fuge from the Diagnostic
Statistical Manual for Mental Illness, (DSM-IV), which is *the*
authoritative source for mental health diagnostic information:

According to the  website Mental Health Matters, “A person in a
Dissociative Fugue adopts a new identity after leaving their previous
living arrangements and forgetting or being confused about their
previous identity. They are able to perform well enough to survive
under the new identity. These episodes are generally are caused by a
severe stressor and are time limited to a few days, but may last up to
months. When the fugue ends, the person is unable to recall what
occurred during this state.”

Planet Psych is a web site with good general information on
dissociative disorders

“Dissociative Disorders are characterized by a disturbance in the
cohesive and unified functions of identity, memory, consciousness,
perception of the environment.”

Four types of Dissociative Disorders are recognized:

1.  Dissociative Amnesia is a pervasive loss of memory of significant

2.  Dissociative Fugue is a sudden, unplanned excursion away from ones
itinerary accompanied by either memory loss; or confusion about, loss
of, or
assumption of a new identity.

3.  Dissociative Identity Disorder was formerly called Multiple
Disorder. It is evidenced by two or more separate personalities or
identities that control a persons consciousness at different times,
each being amnesic of the other/s.

4.  Depersonalization Disorder is evidenced by the sense of being
separated from
ones cognition's or body without an accompanying breakdown in reality

Dissociative fugue is also the subject of the book “Exit the
Rainmaker” by Jonathan Coleman.  Here is the listing for the book on
Amazon, along with readers’ reviews at the bottom of the page:

And here is Coleman’s biography:

Thanks for asking this question and reminding me of a pretty
good...well..."OK" movie and a good book!  If you need more
information, please don’t hesitate to click on the “Request
Clarification” button.



dissociative fugue
dsm iv

Request for Answer Clarification by norizuki-ga on 08 Jan 2003 07:25 PST
Thanks, Kutsav.
This is very good beginning for me.
However, my interest was more in the fact that the character had
another identity "in dream".
Well everybody could be anybody in a dream, but dream so real that one
might confuse one's identity?
Any more additional ideas?

Clarification of Answer by kutsavi-ga on 08 Jan 2003 08:21 PST
Hello again Norizuki,

Thanks for requesting a clarification.  

I think that the point of the movie was that the mental condition
suffered by the women was a total break from reality, and the director
used dreaming as an analogy for this.  I believe that in the movie,
what was thought to actually BE a dream turned out NOT to be.  In
fact, the women were actually, physically having the experiences
portrayed.  It was their mental condition that caused them to actually
live different lives.  Not a dream.

When we dream, we are not mentally in our waking world, and the
cognizant break that the characters suffered in the movie has close
parallels to this.  By using the analogy of dreaming to represent the
womens' disassociation from their own realities, the director was able
to more graphically represent their condition on film.

Dissociative fugue, in causing a person to believe that they are
existing in a life completely different from that of "reality," must
seem much like a dream  to them when they do in fact return to their
own, normal perceptions.

To sum up then, dissociative fugue causes people to actually create
and live another life, not just dream about it.  There is a problem in
differentiating between fantasy and reality.  When the patient
realizes that they have been doing this, it must feel to them as
though they had in fact been dreaming, because we have no other means
in our experience and language to express this phenomenon.  As
dreaming has such close parallels to the disorder, the director of the
film used it to represent the condition to the audience.  However,
what the women thought they were "dreaming" actually turned out to be
"real."  A truly frightening concept.

I realize that we are broaching highly subjective territory here. 
Artistic conceptions and abstract portrayals vary from culture to
culture and individual to individual.  I hope that this goes at least
some way further to address your question.

norizuki-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
First of all, this is amaging! The greatest experience on the web I
have had ever. I hope this service would be someday available in my
native language, Japanese, as well.
The answer was not exactly to my point,however. The definition of
dissociative fugue, in the web pages Kutsav refered, was this
condition is triggered by phigical dislocation (from home, especially)
or they dislocate themselves to trigger the condition. Meanwhile my
interest was more to mental dislocation.
All in all, this will suffice for me start very good hunting on the
web. Thanks.

Subject: Re: Passion of Mind
From: snapanswer-ga on 07 Jan 2003 10:58 PST
In reading about this movie at the Internet Movie Database, the story
revolves around one woman who lives in New York, but dreams of an
existence in France (based upon her childhood).  Conveniently, when
she falls asleep in her French dream, she awakes in New York.  In both
existences, real and imagined, experts tell her the other existence is
a dream.

I cannot offer a definitive answer about whether this is a real
condition.  However, my conclusion is that this is more of a plot
device than anything based upon medical journals.  Of course, there
are psychological conditions that result in divergent realities or
delusions, such as schizophrenia.  However, I do not think that is
what you are looking for.

You may also be interested in the Bruce Willis movie "Twelve Monkeys"
which also tracks the struggle to find what is "real" in two competing
Subject: Re: Passion of Mind
From: aceresearcher-ga on 07 Jan 2003 21:27 PST
Around 10 years ago I saw a movie with an extremely similar plot
entitled "Julia and Julia" (aka "Giulia e Giulia", 1987), starring
Kathleen Turner, Gabriel Byrne, and Sting. The cast was fabulous;
unfortunately, the movie was not.

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