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Mental confusion facts for kids

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Mental diseases. A text-book of psychiatry for medical students and practitioners (1913) (14592359607)
Image from a medical textbook in 1913 showing a confused woman.

Mental confusion (often simply called confusion) is a symptom. People suffering from it have problems finding their way around in the world. They have troubles remembering who they are, where they are, or what time (or day of the week) it is. Additionally, they may have trouble remembering things or memorizing new things. This may be linked to problems focusing their attention. Confusion can also be a sign of someone being sick with various illnesses when it's coupled with things like fever, chills, or exhaustion.

Medical causes of confusion

Confusion can be caused by many different medical problems.

There are both acute and chronic causes of confusion.

Acute causes of confusion

Acute causes of confusion usually come on suddenly, and doctors may be able to fix some of them.

In medicine, the acronym AEIOU-TIPS is used to remember the most common causes of confusion that comes on suddenly (over hours or days, not years):

Confusion can also happen when the brain is not getting enough blood and oxygen. For example, this can happen because of:

Chronic causes of confusion

Chronic causes of confusion usually come on less suddenly and last for a long time (months or years). For example:

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