What is it?

Delirium is a sudden distubed mental ability which results in confusion and reduced awareness of the environment, which makes it hard for the person to remember, think, concentrate, sleep and more. Delirium is caused many times after a disease, some medications, surgery, alcohol withdrawal and hospitalization. Factors that may contribute to delirium include dehydration, poor nutrition, infections, medications, and sleep deprivation. Delirium starts within hours to days.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Acute confusion

Signs & symptoms

Delirium symptoms may include confusion, unclear speech, problems in short term memory, loss of muscle control, hallucinations, slow movements, lethargy, disorientation, trouble understanding other speech, agitation, disturbed sleep habits, anxiety, paranoia, depression, apathy, and personality changes.


In order to diagnose delirium, a mental status assessment that includes awareness, attention and thinking must be done. Then, a physical exam and neurological exam may look for the reason for delirium. Other tests such as blood, urine and imaging tests may be done.


Delirium treatment focuses on the underlying cause and supportive care such as providing fluids, nutrition, pain relievers, encouraging the patient to talk to his relatives, keeping a schedule for the patient and more.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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