February 4, 2024

Although not an illness in itself, agitation frequently goes hand in hand with a number of illnesses and mood disorders. Those suffering from it will experience high levels of feeling aggravated and for extended periods of time – far more than their peers may do.

What Is Agitation?

Agitation is a feeling of uneasiness, aggravation or restlessness that can be brought on by little or no provocation. It is usually accompanied by physical actions such as wringing of the hands or pacing, or talking excessively, which are known as psychomotor agitation.

What is the Cause of Agitation?

Feeling agitated is a perfectly normal human response in many cases – for example when you’re under stress or feeling ill it’s common to experience a degree of agitation in various situations. It’s that feeling of being wound up, or tense or irritable. But some people will experience feeling agitated for no obvious reason or more regularly than normal and this is when it becomes more of a concern – it may even point to any underlying mental health or medical condition.

This level of agitation can often occur alongside a range of cognitive illnesses, including Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia, bipolar disorder, depression, autism, alcohol dependency and hormonal imbalances.

Agitation can be a sign of a psychiatric emergency – and one that requires swift treatment for a psychological disorder.

As with many mental health issues, our knowledge of the condition is limited. Most likely it is a result of abnormalities in the brain’s neurotransmitters.

What are the Symptoms of Agitation?

A person experiencing agitation will have a range of internal emotions – such as restlessness, irritation, anxiety and unease. This may lead to short tempers and irrational or hostile behaviour. As people get more agitated, they may begin to shout and threaten other people. As well as this people tend to experience physical symptoms, typically pacing, rocking, talking quickly, fidgeting, hand wringing or other repetitive movements.

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