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Thread: ICU Psychosis

  1. #1

    ICU Psychosis

    My wife believes that her father is suffering from ICU psychosis. He's been in the ICU for over 4 weeks now (C2 complete injury), and his anxiety level and feeling that he's fighting for his life (can't breathe, heart is going to stop, etc) has been increasing. It's especially bad at night and during shift change. Has anyone else experienced this, and what can be done to treat it? I don't know what if anything is being done for it by the hospital staff.

  2. #2
    Senior Member cali's Avatar
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    could be the meds he's on, plus near complete immobility doesn't help anxiety issues. did he ever have anxiety issues before his injury? did this get increasingly worse since he's been there?
    Never take life seriously, nobody gets out alive anyway

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  3. #3
    At C2, he might very well not be able to breathe on his own; still, dealing with the anxiety will be important.
    Daniel

  4. #4
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    I had issues with that as well. My husband and daughter (one at a time) spent a few nights with me. That helped, as the lack of sleep compounded it.
    T7-8 since Feb 2005

  5. #5
    As far as I know he never had any anxiety issues before, he's very sound mentally and exceptionally intelligent. Yes, the anxiety has been getting progressively worse. Regarding meds, they're giving him vicodin for headaches (he won't take morphine), a blood thinner (don't know the name); that's all I know for sure. I'll need to find out more specifics.

  6. #6
    Senior Member cali's Avatar
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    meds and immobility plus thinking about his life and how to deal with the change al could be part.
    Never take life seriously, nobody gets out alive anyway

    Frank's blog:
    http://www.franktalk-scurry.blogspot.com
    My regular blog:
    http://www.ithinkithinktoomuchblog.blogspot.com

  7. #7
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    When I had ICU Psychosis they prescribed Haldol (Haloperidol). I was C5,C6,C7.

  8. #8
    I still don't know what was psychosis and what was real. Every night these ppl came to get me, took me to xray, wanted to remove my c-collar but I wouldn't let them without dr.'s permission, which they never had. This happened 3 or 4 times. Mysteriously, all my x-rays from that hospital have vanished.

    It was a teaching hospital, they said they needed the x-rays for some project. I was cool w/ that, just not w/ removing my c-collar. It was plastic, why would they have needed to remove it? Why didn't they just get Dr. Hsu's permission?

    Did this really happen? It sure is vivid in my mind.

    I do know the black holes on the acoustic ceiling tiles weren't really little villagers that got progressively meaner. I even knew that then, but they were still scary.

    I do know I was in a ward w like 20 other ppl, all gorked but me and 1 guy who was gunshot. I waved at him, he waved back. Then they took him away (to surgery, I think) and he was gorked too, afterwards.

    I really recommend a clock that says am and pm, for ICU patients. It's all so disorienting.

    Sorry your family is going thru this.

  9. #9
    Wow, thanks for all the replies. So from the responses thus far (and from reading one of the similar threads) it seems like this is something that happens to a lot of people, is often more severe than what my FIL is experiencing, and you pretty much just have to work through it until it runs its course (kinda like a bad acid trip). I'll ask about the Haloperidol, although he's not having any crazy hallucinations (yet) so maybe he doesn't need it.

  10. #10
    Junior Member meglovestulips's Avatar
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    I had similar experiences during my stay at the shock trauma center. My motor vehicle accident was August 10th, and I have a C5/6 incomplete injury. I slept about a total of 7 hours during my ~2 week stay. I was on all sorts of medication (including ambien). I already had anxiety issues prior to the injury, and as others have mentioned, the paralysis and immobility only heightened my already high level of anxiety. They would not give me anything for the anxiety, but instead were only trying to manipulate sleep meds. It was horrible. I had some extremely vivid and bizarre hallucinations - about the facility, the staff, you name it.

    This facility also did not allow family to stay over night, which I feel is a big mistake. If I had a family member stay with me, it would have been a different experience - and I might have gotten the needed rest and sleep, as it would have helped to alleviate many of my anxieties. Things were compounded for me at the time because I was intubated, and then had a trach, and so I couldn't even communicate any of this.

    Maybe they can treat the anxiety, and this will help to alleviate some of his symptoms.

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