What is Delirium Tremens definition/concept

Drinks containing ethyl alcohol are a drug and their ingestion has very harmful effects on health. Among the best known, we can highlight chronic cirrhosis , decreased brain functions, cardiac changes, gastric discomfort, vitamin deficiency and erectile dysfunction. One of the lesser-known consequences of alcohol is delirium tremens. This Latin name literally means “fearful delirium”. Delirium Tremens

People who are drunk and who are in a period of abstinence can suffer major physical and mental changes.

The situation of alcohol-induced delirium tremens was clinically described in the early 19th century.

The characteristic symptoms are the following: physical and psychological agitation, headache accompanied by nausea and vomiting, deep feeling of sleep, intense cramps and in some cases delusions accompanied by a change in perception causing auditory and visual hallucinations. Delirium Tremens

From a clinical point of view, there are four modalities of delusions:

1) the hyperactive, which causes irritability and restlessness,

2) the hypoactive, which generates apathy and decreased level of consciousness ,

3) the mixed, which is a combination of the previous two,

4) delirium tremens, which is a variant of hyperactive and is most often related to the period of abstinence among alcoholic people.

If not treated properly, this situation can be fatal; some famous personalities have been victims of alcohol and had episodes of delirium tremens

Probably the most famous case was that of writer Edgar Alan Poe, for days before he died he was found on a street in Baltimore in a dismal situation: confused, anguished and in a delusional state . The exact cause of his death is unknown, but they say it was the effects of alcohol and that he had delusions and hallucinations.

How can it be treated?

This neuropsychiatric syndrome causes brain malfunction and cognitive impairment . Treatment requires immediate hospitalization, as the affected person is at high risk for their health.

As a general guideline, a type of medication is used, the benzodiazepines. These drugs decrease neuronal excitation and have an anxiolytic effect. In addition to this substance, the patient with delirium tremens should receive psychological and psychiatric treatment to assess the severity of withdrawal symptoms associated with alcohol.

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