Delirium Tremens

Delirium tremens (or alcoholic withdrawal syndrome) is a specific form of acute organic syndrome and is characterized by gross changes in perception, mood and conscious state.

Pareidolic or affective illusions are often prodromal in delirium tremens, and these are followed by visual and haptic Lilliputian hallucinations Opens in new window, which are often of little animals or diminutive men.

There is a bizarre intermingling of affect so that the patient experiences stark terror and, at the same time, a sort of crazy comicalness especially common with these disorders.

The hallucinations Opens in new window in delirium tremens may change so rapidly that the patient has difficulty in describing them. Illusions Opens in new window are frequently associated with hallucinations, especially affective illusions, in which, through the predominant mood state of terror, cracks in the wall of the ward, or curtains moving in the breeze, may be misinterpreted in a frightening way.

At the same time, such patients are highly suggestible and can form abnormal visual experiences as a result of suggestion.

    Research data for this literature has been adapted from these following manuals:
  1. Sims' Symptoms in the Mind: An Introduction to Descriptive Psychopathology By Femi Oyebode
  2. Crash Course Psychiatry - E-Book By Katie FM Marwick, Steven Birrell
  3. Core Psychiatry E-Book, Edited by Padraig Wright, Julian Stern, Michael Phelan