Delirium and Homeopathic Medicines

Delirium is also known as Disorder of Orientation, Disorder of Consciousness, acute confusional state, acute brain failure. It is a type of mental disorder in which the patient is disoriented for a particular time, and is unable to recognise place or person (which is familiar to him) correctly.

Delirium Causes

Causes of this condition:

  • Physical illness– Those condition which affect functioning brain like-
  • Infectious illness like measles, mumps, rubella, tuberculosis, meningitis, encephalitis, dengue.
  • Condition like any abscess in brain, brain haemorrhage, brain tumour.
  • Conditions like liver failure, respiratory failure.
  • Deficiency of Vitamins like B1, B2, B6 or B 12.
  • Conditions like hypoglycaemia (low glucose), hyper-thyoridism,, deficiency of electrolytes, severe anaemia.
  • Addictions– Addictions of some particular things can lead to delirium like Alcohol, barbiturates, amphetamine, cocaine, hashish (cannabis), smack and atropine.

 Use of some drugs like, Antidepressants hypnotics, cough related medicines and suppressants of cough, use of chloroquine, drugs like anticholinergics like furosemide, digoxin, theophylline, cimetidine, prednisolone, captopril.)

  • Use of analgesics like morphine and codeine.
  • Use of antiarrhthymics (digitalis).
  • Use of antihistamines.
  • Use of antihypertensives.
  • Use of antimicrobials like penicillin, cephalosporins and quinolones.
  • Use of antiparkinson drugs like anticholinergic and dopaminergic.
  • Use of steroids.

Some other causes:

  • Head injury, hypertension and epilepsy, high grade fever.
  • Urine or chest infection
  • Having a high body temperature
  • Conditions like dehydration or low salt levels
  • Suddenly stopping drugs ro alcohol
  • Constipation
  • Being in an unfamiliar place.
  • Delirium Risk Factors

Predisposing risk factors:

  • It is seen more in person who are more than 60 years of age.
  • More seen in male.
  • Seen in those individuals who take a lot of medicines.
  • Often seen after major surgery.

Children and elder people are more prone to delirium.

  • Seen approximately 40% of hospitalized elderly patients which is more than 65 years.
  • Seen in 50% of patients after hip fracture.
  • Seen in 30% of patients in surgical intensive care units.
  • Seen in 20% patient on general medical wards.
  • Seen in 15% of patients on general surgical wards.

Delirium Symptoms

What kind of symptoms a person depends upon his personality and the condition which produces the symptoms. Symptoms usually develops acutely ranging from hours to days. This condition has reduced ability to maintain attention. It usually starts with fluctuating level of consciousness. Patient’s orientation to time and place (which is one’s very familiar) and person (familiar ones) is disturbed.  Patient is unable to realise what is happening in surrounding environment.

Attention of patient is disturbed duet to which any object in the environment (like traffic, sound, person, shadow) attracts his attention easily.

  • It has increase tendency to sleep.
  • Patient is emotionally unstable.
  • Patient has difficulty in language like during conversation, he has difficulty in word finding. He is not able to utter proper words.
  • He has difficulty in speech like slurring of speech, mumbling, incoherent speech.
  • There is difficulty in memory. Short term memory for recent events is affected.
  • There is difficulty in copying a person and repeating the same.
  • Many kind of illusions is faced by patient like misinterpreting object or person.
  • Patient who is suffering from high grade fever misinterprets a syringe in nurse’s hand as knife.
  • Hallucinations are also experienced by patient. Patient may sees or hears persons when none is around. He smells scents or foul smell when nothing is there. He experiences delusions. He feels incorrect suspiciousness. He fears without any cause.
  • Patient has changes in mood.
  • He can have phobias of various kinds.
  • Patient has anxiety.
  • An important symptom of delirium is that patient’s thoughts, talk and behaviour are not understood.
  • Decrease in appetite and sleep is seen.
  • Sometimes excessive anger, excitement or sadness with desire to commit suicide can be seen.

Delirium Types

  • Hyperactive or hyper alert
  • Patient is hyper active and uncooperative.
  • He may appear to be responding to internal stimuli.
  • These patients can easily diagnosed as they are difficult to take care for.

Hypoactive or hypo alert:

  • Patient take short duration sleep throughout day.
  • He is unable to have attention when awakened.
  • He quickly falls back asleep.
  • He often misses meals, medicine and appointments.
  • He does not ask for care or attention.
  • These are more difficult to diagnose as he himself does not want any attention.

Mixed:

  • It has combination of both hypoactive and hyperactive variety.
  • The most common types are hypoactive and mixed.

All these symptoms increase during night.

Delirium Complications

  • Complications in this condition can be physical or mental.
  • Physical– As patient is suffering from this condition, he is not able to look after his body due to which many physical illnesses and deficiencies can be found in the body of patient.
  • Mental-One of the main symptoms of delirium is tendency to commit suicide. Along with this the patient can do homicide (patient kills another person in delirium due to suspicion, delusion, or by accident.
  • Patient has a abnormal behaviour in social functions and at work. Patient will be considered as anti-social element in society.
  • If cause is removed at an early stage, this disorder is cured completely and there are no temporary or permanent complications.

Some facts regarding delirium

  • It is one of the common mental disorder and it is comments among patients admitted in hospitals.
  • This condition is temporary. It is not a permanent disorder. 90-95 percent of patients recover completely.
  • This disorder can occur in every age group and sex.
  • This condition is not genetic and not go from one generation to another.

Steps to be followed in order to help a patient of delirium

  • Stay calm
  • Talk to them in short, simple sentences
  • Check that they have understood you- repeat things if necessary.
  • Try not to agree with any unusual ro incorrect ideas, but tactfully disagree ro change the subject.
  • Remind the person what is happening and how they are doing
  • Remind the patient of the time and date
  • Make sure that patient can see a clock or a calendar.
  • Make sure that someone the patient know very well is with him.
  • If the patient is in hospital, bring in some familiar objects from home.
  • Help the patient to eat and drink.
  • Always have a light on at night so the patient can see where they are if they wake up.

Homeopathic Remedy for Delirium Treatment

Belladonna

This remedy is associated with violent type of delirium. Patient has various attempts to run away from place. He has tendency to strike, bite, and spit upon people. He feel drowsy all time but has inability to sleep. In the delirium he has fear of imaginary things. He sees monsters, tries to hide himself. Sometimes patient breaks into fits of laughter, after some time he gnashes the teeth and tries to bite people. This remedy is to given to a person who lives in his own world. He has various imaginary visions towards surrounding realities. Various kind of hallucinations is also seen. He sees monsters. He desires to escape. He sometimes has loss of consciousness.

Dosage-Take one pill or five drops of the remedy every 15 minutes to 4 hours (15 minutes for intense symptoms, 4 hours for milder ones). Once an improvement is noticed, stop taking and repeat the remedy only if symptoms return. If there is no improvement at all by three doses, seek doctor’s advice.

Lachesis

This remedy is associated with delirium which is seen at night. Patient mutters various words. He feel drowsy with red face. Patient has slow, difficult speech and dropped jaw. Patient has special type of delirium in which he has tendency to talk. He constantly jumps from one to subject to another. The cause of this type of delirium can be over fatigue, loss of fluids, excessive study, fear of death. Patient has to fear to go to bed. He considers himself dead. Patient is sad in morning. He has no desire to mix with the world. It is given when patient  feel restless and uneasy. He does not wish to attend to business. He wants to be off somewhere all the time. Patient is very suspicious. He has delusion of fire especially at night.

Dosage-Take one pill or five drops of the remedy every 1 to 4 hours (1 hour for intense symptoms, 4 hours for milder ones). Once an improvement is noticed, stop taking and repeat the remedy only if symptoms return. If there is no improvement at all by three doses, choose a different remedy or seek professional guidance.

Phosphorus

This remedy is associated with delirium with a strange feeling that all his body is in pieces and he cannot get it together. He has a mania that he is very rich. This type of delirium is also related to excessive sexual desire. It can also be given when patient has depression. He is easily angered. He has a fear as if something is creeping out of every corner. Patient is over sensitive to his surrounding. He also suffers from loss of memory. He has fear of death when alone. It is given when brain feels tired. Patient is often insane. He is restless. Sometimes patient has no feeling towards family members.

Dosage-Take one pill or five drops of the remedy every 1 to 4 hours (1 hour for intense symptoms, 4 hours for milder ones). Once an improvement is noticed, stop dosing and repeat the remedy only if symptoms return. If there is no improvement at all by three doses, choose a different remedy or seek professional guidance.

Agaricus

Patient has constant delirium. He knows no one. He throws things at the people. He sings, talks, but does not answer questions. Patient tries to get out of bed. Patient also suffers from twitching of muscles. Patient does not want to work. He is fearless. First patient has increased cheerfulness, wicvth great courage. Patient is very talkative with imaginary things in his mind. His vision of size of objects is lost. He often takes long steps and mumps over small objects as if they were trunks of trees. After sometime patient has raging delirium with screaming. He wants to injure himself. Later in delirium he has mental depression with lack of feeling, confusion. Patient does not want to work.

Dosage- 30 potency , 4 pellets 3 times a day for 5 days until improvement.

Gelsemium

It is given when patient has delirium in sleep. Patient is half waking and talks constantly. When patient falls asleep he goes into delirium. Patient desire to be quiet. He wants to be left alone. Patient is very lazy and lacks desire to do anything. He has no fear. He has delirium on falling asleep. This is caused by emotional excitement and fear.

Dosage-Take one pill or five drops of the remedy every 1 to 4 hours (1 hour for intense symptoms, 4 hours for milder ones). Once an improvement is noticed, stop dosing and repeat the remedy only if symptoms return. If there is no improvement at all by three doses, choose a different remedy or seek professional guidance.

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