The term “mental confusion” is often used synonymously with “off the hook,” “bonkers,” or “crazy” in modern day slang. However, it can be much more than not knowing something, or just being “out of it.” Read on to learn more about mental confusion as an actual medical condition.
Clinically, mental confusion is used interchangeably with delirium, and are both defined as an inability to focus, loss of memory, and general disorganization of behavior that leads to poor judgment and actions. It is important to note that delirium and dementia are two different conditions, even if they have similar signs and symptoms; the former can be more acute and short-tem, while the latter takes place over a period of time and is more permanent.
Generally, there are three types of mental confusion:
More than two-thirds of the cases are hyperactive or mixed delirium. All three types possess similar signs and symptoms of mental confusion.
All types of mental confusion share similar signs and symptoms, including:
Other types of mental conditions, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, have similar symptoms as that of mental confusion. Delirium can also be an indication of other life-threatening conditions that may not be immediately present (such as sepsis of the body), so be sure to seek a medical professional for the proper diagnosis.
There are many factors that can cause mental confusion, and almost all of them have to do with the brain or the neurological system. Potential causes for delirium can include but are not limited to:
If you are taking care of a loved one who is suffering from delirium without a treatable cause, here are few ways that can help with management:
1. Supportive management. This can be employed with individuals who goes in and out of mental confusion with clear episodes in between:
2. Environmental management. This can provide a relaxed atmosphere to minimize recurring episodes:
3. Medical management. This involves a series of treatment, therapy, or medication as prescribed by the physician. Depending on the individual’s needs, the doctor may prescribe antipsychotics or antidepressants. If the person’s delirium is due to substance abuse, such as drugs or alcohol, rehabilitation programs may be employed for proper recovery.
4. Do not be afraid to ask for help. There are doctors, nurses, and in-home care takers who can make this a better experience for both yourself and your affected loved one.
Taking care and managing a loved one suffering from mental confusion can be extremely trying and exhausting. Be sure to take care of your own health as well, and do not be afraid to speak out or ask for help.