Share your story with others:

MedicineNet appreciates your comment. Your comment may be displayed on the site and will always be published anonymously. Patient Comments FAQs

Tell us a bit about your background to make your comments more useful to other MedicineNet users.

Screen Name: *

Gender of Patient:Male Female

Age Range of Patient:

I am a: Patient Caregiver

Enter your Comment

* Screen Name will appear next to the published comment. Please do not include your full name or email address.

By submitting your comment, and other materials (collectively referred to as a "Submission") to MedicineNet, you grant MedicineNet permission to use, copy, transmit, publish, display, edit and modify your Submission in connection with its Web site. MedicineNet will not pay you for your Submission. You represent that you have all rights necessary for MedicineNet to use your Submission as set forth above.

Please keep these guidelines in mind when writing your comment:

  • Please make sure you address the question asked.
  • Due to the overwhelming number of comments received, not all comments will be published.
  • When selecting comments to publish, our staff will choose those that are educational and complement the topic. Please try to stay on topic.
  • Your comment may be edited. We would typically edit comments to make them clearer and more readable. We will remove personal information such as last names, email and web addresses, and other potentially harmful information.
  • We will not notify you if your comment has been published. We suggest that you check back on the topic article regularly.
  • We do not provide medical or healthcare advice, treatment, or diagnosis.

Thank you for participating!

I have read and agree to abide by the MedicineNet Terms and Conditions and the MedicineNet Privacy Policy (required).

To prevent our systems from spam, please complete the following prior to submitting your comment.

How is ICU psychosis treated?

The treatment of ICU psychosis clearly depends on the cause(s). Many times the actual cause of the psychosis involves many factors, and many issues will need to be addressed to relieve the symptoms. A first step is a review of the patient's medications. The physician in charge of the patient along with the pharmacist can review each of the patient's medications to determine if they may be influencing the delirium.

Family members, familiar objects, and calm words may help. Sleep deprivation may be a major contributing factor. Therefore, providing a quiet restful environment to allow the patient optimal sleep is important. Controlling the amount of time visitors are allowed to stimulate the patient can also help. Dehydration is remedied by administering fluids. Heart failure requires treatment with digitalis. Infections must be diagnosed and treated. Sedation with anti-psychotic agents may help. A common medication used in the hospital setting to treat ICU psychosis is haloperidol or other medications for psychosis (antipsychotics).

It should be understood that in saving a life in the critical environment, ICU psychosis sometimes may be a small price to pay for cutting edge, precise medical life-saving measures.

Return to ICU Psychosis

See what others are saying

Comment from: Richnurse61, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: August 16

ICU psychosis is very real and frightening. I myself went through it as I spent 2 weeks in ICU. I just thank my family and the staff at the hospital that they were very strong and aware of what was going on. I was having hallucinations to the point where I was seeing little men crawling out behind my message board, and I was verbally aggressive towards some staff and my family. I am generally very laid back and easy to get along with. At times I would look over the side of my bed and it looked as if I was looking down an elevator shaft, other times it appeared as if the room had shifted. I was having delusions and apparently the staff had considered calling security 3 times, and even considered a medical coma to prevent me from harming anyone. Heaven forbid, I couldn't forgive myself if I did. I spoke to my lovely wife of 32 years in a horrific manner and would probably have killed myself if she had followed through on my terrible request. And to my mother who often sat and prayed at my bedside, I am true sorry. I am back to my ole happy self now but still want to give a big shout out to the great staff doctors and nurses who provided exemplary care.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: miki_p, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: May 23

I underwent open thorax surgery to repair a congenital heart defect and the day after surgery experienced an episode of severe paranoia or ICU psychosis where I demanded that the surgeon administer my medications as I thought the nursing staff was trying to poison me because I reported a nursing error (actual error but minor). The episode resolved itself after 4 or 5 hours.

Was this comment helpful?Yes

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors