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Other Causes of Insanity

Category: Diseases of The Nervous System

Imperfect Nutrition. Whatever tends to weaken
the brain or exhaust the central forces of life must favor the growth of
insanity. The brain is not properly nourished.

Blows and Falls upon the Head. Sometimes such injuries are forgotten, but
they result infrequently in stealthily developed, but none the less
dangerous, conditions, which may result in the derangement of all mental
faculties. A child should not be struck on the head. Teachers or parents
should not box a child's ears. One author says such a person "is guilty of
slow murder of innocents."

Fright is Another Cause. Punishing a child by locking it in a dark room
or by "stories of greedy bears or grinning ghosts produces, oftentimes, a
mental shock that makes a child wretched in early life, and drives him
into insanity at a later date." Overtaxing the undeveloped physical powers
is another cause.

Insanity is most Prevalent among the Working Classes. Our factories,
shops and stores frequently employ the young of both sexes and they are
overtaxed by day and night and they become feeders of our hospitals for
the insane. Another cause is forced education in the young. Our present
school system tends to break down the body. The work may not be too hard,
but the amount of anxiety and worry, which this work causes in the minds
of sensitive children, tends to enfeeble them. Many children are
sensitive, with nervous temperaments, and they are easily affected by the
strain of mental toil. Delicate children should be kept in the open air
and their physical condition should be considered more than their mental.
Girls, especially, at the age of puberty, should be built up instead of
rushed through a heavy routine of study. Herbert Spencer says: "On old and
young the pressure of modern life puts a still increasing strain. Go where
you will, and before long there comes under your notice cases of children,
or youths of either sex, more or less injured by undue study." Here, to
recover from a state of debility thus produced, a year's vacation has been
found necessary. There you will find a chronic congestion of the brain
that has already lasted many months and threatens to last much longer. Now
you hear of a fever that has resulted from the over excitement, in some
way, brought on at school. And, again, the instance is that of a youth who
has already had to desist from his studies, and who, since he has returned
to them is frequently taken out of his class in a fainting fit.

Social pleasure also tends to weaken the system of parents who produce
nervous and weakened children. Another great cause of insanity is the
unnatural, improper and excessive use of the sexual organs, and diseases
that often come from indiscriminate sexual relations. General paresis is
very often caused by specific disease. I might go on and enlarge upon
these causes, but enough has been written to give warning to those who are
breaking nature's laws.

Classification. There are many classifications. I will mention only the
leading names, such as Melancholia, Mania. Dementia, General Paresis.

Next: MELANCHOLIA (Sad Mania)

Previous: Causes of Insanity

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