3 D’s

Delirium Depression Dementia
1 Speed of onset Acute/ fast Slow but can be triggered by life events Slow
2 Signs and Symptoms Inattention


Worse at night and early morning

Symptoms fluctuate

Perception distorted have delusions and hallucinations

Easily distracted

Lethargic or

hyper vigilant


Feeling blue

Loss of interest and pleasure

Lack of self care

Decrease in appetite


Memory loss

Gradual impairment of ADL skills, communication,

Change in behaviour

Slow steady decline

Often worse in the morning

3 Treatment Treat the cause

Provide environmental support

Can resolve in hours to one month


Cognitive therapy

Medication in early stages can slow progress in some people

Irreversible no treatment

4 Prognosis Good if treated early Usually mood can be improved Gradual worsening of condition until death


Adapted from: 3 D’s

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