Delirium is a sudden and serious perceptual disturbance resulting in a confused state of thinking and reduced awareness about the environment, due to rapid changes in the brain function. It also declines the cognitive functions and may continue from few hours to few days. It can occur as a result of illness, injury, surgery, medications or if a person is addicted to recreational drugs such as alcohol and suddenly discontinues.


  • People with delirium may have an array of neuropsychiatric symptoms, such as disturbance in consciousness and attention deficit.
  • People with delirium will be confused about where he is or what time of the day it is and unable to remember small details such as date and time, or what they ate for breakfast.
  • People with delirium may have sleep disturbance, and psychotic disorders (seeing random images of people and things).
    Person with delirium has changes in feelings and perception.
  • Other symptoms include; problem in recalling disorganized thinking, emotional and personality changes due to which they get irritated, angry, agitated, and depressed.


The course of delirium is acute. It is a temporary confusion, not lasting more than few days or weeks. If it gradually declines every function, it might lead to dementia. Delirium is more common among older people but may also occur at any age.


Delirium occurs when the normal cell signalling in the brain become impaired. This impairment is most likely caused by a combination of factors (such as biological condition, drug abuse or withdrawal, metabolic imbalances, sleep deprivation and medication toxicity) that make the brain weak and trigger a malfunction in brain activity.