16 doctors weighed in:
What is agitated delirium?
16 doctors weighed in

Dr. Lawrence Smith
Clinical Psychology
6 doctors agree
In brief: Restless & upset
Delirium is a disturbance of consciousness or reduced clarity of awareness of the environment.
Individuals with this reduced ability to pay attention and focus may also experience memory problems, disorientation, or hallucinations. Sometimes people with delirium become particularly upset or restless. This is sometimes described as "agitated delirium.".

In brief: Restless & upset
Delirium is a disturbance of consciousness or reduced clarity of awareness of the environment.
Individuals with this reduced ability to pay attention and focus may also experience memory problems, disorientation, or hallucinations. Sometimes people with delirium become particularly upset or restless. This is sometimes described as "agitated delirium.".
Dr. Lawrence Smith
Dr. Lawrence Smith
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Dr. Lionel Lim
Internal Medicine - Geriatrics
3 doctors agree
In brief: Confusional state
Delirium is an acute state of confusion.
It can be triggered by any medical illness, medication or intoxication of culprit substances. Susceptible people tend to be older, frailer, with pre-existing health conditions (e.g. Dementia). There are 2 main types of delirium: the agitated form that makes people combative and aggressive; or the hypoactive form (more common) that causes lethargy.

In brief: Confusional state
Delirium is an acute state of confusion.
It can be triggered by any medical illness, medication or intoxication of culprit substances. Susceptible people tend to be older, frailer, with pre-existing health conditions (e.g. Dementia). There are 2 main types of delirium: the agitated form that makes people combative and aggressive; or the hypoactive form (more common) that causes lethargy.
Dr. Lionel Lim
Dr. Lionel Lim
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Dr. Jeff Seaman
Psychiatry
2 doctors agree
In brief: Hyperactive delirium
Neurology used to separate out delirium based on hyper or hypo-active motor states, but this is under scrutiny.
We do not have clear evidence yet that a hypoactive delirium is biologically different from a hyperactive delirium except in regards to the very different and more straight-forward case of drug / alcohol withdrawal "delirium" which are often but not always hyperactive.

In brief: Hyperactive delirium
Neurology used to separate out delirium based on hyper or hypo-active motor states, but this is under scrutiny.
We do not have clear evidence yet that a hypoactive delirium is biologically different from a hyperactive delirium except in regards to the very different and more straight-forward case of drug / alcohol withdrawal "delirium" which are often but not always hyperactive.
Dr. Jeff Seaman
Dr. Jeff Seaman
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Dr. Maureen Nash
Psychiatry - Geriatric
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Increased activity
Likely you are referring to psychomotorically active delirium when there is increased motor activity, hallucinations and acting out.
This is often classified differently from an inactive or inattentive delirium where a person cannot focus. Some police organizations have started to use this phrase without a medical rationale.

In brief: Increased activity
Likely you are referring to psychomotorically active delirium when there is increased motor activity, hallucinations and acting out.
This is often classified differently from an inactive or inattentive delirium where a person cannot focus. Some police organizations have started to use this phrase without a medical rationale.
Dr. Maureen Nash
Dr. Maureen Nash
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Dr. Philip Rosenblum
Family Medicine
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Violence 2' to fever
Delirium is what we'll referto as "waxing and waning mental status.
" someone will act normally or more like themselves one minute and 30 minutes later be disoriented, combative, or just act "funny." it's usually caused by illness, medication, drugs or some chemical balance such as low blood sugar or low oxygen levels. Agitated delirium is when the person is fighting verbally or physically.

In brief: Violence 2' to fever
Delirium is what we'll referto as "waxing and waning mental status.
" someone will act normally or more like themselves one minute and 30 minutes later be disoriented, combative, or just act "funny." it's usually caused by illness, medication, drugs or some chemical balance such as low blood sugar or low oxygen levels. Agitated delirium is when the person is fighting verbally or physically.
Dr. Philip Rosenblum
Dr. Philip Rosenblum
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