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150 years ago: Insanity and general debility. Practitioner June 2020;264(1838):29

150 years ago: Insanity and general debility

22 Jun 2020Registered users

IN 83 OF THE LAST 100 cases in my case book for the asylum, whose disease was under six months’ duration, there were symptoms of bodily disorder that could be directly connected with the psychical symptoms. One bodily disorder accompanying insanity I call ‘general debility’(13 of the 100 cases). There is great emaciation, no vigour or ability for bodily exertion, languor, and a sense of prostration. The mental symptoms in these cases are generally those of melancholy and depression of mind. There is often a sluggishness in the performance of even the organic bodily functions – a slow pulse, costive bowels, a weak circulation in the extremities, with cold feet, blue hands, and pinched features. This is without organic disease of any kind.

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