Hypothermia -- warmth (rewarming should be carefully monitored)
Illicit drug use -- stop taking the drug and seek a doctor's advice for withdrawal symptoms
Low thyroid function -- see your health care provider about thyroid hormone replacement treatment
Malnutrition -- medical exam, followed by proper diet and vitamin supplements
Medication -- ask the doctor about adjusting the dosage, changing medications, or stopping them
Surgery -- this is usually temporary, but avoid long-term use of sedatives and painkillers
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Schedule an appointment with your regular health care provider or a doctor who treats disorders of the nervous system (neurologist) if:
The unusual or strange behavior is severe, long-term, unexplained, or is affecting your life
You have dementia or delirium
What to Expect at Your Office Visit
The health care provider will perform a physical examination and will take a medical history. The physical examination will probably include a detailed evaluation of the nervous system (neurological evaluation).
Medical history questions may include:
What unusual behaviors are present?
How much is your lifestyle affected?
Can you eat, dress, and perform other everyday activities?
When did the unusual behavior begin?
Is it getting worse, better, or staying about the same?
Inouye SK. Delirium and other mental status problems in the older patient. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2007:chap 26.
Knopman DS. Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2007:chap 425.
David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Luc Jasmin, MD, PhD, Department of Neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, and Department of Anatomy at UCSF, San Francisco, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.