Delirium, classified as an abrupt change in the brain, causes emotional disruption and mental confusion. It makes it difficult for a person diagnosed with delirium to think, recall, sleep, stay attentive, and more. However, delirium can be temporary and treatable.
Medical professionals categorize delirium by its cause, severity, and characteristics.
Some individuals may experience a combination of both hyperactive delirium and hypoactive delirium, switching between the two.
Inflammation and infection can hinder the function of the brain, resulting in the person developing delirium. Certain medications to treat illnesses can also cause delirium. Drug abuse is another cause of delirium.
Eating or drinking poisonous substances and alcohol withdrawal are responsible as well for a person developing delirium. Moreover, breathing difficulties or certain conditions that cut oxygen to the brain can drastically modify the function of the brain, resulting in severe mental confusion.
People who are over the age of 65 or have developed several health conditions are at a higher risk to develop delirium. Other types of people who are at risk for delirium include:
The doctor will diagnose a person with delirium if their behavior changes during the day, especially if they are hospitalized, they have a difficult time paying attention or making sense of what others say, and they cannot form a coherent sentence. The doctor will perform a few tests to check the for imbalances, view their family history, and see the symptoms before they diagnose someone with delirium.
Delirium is often treated with antipsychotic such as Haloperidol.