lethargy(redirected from lethargies)
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a morbid condition similar to sleep and characterized by immobility, absence of reactions to external stimuli, and marked weakening of all external signs of life (mors putativa).
Even the most extreme cases of lethargy can be distinguished from death, thereby precluding the possibility of erroneous burial of the living. Lethargy may be seen in hysteria, general exhaustion, and after intense agitation. An attack is sudden and lasts several hours to many days. Consciousness is usually retained: the patients perceive and remember what is happening around them but they do not react to it. The torpor associated with encephalitis and narcolepsy should be distinguished from lethargy.