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accompanying them are merely must of course affect the whole sys symptoms of a disordered body; tem, and if suffered to continue its that these complaints can in most deleterious influence, as it too frecases be traced in their progressive quently is, the secretions become march from bad to worse, unequal greatly impaired, the liver, especialas their steps may sometimes be, ly, is disordered, inducing the even to their termination, as clearly whole train of bilious complaints. as most other chronic diseases ; and In the early stages of the disease, that few maladies are more difficult when indigestion forms its worst to cure than these. We state their feature, well regulated exercise and beginning in the majority of instan. freedom from corroding cares and ces to be indigestion ; or, as it is passions, will usually restore the fashionably termed, dyspepsia, a tone of the system. But when term, by the way, too limited to the bilious system becomes much designate the Protean forms of these affected, the complaint puts on a diseases in their more advanced more threatening and obstinate stages.* This imperfect digestion form and is not easily subdued. It
now advances with a more rapid * It is a fact worthy of notice, that
step towards its termination. Its physicians have never yet been able to in
next attack is frequently upon one vent any name for nervous maladies, that of the three grand centres of life, convey any just notions of their nature: the heart, the brain, or the lungs. all their multiform titles, in medical as Fatal diseases of the heart do not so well as common language, expressing frequently result from this cause ; merely one or more of the symptoms.“ Of all these designations," says Dr. John- yet angina pectoris, Ossincation, and son, “ Indigestion has been the most cardi hepatic diseases, are somehackneyed title, and it is in my opinion, times thus induced. When the the most erroneous. The very worst brain is thus attacked, apoplexy forms of the disease," (ex. gr. hypochon
of the worst kind, epilepsy, dropsy driasis and melancholy,) "forms in which the body is tortured for years, and of
of the brain, and palsy, not unfrethe mind ultimately wrecked, often ex- quently end the scene. A disease hibit no sign or proof of indigestion ; the of the lungs, however, either habitappetite being good, the digestion com ual asthma, or the pulmonary con. plete, and the alvine evacuations natural. Nearly the same objection lies against
sumption, technically called dysthe term dyspepsia, or difficult digestion.
peptic phthisis,) is the most freThe train of symptoms exhibited in indi. quent termination of the dyspeptic's gestion, or dyspepsia, is only one feature, protracted sufferings. (a very common one I grant,) of the
But there are other important orProtean malady under consideration ;
gans besides the three above menand by no means the most distressing one. The term hypochondriasis conveys
tioned, that often become the seat no just idea of the nature of the disease, though a group of some of its more com- spleen, vapours, melancholy, nervousness, mon phenomena is usually understood irritability, mental despondency,&c.I need by that term. Many of the most exqui- only say that they are forms or features of site specimens of hypochondiracism are a disorder that assumes almost all forms. unattended with indigestion. The mind Hence my sagacious friend, Dr. Marshall is affected no doubt; but only in a sec- Hall, not inaptly applied to this class, the ondary manner. Bilious disorder is a generic name Mimoses or imitators; an term equally vague and equally errone. appellation which is very significant, but neous as the others. Derangement of which, of course conveys no idea of the the biliary secretion is a frequent concom. nature of the malady.”—Essay on the itant, perhaps a frequent cause or con- Morbid Sensibility of the Stomach and séquence of the malady, but it is by no Bowels, p. 53. The title of this work means always present, and when present shows that Dr. Johnson has added anothit is only one feature of the disease, and er, to the long list of names, applied to does not constitute its nature or essence. these disorders. With what success we Of the various other designations, as leave to the profession to decide,
of fatal diseases induced by nervous cing. And then the disorder goes maladies. In one case inflamma- on, in the manner we have descrition of the liver comes on; in an- bed, to its terinination. Sometimes other, dropsy, in another, gravel, too, as in some cases of hypochonin another, colick, and in some ca- driasis and melancholy, neither the ses where no particular organ is digestive nor biliary organs sufier attacked, the patient sinks under much : but the seat of the comuniversal debility. Indeed, we plaint appears to be in the nerves
comprehend a plurality of the dis. For proof of the correctness of eases to which the human frame is this general view of the nature, liable. “ It (disorder in the diges- progress, and consequences, of ner. tive organs,) may produce,” says yous diseases, we refer to the mod. Mr. Abernethy, “in the nervous ern standard works that treat of system, a diminution of the func- these complaints. Let any one tions of the brain, or a state of exci- read such works as Philip on Inditation causing delirium ; partialner gestion, Johnson on the Derange. vous inactivity and insensibility, or ment of the Liver, and Hall on the the opposite state of irritation and Mimoses, or Trotter on the Nervous pain. It may produce, in the mus. Temperament, and he cannot supcular system, weakness, tremors, pose that the statement above givand palsy; or the contrary affect- en is exaggerated. Indeed, so far tions of spasm and convulsions. It as we have examined, without premay excite fever, by disturbing the tending to a professional knowledge action of the sanguiferous system ; of the subject, we have met with and cause various local diseases, by no respectable medical writer, of the nervous irritation which it pro- modern times, who does not give a duces and by the weakness which view of this subject essentially cois consequent on nervous disor- inciding with that above expressed. der or imperfect chylification. Or If these views are correct, we see if local diseases occur in a consti- the error of a very prevalent opintution deranged in the manner ion, that dyspeptics should not be which I have described, they will encouraged or permitted, to read become peculiar in their nature medical works. The objection is, and progress, and difficult of cure." that they will fancy themselves to
“ Patients,” says Dr. Whytt, be labouring under every disease “after having been long afflicted of which they read a description. with many of these symptons, some. We are aware that something of times fall into melancholy, mad- this kind has sometimes happened, ness, the black jaundice, dropsy, even to a ludicrous extent. tympany, phthisis pulmonalis, pal. But the mistake results from igsy, apoplexy, or some other fatal norance. The person does not disorder."
know the disorder under which he It is not, however, always the labours. Let then, some expericase, that nervous disorders com- enced friend inform the young dyzmence in what are usually called peptic of the real nature of his comthe digestive organs. The liver is plaint, and direct him to the most not unfrequently the original seat approved treatises on the subject. of the disease. In such a case the He will not then be so liable to im. digestive organs cannot long re- agine that every slight pain he main unaffected ; when we have feels is the attack of some terrific at once, the combined affection of and immediately fatal disease. He these different parts, which simple will learn, that although he has a dyspepsia would be long in produ- malady upon him, that may, if not
cured, terminate fatally : yet, that the point. “It is well known," it is usually one of the slowest of says he, “ that nervous affections disorders in its progress, and apt to will, if I may use the expression, produce needless apprehensions in mimic the symptoms of almost evthe patient. And, what is of more ery disease, but it does not seem to consequence, he will learn the be generally admitted, though I proper mode of treating his com- think we have sufficient proof of the plaint so as to effect a cure. He fact, that is this mimic disease be will find that this does not consist kept up for a certain length of in a perpetual round of emetics and time, it will be converted into the cathartics, to which dyspeptics real disease, let the cause which usually resort, but rather in well produced it be what it may." To regulated exercise, in rigid temper- the same effect is the following ance, and in freedom from violent from Dr. Trotter. “I have fore. emotions and restless passions, borne" says he, "to mention many Can it be possible the nervous in- of those idle stories, which some valid should not profit by such in- authors take delight in telling, as formation as this? Must it not the effect of extravagant illusions of tend to lessen, instead of increas- fancy, which nervous people are ing, his unreasonable apprehen- said to be subject to. I hold their sions? We do not believe in the whole complaints to have a real exreputed efficacy of ignorance, in istence, &c.” Take also the folhealing the disorders of the body, lowing, from the very able work of any more than in curing the mala. Dr. James Johnson, “ On Derangedies of the mind. We believe, that ment of the Liver, Internal Organs, many a man, by remaining ignorant and Nervous System.” “ Those of the nature and proper treatment symptoms denominated nervous" of his complaints, has suffered ner says he," are so irregular and vous affections to fix themselves so anomalous, that it is exceedingly firmly in his constitution, that no difficult to embody them in a conskill could eradicate them : and, if nected view, or even to enumerwe mistake not, the church, from ate them ; in fact, they unite with this very cause, is now mourning the greatest exactness, the sympover not a few of her most valuable toms of almost every other disease ; ministers, the early victims of these and there are few chronic dorange. insidious disorders.
ments, whether of function or of We have alluded to the fact, structure, with which they are not that persons of a disordered ner- more or less blended or associated. vous temperament occasionally Their principal force, however, is fancy themselves attacked by al- in the line of the digestive organs, most every species of disease. This froin which they appear to radicate is generally supposed to be an idle in every direction, to the various and utterly groundless fear. But other organs and tissues throughout let us see whether justice is done the body.”_" So closely do the to the dyspeptic by the ridicule nervous, or sympathetic, imitate or. that is commonly cast upon his ap- ganic derangements, that medical prehensions. The extract we have men themselves are often deceived made from the writings of Mr. Ab- by the similitude, and how much ernethy, proves the constant ten- more prone to error must the hy. dency of nervous diseases to other pochondriac be, whose whole nermore severe and dangerous com- vous system is unpoised ; where the plaints. We quote another remark sensations are conveyed to the senfrom Dr. Philip, a witness of the sorium irregularly, and there make highest authority, more directly to the most exaggerated impressions."
The truth is, after these complaints we believe too severe judgment is have made a certain progress, there passed upon nervous people. We is a constant tendency in the sys. refer to their fickleness : particu. tem towards the organic disease ; larly in regard to the remedies they that is, such disease as will destroy employ for their disorders. They the structure of some particular or are very apt to find out a great ma. gan, and may prove fatal; and this ny specifics ; medicines or modes tendency appears to be directed of treatment, that are working won. sometimes towards one organ, and ders in their behalf. But let a sometimes towards another. We month or two, or, at most, a year have often regarded the constitu. pass away, and you hear no more of tion of the dyspeptic, as a besieged the medicine whose efficacy was so citadel. To day, the enemy pushenthusiastically sounded : for a new es his assault against one point ; favourite has succeeded to the old, and to-morrow against another ; al. to be displaced ere long by another, ways selecting, if he can, the weak. and this by a third, and so on to the est. At one time his whole ener- end of life. gies are directed against the heart, Now these so frequent changes and then appear palpitation, dys- of opinion, are usually regarded as phæa, and the symptoms of angina altogether the result of unreason. pectoris. At another time he as. able inconsistency, and thought to saults the brain ; and then come on be a lawful mark for the shafts of the premonitions of delirium, epi- wit and ridicule. But we believe lepsy, palsy, and apoplexy. When that this peculiar conduct is not the lungs are assailed, the cough, wholly to be imputed to mere nerthe hectic, and the laborious breath- vous fiekleness, although we do ing of asthma and consumption suc. not deny that this is one of the sympceed. Resisted by these organs, toms of these complaints. But it others are beset, and the symptoms is also a characteristic of nervous of correspondent diseases appear. disorders, to be continually chang. So long as there is energy enough ing their aspect and their points of in the constitution to repel these attack. They usually begin, as we assaults, the threatening symptoms have already stated, in the digest. of the several diseases gradually ive organs; but they ere long reach disappear; and thus give rise to every part of the system, exhibiting the opinion that all was merely the new symptoms, and requiring new illusion of imagination. But worn methods of treatment at almost ev. out at length by long protracted re- ery change. “In every stage of sistance, some one point gives way the disease,” says Dr. Philip, and speedily the whole city is laid “there is endless variety, and the in ruins.
more nearly it approaches to its faWhile, therefore, we admit that tal termination, the more its differthe nervous invalid is prone to un- ent cases assume the appearance of reasonable alarıns, and often mis- disease, which have nothing in comtakes the symptoms of disease, we mon.” In regard to the remedies must admit also, that he labours to be employed in the different staunder at least the mimic symptoms ges, he remarks : “ In the first of many of the most terrible disor- stage,* the debility of the nervous ders to which the human frame is subject. We appeal, therefore, to * We are aware, that all physicians do the moral sense of our readers, not believe there are three stages of india whether it is right to treat all his gestion, so distinctly marked, as Dr. Philapprehensions as mere phantasms
ip represents; but we believe all admit
" the progressive march of the disorder," of the brain.
and the ever varying character of its There is another respect in which synptoms.
and muscular powers of the stom- pose that what cured him, will cure ach, is to be counteracted by atten- others. Every such person theretion to diet and exercise, and a fore, will be forward in urging other proper use of aperient,stimulant,and dyspeptics to try his particular spetonic medicines ; and, in propor- cific medicine ; whereas, it may tion as it is relieved, the sympathet. be ten or twenty years too late for ic affections which depend on it such a remedy. It often happens disappear."
that the invalid is urged by fifty of “ In the second stage, it is ne. his acquaintances, in one year, to cessary to obviate the inflammatory make trial of as many prescriptions, tendency, and only to employ the of whose efficacy they have no means suited to the first stage, as doubt, while these very friends are far as they are compatible with this blaming and ridiculing the man for object; while our attention must his immoderate use of medicines. now at the same time be directed We have sometimes seen a smile to the parts sympathetically affect playing upon the countenance, ed, in which, from the longer con- even of a lank and gloomy dyspeptinuance of deranged function, and tic of twenty years experience, the inflammatory tendency prevail. when listening to the dogmatical ing throughout the system, the sym- prescriptions of some forward and pathetic begins to be changed into robust adviser, real disease."
“In fair round belly, with good capon From these statements it appears lin'd. that in nervous complaints a reme. “But after all,” says some one, dy may be very salutary one month “ dreadful as you have described or year, and wholly inefficacious, or these disorders to be, yet no body even injurious, the next. In such dies of them. They are rarely if ever cases, it seems, therefore, that the named in the bills of mortality, and invalid has very good reason, not although they may be unpleasant, only to moderate his enthusiasm for as they are not dangerous, they dea favourite medicine, but utterly to serve little sympathy." Let us hear discard it and seek out another. the opinion of two experienced phyAnd we ought to be well assured sicians upon this subject. that such is not the case, in every “I may be told” says Dr. Trotinstance of the like change, before ter,“ that these diseases are not very we make the dyspeptic's fickleness dangerous, and very seldom prothe butt of ridicule.
duce death ; and it may be added, But the nervous have some com- the bills of mortality do not jusplaint, likewise, against the healthy tify my conclusions. These arguon this point. Almost every sed. ments are easily answered. It is entary man knows from his own ex- true, death is seldom put down to perience what are the incipient nervous disorders : but if constant symptoms of dyspepsia. Too much pain, mental disquietude, and apconfinement, intense study, or ap- prehension of dying, are to be conplication to business, or excess in sidered evils in this stage of existeating or drinking, have at par- ence, then are nervous afflictions ticular times, brought on a slight to be held as the chief cause of attack of this complaint. But it them. And it is to be rememberhas readily yielded to an emetic or ed, that the most frightful part of cathartic, with vigorous exercise. the catalogue of diseases, such as Now it is natural for any one who apoplexy, palsy, madness, melanis not acquainted with the chang- choly, epilepsy, convulsions, cola ing character of this disease, to sup- ic, iliac passion, atrophy, and