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Delirium can be described as a general decrease within various aspects of one's normal levels of cognitive functioning. This typically includes fluctuating attentional deficits and a generally severe disorganization of behavior. It can also involve other symptoms such as changes in energy levels, deficits in perception, an altered sleep-wake cycle, hallucinations, delusions, and psychosis.

Delirium may present itself in three distinct forms. These are referred to in the scientific literature as hyperactive, hypoactive, or mixed forms.[1] In its hyperactive form, it is manifested as severe confusion and disorientation, with a sudden onset and a fluctuating intensity.[2] In its hypoactive (i.e. underactive) form, it is manifested by an equally sudden withdrawal from interaction with the outside world accompanied by symptoms such as drowsiness and general inactivity.[3] Delirium may also occur in a mixed type in which one can fluctuate between both hyper- and hypoactive periods.

Delirium is most commonly induced under the influence of heavy dosages of deliriant compounds, such as DPH, datura, and benzydamine. However, it can also occur as a result of an extremely wide range of health problems such as urinary tract infections, influenza and alzheimer’s.[citation needed]

Psychoactive substances

Compounds within our psychoactive substance index which may cause this effect include:

See also

External links


  1. Delirium in elderly adults: diagnosis, prevention and treatment (ncbi) |
  2. Delerium ( |
  3. Hypoactive delirium (bmj) |