The following is a brief synopsis and video from an episode of CSI: Miami:
"A man, wanders through Miami covered in blood but claiming total amnesia, except that he had killed someone. The blood is from insider trading-accused Mitch Crawford, his wife and their daughter, who were seen leaving by car early that day by courier Walter Leeson, who 'borrowed' their luxury pool. The amnesiac's only memories allow Eric to guess the triple knife murder site. His bloody wallet identifies Doug Benson, whose hammer on site wasn't the murder weapon. Using victim shots as a memory stimulus links with Doug's youth trauma. Horatio finds and links two other suspects."
As we read and learned in Chapter 7 about Memory, amnesia does not mean that all memories are lost. Retrograde amnesia is a loss of past memories and anterograde amnesia is the loss of encoding abilities, meaning that we cannot remember new experiences. In reality, the amnesia that T.V. and movies portray is considered general amnesia and it is very rare that this type of amnesia occurs.
When I saw this episode of CSI the first time, I wasn't aware that amnesia could not usually result in complete loss of one's identity and complete loss of all memories. After learning this chapter, I realized that the way in which CSI depicts amnesia is incorrect. Complete memory loss only occurs in very rare situations. So the suspect would not forget his actions, in this case, the murder.
Unfortunately, the T.V. and filmmaking industry, give society an incorrect interpretation of what amnesia is. In some cases, individuals have tried to fake complete amnesia with the incorrect understanding that this frequently occurs. Before being taught that amnesia essentially comes in two main forms, I was also unaware that amnesia doesn't just automatically mean a complete loss of all memories, including one's own identity.
Society should be informed about the situations of H.M. and Clive Wearing because amnesia is a real problem that causes difficulties in the lives of everyday people. In Clive Wearing's case, he forgot the last time he saw his wife. Media outlets do a poor job of depicting the impacts amnesia has on people. Instead, it has turned it into a way to cause drama and interest.