A state of confusion accompanied by vivid hallucinations. It often transpires in chronic alcoholics after abstinence or withdrawal from alcohol. Early symptoms include agitation, trembling, restlessness and sleeplessness. The person can then develop a rapid heartbeat, dilation of the pupils and fever. Confusion, sweating and hallucinations, and convulsions can also arise.
Most people affected are admitted to hospital for treatment. Treatment then includes rehydration, rest and sedation. Vitamin injections, especially of thiamine, can be given, due to some symptoms being linked to thiamine deficiency.