Delirium tremens, delirium tremens – signs, symptoms and consequences of it concerned both drinkers and non-drinkers. Drinkers – because for them in delirium tremens term future. And rightly so. It really is a terrible condition. But for some reason few people know that, in spite of its dominant position on the incidence and prevalence of alcoholic psychosis, delirium (delirium tremens) – is not the only option alcoholic “madness”.
So, proper delirium tremens – Queen of alcoholic psychosis. What is a delirium?
“It usually develops after 5 years of chronic alcohol addiction at the age of 40 years old (but younger in recent years),” – that’s what they write books about delirium. In practice, everything is much sadder: 18 years – is not the limit. But from personal experience I can say that in the 10 patients admitted with delirium tremens only a third over 40 years, many others do not have and 30.
Symptoms of delirium tremens
The first attack is preceded by days, weeks and months of hard drinking, the end of which are beginning to appear nightmares, night terrors, and awakening. During the day a person is exhausted, neurotic, tired, depressed. After binge during rejection of alcohol, after 2-4 days such people usually develops delirium than at its onset to epileptic seizures can occur, and it can provoke severe disease, injury and surgery, which coincide in time with the abolition alcohol. It begins with sleep disorders – patients suffer from insomnia, against which there are nodules of images (the patient looks “movies on the wall”) that a person is aware of how unrealistic the images accompanied by mood swings. Next – worse: there are hallucinations in the form of small moving large quantities of snakes, insects, hell, dead, yarns, spiders (usually in different patients stories anyway are similar), that a person in delirium tremens already perceives as reality – his movements, phrases, actions are guided by these hallucinations.
If the condition develops further – there are auditory hallucinations (voices), tactile (touch sensation, crawling), olfactory, gustatory hallucinations.
Periodically there are lucid intervals – when a person seems to be becoming completely sane, but as a rule, by the evening everything is back in a more severe form. Delirium tremens usually lasts no more than 3-4 days and ends with a deep sound sleep (main symptom improvement), after which the patients are depressed, exhausted. But it happens that the symptoms of delirium tremens and gradually go in waves, fading up to 10 days.
“Squirrel” Among the variants of the isolated hypnagogic – when the hallucinations occur when closing the eyes and falling asleep, “without delirium tremens” – when the hallucinations and delusions is not, or they are very mild, but the person just a coward, he is fidgety, nervous, increased sweating. Systematic (actually what is popularly known as “squirrel”) – Multiple frightening hallucinations, delusions of persecution – the patient “not knowing where to run,” hears everywhere that want to kill him, haunted. In this case, very pronounced state of fear. Sometimes delirium with severe verbal (auditory) hallucinations – the patient hears clearly a conspiracy against him, voices outside (because of the wall from the neighbors, for example), the fear and anxiety dominate sharply. The patient is delirious, with those placing convincingly enough in places “seen and heard” the facts and events, mixing them with reality. But the reason “why and why they have to kill you” cannot.