The health and functionality of our brain, standing as a vital organ is very important, dictating our overall wellbeing and stability.
Sadly, for some individuals, delirium, a change and/or disturbance in cognitive functioning is experienced, triggered by a range of internal and external causations.
Resembling dementia, delirium can be very difficult to live with, can cause significant behavioural issues, and can also amount to emotional problems, linked to mental health symptoms.
There are different types of delirium, which define the signs and symptoms, along with the severity of such disturbance. Yet, to any degree, cognitive disturbances without intervention can lead to impairments, such as a diagnosis of dementia or depression.
As there are some significant risk factors linked to undiagnosed and untreated delirium, it is important to understand its signs and symptoms, along with suitable interventive steps.
It’s also vital to note the risks of excessive drug and alcohol intoxication, and their link with delirium, from consumption itself and/or withdrawal.
Whether you’re already suffering from symptoms, have concerns over your habits, or hope for greater insight, here’s how to spot delirium and what to do if you are encountering delirium symptoms.
At Cassiobury Court, we’re here to assist with accredited and confidential streams of treatment, no matter the cause of your cognitive disturbances,
What is delirium?
Disturbances to the brain, caused by intoxication, chemical imbalance, chronic illness and withdrawal will usually be diagnosed as delirium.
Although symptoms can blur the line between dementia and further cognitive impairments, where exposure to pain, trauma or toxins has been encountered, with the display of mental changes, delirium will usually be defined.
Delirium, if undiagnosed or untreated can be severe, down to the adaptations that it causes in the brain. Brain health is extremely important, affecting our central nervous system, our mental health and our overall stability.
With symptoms of delirium in the mix, it can be challenging to maintain stability and balance, down to uncontrollable changes and chemical unsteadiness in the brain.
This is why it’s very important to know how to spot delirium and what to do in the event of unpredictable changes, as symptoms can develop into further complications, declined wellbeing and increased risk of life-limiting side effects.
Types of delirium
There are three key types of delirium to look out for, all carrying different signs and symptoms. By gauging such symptoms, we hope that readers will learn how to spot delirium, with the potential to act quickly through professional care and treatment.
Hyperactive delirium is the most common and the most noticeable, down to the behavioural changes that it causes. Irritability, agitation, mood changes, and emotional changes are all signs of hyperactive delirium.
Hypoactive delirium is the opposite of hyperactive, where behaviour in fact suppresses. Laziness, drowsiness, impaired energy levels, the inability to respond normally, and reduced functionality are all key signs of such delirium.
Mixed delirium is the experience of both moments of hyperactivity and hypoactivity, where behaviours and symptoms can quickly switch between both.
This is a clear indication of delirium, for functionality, attitude and actions to change so rapidly, without clear causation.
Differentiating each type of delirium is important, as varying forms of treatment will be required to manage symptoms and either hyper or hypoactive responses.
Causes of delirium
Vulnerabilities are the leading causation of delirium. Ultimately, if either internal or external stimuli delay or disturb the normal functioning and signalling of the brain, impairments can amount, which are reflected through delirium.
Causes of delirium can be singular or combined, which are usually associated with medication consumption, trauma, pain, intoxication, pre-existing mental conditions, and distressing experiences within hospital stays.
One of the biggest correlations which we’re concerned about here at Cassiobury Court is the use of both prescription and illicit drugs, from their consumption effects to their withdrawal.
Delirium is regularly experienced through both substance abuse and uncontrollable withdrawal, down to the disruptions that such drugs cause to optimal functioning.
It’s also concerning when considering the impacts that addiction has on physical and psychological wellbeing, increasing the risk of delirium as a secondary diagnosis.
Experiencing delirium can make it even harder to recover from pre-existing mental health issues or behavioural problems, which is why it’s important to learn how to spot delirium and what to do with efficiency in mind.
How to spot delirium and what to do
Symptoms of delirium can fall very similar to dementia and common mental health issues. However, there are some clear indications of mental impairment that should be taken seriously, linked to delirium.
- Reduced focus
- Hyper or hypoactivity
- Poor memory
- Difficulty digesting emotions
- Depression and anxiety
- Personality changes
- Difficulty speaking and recalling information
How to spot delirium may seem easy, as any form of mental change should pose a concern. Yet, without knowledge of such symptoms, it can be easy to brush off withdrawal or insomnia for stress or anxiety.
Instead, it’s always recommended to source a medical diagnosis including neurological assessments and the possible ruling out of dementia, to fully understand the extent and possible diagnosis of delirium.
Treating and managing delirium
Treatment for delirium will all depend on the causation of such disruption. For example, if symptoms of delirium have been triggered by drug and alcohol withdrawal, such issues will firstly need to be addressed before managing ongoing symptoms.
From here, a range of delirium treatment options will be recommended, which can be anything from physical stabilisation to supportive medications, lifestyle recommendations and wellbeing management.
Aiming for balance, through calmness, through understanding, through brain training, through talking therapies, and through medication will be aimed, deter further complications or mental disruptions.
The extent of delirium symptoms will dictate the extent of treatment in which clients require here at Cassiobury Court. The causation of delirium will also be accounted for, regularly linked to intoxication here at our rehab centre.
The sooner that signs are caught and the sooner that support is accepted, the easier delirium recovery and management can be.
With this in mind, we encourage you to learn how to spot delirium and what to do in the event of such symptoms, in association with mental health issues and substance abuse.
At Cassiobury Court, we will be here to assist you through the symptoms of delirium, and the delivery of management for the long term.