Lethargy (synonym: lethargic sleep , imaginary death, small life) is a state of pathological sleep, accompanied by a more or less pronounced weakening of the physical manifestations of life, a significant decrease in metabolism, a weakening or complete lack of response to irritation. The degree of depth of lethargy can be extremely different. In mild cases, there is only a stillness with eyes closed, even breathing and muscle relaxation. Sometimes there is a slight tremor in the eyelids and rolling of the eyeballs. There are a number of more severe forms of lethargy, difficult to distinguish from death, when the physiological manifestations of life are made barely perceptible. It is widely believed that some of these patients were mistaken for the dead and prematurely buried. It has not been reliably established yet. In fact, it is always possible to establish the presence or absence of life.
Attacks of lethargy usually occur suddenly, often after intense agitation, and also cease abruptly. The duration of lethargy is from several minutes and hours to several days. Lethargy is most common in hysteria, both in the form of independent attacks and in connection with hysterical seizures. Lethargy can be induced artificially by hypnosis . Sometimes lethargy occurs against the background of a pronounced physical exhaustion - after childbirth, blood loss, etc. The patient in a state of lethargy should be immediately brought to the doctor. Most often, lethargy is not a life-threatening condition, and only observation is necessary. In cases where lethargy occurs due to somatic illness, therapy of the latter is necessary.