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Confusional syndrome

The Delirium is a mental disorder that occurs abruptly and presentation may indicate a disease or aggravation of an already present.

The main characteristics are spatio-temporal disorientation, memory loss, and anxiety. When this syndrome exists, it usually occurs in the late afternoon, when it begins to get dark; it can also occur acutely in hospital admission situations.

Causes of confusional syndrome

The causes that can lead to a state of confusion are multiple, among them the most frequent are the following:

  • Circulatory and vascular problems.
  • Infections and fever .
  • Metabolic problems (liver problems, vitamin B12 deficiency …)
  • The action of some drugs (antidepressants, tranquilizers ..)
  • Presence of anemia, digestive or gastric problems …
  • the dehydration
  • Urinary and / or fecal retention.
  • The presence of tumors.
  • Trauma (falls, blows, accidents ..)
  • Surgical treatments (cataracts, hip fracture, etc.).
  • Consumption of toxins (alcohol).
  • Hospitalization (due to the illness situation, and the unknown environment in which there are continuous changes of staff shift, continuous diagnostic tests, unknown people around…). This happens most often in intensive care units.

Symptoms of confusional syndrome

The symptoms of confusional syndrome are easily recognizable by the people around the elderly, they are the following:

  • Unexpected onset of behavior change.
  • Disorientation of space, time and person (he does not know where he is, or what day or time of day he is, or who he is)
  • Memory loss.
  • It takes longer to react to stimuli, answer questions, it takes a lot of work to think and concentrate.
  • Hallucinations appear
  • Anxiety and agitation, which can lead to aggressive behaviors.
  • Great difficulty falling or staying asleep.
  • Lack of appetite.
  • Dehydration
  • Expression of absent person.

How is it diagnosed?

When the confusional syndrome appears at home, it is the family itself who recognizes the symptoms of the problem, and once in consultation, the diagnosis is made from the recognition of these symptoms and signs.

When the problem occurs in hospitalization, the mental state that the person presents during admission is evaluated to compare it with the information that the family provides about what his state was before admission.

Treatment of confusional syndrome

In addition to the treatment prescribed by the doctor, it is necessary to follow the following recommendations:

  • Always address the person with clear and simple language, always avoiding jumping from one topic to another in the conversation and trying to accompany the language with gestures.
  • Avoid tense situations, arguments, confrontations and rude reprimands.
  • Try to make the person participate in family activities and conversations, creating a calm and calm environment.
  • Keep a strict control of the medication and carry out periodic reviews.
  • Maintain proper hygiene and diet.
  • Carry out environmental measures such as placing clocks and calendars in full view of the person, avoiding darkness and frequent changes in furniture or surroundings, placing protective bars on the bed to prevent night falls in case of agitation.

How can I avoid it?

The prevention of states of confusion can be carried out by following the previous recommendations and always ensuring that the person is in an environment that is familiar to him, with known people, photographs, objects of great sentimental value …

You should go to a consultation when symptoms appear, when noticing behavioral alterations or sudden changes in behavior.

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Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of ​​Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.

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