Delirium is usually caused by physical or mental illness and is normally temporary and reversible.

Drug abuse.

- Infections such as urinary tract infections or pneumonia (in individuals who already have mental retardation from stroke or dementia).
- Poisons.
- Fluid/electrolyte or acid/base disturbances.

Patients with more severe brain injuries are most likely to obtain delirium from another disease.


Delirium includes a quick alternation between the frame of minds (for instance, from lethargy to agitation and back to sleepiness), with attention disturbance, disorganized thinking, disorientation, modifications in experience and perception, and other symptoms.

- Attention disruption
O Inability to maintain goal-directed, purposeful thinking or behavior.
o Inability to concentrate.

- Disorganized thinking, evidenced by
o Incoherent speech.
o Inability to stop speech patterns or habits.

- Disorientation to time or place.

- Changes in feeling and perception (increases the disorientation).
o May precipitate illusions or hallucinations.

- Altered level of consciousness or awareness.

- Altered sleep patterns, drowsiness.

- Decrease in short-term memory and recall
o Unable to recall events considering that onset of delirium (anterograde amnesia).
o Unable to remember past occasions (retrograde amnesia).

- Changes in motor activities, motion (for example, might be sluggish or slow moving).

- Movements activated by modifications in the anxious system (psychomotor uneasiness).

- Emotional or personality modifications
o Anxiety
o Temper
o Apathy
o Sadness
o Euphoria
o Irritability

Treatment for delirium

Delirium itself is managed by reducing disturbing stimuli, or supplying relaxing ones; use of basic, clear language in interaction; and peace of mind, particularly from a relative. Sedatives or antipsychotic drugs may be used to decrease stress and anxiety, hallucinations, and delusions.

Drugs that sedate (calm) the patient may also be used, specifically, if the patient is near death. All these drugs have side impacts and the patient will be kept an eye on carefully by a doctor. The decision to use drugs that sedate the client will be made in cooperation with a member of the family after efforts have been made to reverse the delirium.

The standard method to handling delirium is to discover and treat the causes. Symptoms may be treated at the exact same time. Determining the reasons for delirium will consist of a health examination to examine general indications of health, including examining for signs of disease. A case history of the client's past illnesses and treatments will likewise be taken. In a terminally ill, delirious patient being cared for in your home, the physician may do a limited assessment to figure out the cause or may deal with just the signs.