Diseases of the Nervous System.
HEADACHE, is a Symptom, not a disease. Among the principal causes of headache are indigestion especially from rich or fried foods, or bolting one's food; constipation; excessive headwork or work where light or ventilation is poor; defective vision, with resulting eve strain; the use of stimulants including tea, coffee and patent medicines; sexual excesses; hysteria; excessive grief or anger; rheumatism; general debility; nasal catarrh; diseases of the liver, kidneys or generative organs; in women, suppressed monthly flow from getting wet or cold; syphilis; malaria; sleeping in a hot or badly ventilated room, and many acute diseases.
Try to discover, and when possible, remove the cause.
Belladonna. Congestive or nervous headache; intense pain in forehead, temples and eyes, worse from slightest jar, motion. touch, noise or light; flushed face, hot head, throbbing in the temples.
Ignatia. Nervous headache from grief, anxiety; generally one sided as if a nail were driven into the head; periodical attacks in sensitive or hysterical women; face pale.
Gelsemium. Dull, heavy pain, extending from the nape of the neck to the top of the head; dimness of sight or double vision; giddiness; pressure on top of head; eyes heavy; full pulse; feeling of exhaustion.
Bryonia. Rheumatic headache in cold, damp weather with bursting, splitting pains in forehead somewhat relieved by pressure, worse from stooping or motion; irritability; fits of anger; sometimes bilious vomiting.
Cimicifuga. Headache from loss of sleep, mental strain, or worry; dull, pressive ache from back of head to forehead and eyeballs; racking pain in bones of skull; headache at monthly period with bruised pain in small of back.
Glonoine. Congestive headache from heat, as a hot kitchen or exposure to sun; severe throbbing, pulsating pains, with fullness, pressure and dizziness.
Irir Versicolor. Sick headache, with blur before the eyes, followed by nausea and bilious vomiting; dull, throbbing or shooting pains in forehead; headache recurs about once so often; "school teacher's headache."
Nux Vomica. Sick headache from wine, coffee, patent medicine, sedentary habits, or mental application; the sufferer wakes up with it, or it begins early in the day and increases; nausea; sour, bitter vomiting; constipation; symptoms worse from noise and after eating.
Silicea. Chronic, persistent ache beginning in upper part of spine or nape of neck and extending over head; scalp often very sensitive; pain worse from noise, jarring or mental or physical exertion; better from warmth; "bookkeeper's headache."
Also Coffee for headache with great nervousness, wakefulness, pains seem unbearable, mind very active; useless for coffee drinkers. Pulsatilla. Headache from suppression of monthly flow or copious leucorrhea; from eating greasy food, rich pastry or ice cream. Podophyllum. Morning headache, with pain or soreness in liver; yellowish diarrhea; giddiness, and heat and fullness in top of head. Aconite. Headache from simple cold in the head, and Hypericum for stitching pains or throbbing following a bad shaking up from a fall, blow on the head; eyes sore.
In congestive headaches the application to the forehead of small pieces of cotton cloth wrung out in cold or ice water (cold compresses), and of hot water bottles to the feet, often gives partial relief. A vegetable diet is often helpful to those subject to periodical sick headaches. Hot, dry flannels, a hot bag of salt or hops, or a hot water bottle lessen the pain in neuralgic and catarrhal headaches. A small cup of hot, strong coffee for non coffee drinkers sometimes relieves faintness and nausea of headaches. Keep quiet and away from the light; eat simple food; keep the bowels open. Massage and electricity are helpful in headaches from exhaustion and nervousness; also beef and iron, and malt and cod liver oil when there is general debility. Take a dose of the indicated remedy every fifteen or twenty minutes during the attack; increase the intervals as pain lessens.
FAILURE, or loss of memory may be the result of so many different causes that to enumerate them all would be impossible. Whatever impairs the nutrition of the brain, as an acute fever, severe mental shock, the trance state of hysteria, the use of alcohol, etc., impairs memory. Diseases of the brain itself, as meningitis, hemorrhage, softening of the brain substance or the formation of a tumor, affecting memory. Weak memory may be a passing and temporary condition, as when it occurs during convalescence from an exhausting disease, or may be permanent as in degenerative conditions embracing some form of insanity. Sexual excesses and perversions impair the memory often very seriously.
It is not to be supposed that remedies can be recommended to cure any case regardless of its origin. It should be remembered that weak memory or loss of memory is a symptom, and not the diseased condition itself. A specialist in nervous or mental diseases must frequently be consulted. A few remedies will be suggested for weakness of the memory due to the simpler causes.
Nux Vom. Weak memory in those using alcoholic beverages to excess, or who are closely confined to mental work, who have stomach and liver troubles; cannot think correctly; sleepy after meals, but sleepless at night or have dreamy sleep, and are wide awake at 2 or 3 A. M. for an hour or two.
Phosphoric Acid. Weakness of memory; patient finds it difficult to comprehend things; incapacity for thought; disinclination to talk; vertigo; frequent, profuse, and debilitating emissions; weak memory after sexual excesses.
Anacardium .Great weakness of memory, especially as regards single names, worse forenoons; vanishing of thought; headache with great irritability; brain fag.
China. Weak memory after exhausting diarrhea, or loss of blood; after sexual excesses or masturbation; slow flow of ideas; difficulty in arranging thoughts; reverses words; easily thrown out by others talking.
Opium. Loss of memory or weak memory from fright; great confusion, dullness and heaviness of the head, making thought and writing difficult, or give Aconite when there is weak memory from fright, with great timidity, fear of death, fear of the dark, etc.; excessive restlessness., variable humor, gayety then dejection; vertigo with nausea.
Ignatia. Weak memory following ,suppressed grief, disappointment in love, etc.; much brooding over troubles in sensitive, changeable persons.
A dose of the indicated remedy twice a day. Improve the general health by rest, fresh air, and attention to all the laws of hygienic living.
Vertigo. Swimming of the Head.
VERTIGO may be due to derangements of the stomach or liver, diarrhea, constipation, loss of vital fluids, hard study, defective vision, diseases of the brain, heart disease, nervousness, epilepsy, malaria, general debility, many contagious diseases, old age, the excessive use of tobacco or drugs. Continual vertigo after heavy meals or considerable exercise is frequently a danger signal of apoplexy. Vertigo is a symptom of some disease or derangement of the functions of the body.
Nux Vom. Vertigo after using alcohol or carbonated drinks, much tea, coffee, or tobacco; vertigo from overeating, constipation, excessive mental exertion accompanied by debility.
Phosphorus. Vertigo when there is great nervousness; uncertainty in walking or standing, and the sufferer feels as if drunk, walks with legs far apart or takes short strides; dullness and confused feeling in head; much debility; vertigo worse after meals and sleep, vertigo from sexual excesses.
Digitalis. Vertigo with heart trouble; tendency to faintness and breathlessness; some palpitation; slow, feeble pulse; anxiety and weak memory.
Conium. Vertigo in feeble, old people, especially on rising in the morning and when walking; weakness of vision; staggering, uncertain gait; vertigo from masturbation.
Also China for vertigo following profuse bleeding or diarrhea. Aconite. Vertigo from rush of blood to the head, worse after stooping, nausea; full pulse. Cocculus for vertigo from riding in the cars or a carriage; from seasickness. Arsenicum, when vertigo is due to malarial surroundings, bad air in work shops, from cesspools, lack of ventilation, etc. Glonoine, where head is affected by the sun or other intense heat.
When the system is debilitated, build it up by outdoor life and simple, nourishing, food. Do not use alcoholic beverages. Find what causes the vertigo. Avoid excitement, overwork or overexertion. The acute cases a dose of the indicated remedy every half hour or hour, in chronic cases, four times a day.
Anxiety, over fatigue, nervous prostration, excessive labor, mental or physical, fright, excitement, tea, coffee and other stimulants, including tobacco, may cause sleeplessness, also too little fresh air and exercise, eating a hearty meal in the evening, pregnancy and many diseases.
Coffee. When the patient is quiet and sleepless; the senses all acute; distant noises are heard with great distinctness; the mind is active and busied with plans; next day brain fag, and dull headache. Also, for wakefulness and fretfulness in nervous children. A dose four times a day. Useless for coffee drinkers.
Nux Vom. Sleepy in the evening; falls asleep in his chair and upon going to bed; wakes before daylight; drowses, and rises with headache, and more tired than upon going to bed. Often associated with constipation or indigestion. A dose four times a day.
Belladonna. Especially for children, who start up in fright just as going to sleep, or who wake and cry out suddenly during the night; restlessness; bad dreams. A dose four times a day.
Sulphur. The patient sleeps in " cat naps"; the least noise awakens and there is great difficulty in getting to sleep again. A dose morning and night.
Hyoscyamus. Drowsy but cannot sleep, or twitches and talks in sleep, dreams bad dreams, awakes with a start and frightened, thinks there is something or somebody in the room. A dose four times a day.
Remove the cause if possible. Sleeplessness from nervousness and exhaustion will be benefited by a drive or open car ride in warm weather in the evening, retiring immediately on returning to the house. A cold douche along the spine in the morning followed by friction and warm sponge bath at bedtime, with open windows in bedroom all night will be helpful. No late dinner but a glass of warm milk, malted milk or grape juice before retiring if faint. Massage is excellent. Avoid excitement or mental exertion in the evening, late hours, soft beds and too many bedclothes; sleep alone.
Rush of Blood to the Head. Hyperemia of the Brain.
Rush of blood to the bead is not uncommon in full blooded persons, but exactly similar sensations may be experienced by persons in a debilitated, ill nourished condition. Hyperemia of the brain is a symptom, and may be associated with many diseases, but in general we may say the normal circulation or nutrition of the brain is interfered with. The attacks may be acute or chronic, and may precede, accompany, or follow other illness. The symptoms may be learned from the indications given for the use of the following remedies:
Aconite is the remedy for acute congestion resulting from cold or violent emotion, with hot, dry skin, full, bounding pulse.
Belladonna. Face red and congested; eyes red; aversion to light and sensitiveness to least noise; sudden starts and jerks; tendency to delirium. Especially indicated for children.
Glonoine. Sudden and intense congestion, with violent headache, and absence of fever, especially after heatstroke, or after suppression of the monthly flow, with great giddiness, throbbing and roaring in the ears.
Veratrum Vir. Rush of blood to the head with fever; headache; violent throbbing of the arteries in the neck; sensitiveness to sound and light; flushed face; tingling and prickling in lower limbs; full, hard, bounding pulse.
Gelsemium in recent cases of congestion with a dull, heavy, besotted expression of countenance; eyes heavy and bloodshot; dizziness; pulse full and round, but not hard like the aconite pulse.
Also Arnica when from an injury, or from excessive exercise, with much vertigo. Ferrum Phos. when congestion of the head is followed by nosebleed. Nux Vom. after indulgence in stimulants, and in chronic cases where there is much mental exertion or a sedentary life.
In ordinary cases not due to overexertion or heat stroke take moderate out of door exercise; breathing exercises morning and night, inhaling a full breath gradually through the nose and expiring forcibly; cold sponge baths in the morning; warm foot baths; massage and electricity. The diet should be simple and overeating must be avoided. Use no coffee or alcohol; refrain from sexual intercourse; drink plenty of water; find out if you have any disease of the heart or kidneys. In acute cases take a dose of the indicated remedy every half hour for several doses, then lengthen the intervals; in chronic cases, a dose every two or three hours.
Delirium Tremens. DrunkardŐs Delirium.
Mania a Potu.
ALTHOUGH this section deals with an extreme manifestation and result of the habitual use of liquor, it is regarded as important to point out wherein a "plain drunk" may be differentiated from a person suffering from an apoplectic stroke; serious mistakes have often occurred. In the person overcome with liquor there is first the .Odor of alcohol; the eyes are bloodshot, the pupils contracted or dilated; breathing is but little different from the normal; usually there is no paralysis; the pulse is frequent and feeble; the person can be temporarily aroused, as a rule, by shaking or holding ammonia to the nose. In apoplexy there is no odor of alcohol; the pupils of the eyes are unequal in size or dilated; breathing is labored and puffy; there is paralysis; absolute unconsciousness; pulse slow, and strong or irregular. For treatment of apoplexy consult the section on that subject, page 202.
Delirium tremens is a condition characterized by constant tremor, great exhaustion, and distressing illusions and hallucinations, resulting either from the prolonged irritation of the brain by alcohol, or from the sudden withdrawal of alcohol from the inebriate. A heavy drinker may develop delirium tremens after a sudden shock, fright, accident, etc., or during an acute disease, especially pneumonia. The premonitory symptoms ordinarily are great restlessness, irritability, depression and sleeplessness. The symptoms during an attack are well described on page 191.
Hyoscyamus, I x. Delirium mixed, changing constantly from one form to another, i. e., patient loquacious, furious, muttering, and incoherent; pulse small and quick, very compressible; skin cold and clammy; pupils of the eyes dilated; patient will not stay in bed.
Antimonium Tart. Much disturbance of the stomach, and ejection of slimy mucus, as when beer has been the intoxicating agent; profuse cold sweats; tongue heavily coated a pasty white or red in streaks; high delirium with obstinate sleeplessness.
Opium .Lethargic condition; loud labored breathing; loss of consciousness and sensation.
Arsenicum. A valuable remedy when there is much irritability of the stomach; diarrhea; frequent passing of urine; muscular tremors; great prostration; also fear, with great anguish and sweat, dread of ghosts, thieves, or of death, and especially of vermin crawling in the bed.
Also Nux Vom. is a most reliable remedy during convalescence and also to ward off an attack; a dose three times a day of the third decimal (3 x). To "sober up" a person who is badly under the influence of liquor, give by mouth one small teaspoonful aromatic Spirits of Amoniam in a little water. A cup of strong black coffee is a great help; repeat the dose if it is vomited. When great difficulty is experienced in giving the indicated remedy and the patient thinks he is going to be poisoned, give at bedtime one full dose of Chloral Hydrate, say thirty grains, rubbed up with equal parts of simple syrup and balsam of peru; this will often induce sleep, and make it much easier to proceed with the regular treatment. Strychnia (1 x) every two hours when the heart's action is weak.
Nourishment is of the greatest importance. Clean out the stomach if necessary by producing vomiting with warm water and mustard, then give strong black coffee to settle the stomach and also to stimulate the patient. Peptonized milk and beef juice given frequently in small quantities are valuable when food is retained with difficulty. Increase nourishment as rapidly as digestion permits, giving egg beaten up in black coffee, strong broths, warm milk, beef tea seasoned with red pepper, eggnogs.
In restraining a patient use as little violence as possible; use tact and humor them in their fancies; a sheet tied across the bed over the patient is better than using direct force. Keep the windows locked, and remove every cutting instrument, poker, etc. Keep cool and have someone within call. Use cold baths or cold packs when there is fever, and warm packs as a sedative. When there is a suppression of urine give warm foot baths.
Inflammation of the Brain. Brain Fever.
BRAIN fever may complicate acute infectious diseases or be the result of alcoholic excesses, injuries or sunstroke, or a life of anxiety and privation. This disease comes on with more or less pain in the head, with heat and delirium; eyes bloodshot; high temperature and the initial symptoms followed by drowsiness and inclination to vomit. The pulse is usually rapid and feeble. There is loss of appetite; great restlessness; short naps more like lethargy, and frequent crying out from pain.
Read the symptoms indicating the use of Aconite and Belladonna under "Spotted Fever," page 867.
Hyoscyamus. Face pale and sunken; delirium of a stupid, muttering form although this may be preceded by violent outbreaks; the head is shaken from side to side; great prostration; sitting up in bed seems to give some relief.
Also in brain fever following a fall or blow on the head give Arnica; if from intoxicating drinks or intense study, Nux vom.
Keep cold compresses, an ice bag or ice coil on the patient's head, and be sure the applications are not allowed to become warm. If patient is delirious, endeavor to restrain him by soothing speech, avoiding force as much as possible; cool sponge baths may be given frequently, and milk and broths for nourishment. Remedies should be administered every hour.
ALTHOUGH apoplexy may occur at any age, it is most common after the fiftieth year, because the blood vessels degenerate as one grows older. The abuse of alcohol, immoderate eating, syphilis, and prolonged muscular exertion are among the common contributing causes. Apoplexy is not hereditary as many once thought, but people's arteries and other blood vessels do age earlier in some families than in others. In apoplexy there is great congestion of the blood vessels of the brain, with sudden rupture of one or more of them and consequent hemorrhage, the pressure causing complete or partial paralysis.
When only the left side of the brain sustains this injury, the right upper and lower extremities are liable to paralysis. When the right is similarly affected, the left side usually becomes paralyzed. %en the hemorrhage affects both sides of the brain, paralysis is as a rule general, and the patient wholly unconscious. Premonitory symptoms are rare, but when present there is numbness of the hand and foot on one side, and failure of memory for words. An excellent description of the various forms of apoplexy is given in this book under allopathic treatment of diseases, and the recommendations for the prevention of future attacks should be carefully read also.
Aconite. Pulse full and strong; skin dry and hot; vertigo; full feeling in head, with restlessness and anxiety, face rather pale or pale on one side and red on the other. A dose every hour, or during an acute attack every half hour for several doses, using the first decimal, 1 x. This remedy takes the place of the old resort to bleeding.
Belladonna. Face very red; arteries pulsating strongly, pupils dilated, eyes sensitive to light, twitching of muscles, loss of speech; should be given as early in the attack as possible. A dose as above.
Opium. Heavy stupor; irregular slow pulse; pupils contracted; patient groans; cold sweat on face; feces and urine passed involuntarily; convulsive motion of extremities; irregular labored breathing. A dose every fifteen minutes.
Also A mica, which is a most valuable remedy after the acute symptoms have subsided to bring about absorption of effused blood, and Sulphur which follows Arnica well when the patient's convalescence is very slow. As a remedy for the prevention of apoplexy Nux Vom. should be taken by full blooded persons or those of sedentary habit accustomed to a rich diet or alcoholic stimulants, and subject to rush of blood to the head.
General treatment of an acute attack must be commenced immediately. Get the patient to bed if possible, and loosen or remove all clothing, especially about the neck, moving the sufferer as little as possible. Cut the clothing off if necessary. Keep the head higher than the body, and the neck in such a position that the blood can flow freely. Put hot water bags to the feet, with flannel between so as to avoid burns, and an ice bag, ice cap, or ice cold compress to the head; the legs may be wrapped in cloths wrung out in steaming hot mustard water, a cupful to a pail. The bowels must be freely opened by a large warm soap and water enema, or by calomel, if necessary. The water may have to be drawn from the bladder. Keep the patient absolutely quiet; give nothing but milk or broth. Gentle rubbing of the body, fifteen minutes only at a time and always rubbing away from the head will benefit during convalescence, also electricity after from two weeks to a month. Apoplexy may be mistaken for alcoholism; smell the patient's breath. Do not give any stimulants.
Sunstroke, is heatstroke, and persons stricken down, in boiler rooms, foundries, laundries and kitchens must be treated the same as those affected by the direct rays of the sm. Mild cases exhibit only weakness and faintness; severer cases, pallor of the face, blindness, cold sweat, and partial or complete unconsciousness; there may be profound collapse, delirium and death. Previous attacks and the use of alcohol predispose to heatstroke.
Glonoine. From excessive heat or exposure to sun; face pale; pulse round and full; intense, throbbing headache; feeling as if the head would burst open; labored respiration; sinking sensation in stomach, nausea and vomiting. A dose every fifteen minutes, increasing the intervals as the patient improves.
Belladonna. Severe headache in forehead and temples, worse 'when stooping; flushed face; throbbing of arteries in the neck; bounding pulse; sometimes loss of consciousness and convulsions. Give as above.
Gelsemium. Great prostration; soft pulse; vertigo; blurred vision; fullness and weight in the head; also for oppressed feeling, irritability, and palpitation of the heart from exposure to heat. Give as above.
Also Veratrum Vir. when the face and head are intensely congested, and vomiting and convulsions occur.
Natrum Carb. invaluable in curing the aftereffects of heat stroke, such as loss of memory, depression, prostration, and constant headache, also when heat affects head unpleasantly in hot weather.
Prevention is even better than cure. Eat little meat in hot weather; keep the bowels free; drink plenty of water, not iced; wear light weight and light colored clothing; bathe often. If working in the sun put a wet leaf or sponge in your hat; quit work and rest in the shade if dizzy or head aches.
If treating a case of heat stroke, place the patient in the shade, or in a cool room; loosen the clothing, or remove it and sponge the body with tepid water; apply cloths wrung out in hot water to the head and change them frequently; put hot bricks, or a hot water bag, to the feet if they are cold; as soon as the patient can swallow, give hot milk, beef tea or coffee in small quantities.
Spotted Fever. Cerebrospinal Meningitis.
No disease of modern times is more dreaded than epidemic "spotted fever." Not infrequently cases of meningitis occur scattered here and there, but too often an epidemic prevails confined to a town or city, but caused by the spreading of the germs. It is believed the germs are most apt to enter the system through the nasal passages. Common complications are influenza, pneumonia, pleurisy and mumps, in fact nasal catarrh or grip often precedes the development of meningitis. The germs affect the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord, and a turbid fluid forms which presses upon the sensitive nerve tissues causing immediate and serious results. The onset of spotted fever is generally sudden, with headache, severe chill and vomiting. There is fever, with full strong pulse, and painful stiffness of the muscles of the neck. The headache increases, the patient sees double or cannot see, and is highly sensitive to every noise; has severe pains in back and legs, while the neck may be drawn backward and the muscles become rigid. The headache is very severe, and delirium or lethargy result. Reddish, purple or mottled spots appear on the body giving the common name, "spotted fever." About one-half of the cases die within five days; when recovery ensues, convalescence i,3 slow and tedious and relapses may occur, or other diseases develop. it is necessary to know the symptoms so that the gravity of the disease may be appreciated and a good doctor called, but treatment should be commenced immediately, and a dose of the indicated remedy given every hour. Use the tincture or first decimal (1 x)
Aconite. Fever; dry, hot skin; full pulse; face flushed and swollen; burning sensation in head; surface of the body cold.
Belladonna. Follows Aconite well; throbbing arteries; quick pulse; face red and swollen; eyes bright; boring of head into the pillow; great sensitiveness to light, touch, and noise; twitching of limbs; unconsciousness; delirium.
Gelsemium. Early in the attack; spine very sensitive; severe chill followed by fever; great prostration and drowsiness; weak, irregular pulse; dimness of vision; mental dullness, may be nausea and vomiting.
Veratrum Vir. Violent vomiting, and pain in the head and stomach; convulsions; head bent backward; pupils of eyes dilated; eyes roll from side to side; slow, irregular pulse.
Cimicifuga. Intense pain in the head and spine; muscles of the neck and back rigid, with retraction; skin sensitive, muscles sore; muscular spasms and jerkings of legs and arms.
The general care of the patient is of the utmost importance. He must be kept perfectly quiet in a well ventilated darkened room. Hot baths and especially hot packs are beneficial. An ice cap may be applied to the head. Keep the bowels open and give the patient plenty of water to drink. Give nothing but liquid food, milk and strong broths, until the fever and worst symptoms subside; no stimulants unless the pulse and breathing are feeble. Many times physicians puncture the membranes of the spine with a certain kind of needle and withdraw some of the fluid which has formed, thus relieving pressure, or remove a small section of the skull for the same purpose. Injections of antitoxin are also used.
Prevention of " spotted fever " is most important, and consists in keeping streets, yards and cellars clean, and the general health in good condition. Cleansing of nasal passages and throat morning and night, by douching with a mild antiseptic is recommended during an epidemic.
Inflammation of the Spinal Cord. Myelitis.
THERE are several forms of this disease which is not an uncommon one, but all are characterized by a diffused inflammation of the spinal cord, with softening of its substance; the membranes may or may not be seriously inflamed. It is always of advantage to know the causes of a disease. The most prominent ones of a myelitis are exposure to cold, a bad wetting, or lying on cold, damp ground, muscular strains, syphilis, sexual excess, injuries such as fracture of the spine, or even apparently slight injury, one authority citing a case in a boy, following a sprained back acquired by throwing a club up into a tree. Myelitis also sometimes is a sequel of acute infectious diseases such as smallpox, typhoid or typhus fever, inflammatory rheumatism and measles, and may complicate childbed fever and diseases of the bones of the spine.
The early symptoms resemble those of any acute inflammatory affection, chill, high temperature of from 101 to 104 degrees, rapid pulse and prostration of the whole system, but special symptoms quickly appear such as heaviness and dragging of the limbs followed by loss of motion and increasing paralysis, numbness and crawling sensations. When the region affected is the upper part of the back, there is a feeling as if a belt were drawn about the waist. There is not much pain in the back, but the pain in the legs or abdomen in the beginning. The point to which insensibility to touch extends marks the location of the disease. The patient may have difficulty in urinating, and the bowels be constipated. Paralysis of the rectum and bladder is marked when the lower third of the cord is affected. Bed sores are liable to result from even slight pressure. The prospects of recovery are not good; death may occur in three or four days or a few weeks, or the acute form of disease become chronic; recovery generally occurs promptly if at all.
Aconite. In the beginning, after exposure to cold, cold winds; chill followed by high fever, rapid bounding pulse; pain and stiffness of the neck; skin red, hot, shining.
Mercurius Iod. In cases due to syphilis with progressing paralysis of the extremities, and of the bladder and lower bowel, with tendency to twitching and convulsive movements; some spinal pain worse from pressure. This remedy is followed well by Kali Iod. in markedly syphilitic cases.
Arnica or Hypericum may be indicated, the former in myelitis following wounds, falls or blows, with a bruised, sore feeling, and especially after great muscular exertion; the latter in cases following injuries to the nerves as in lacerated or punctured wounds, concussion of the spine and injury to the end of the spine from a fall.
Also Dulcamara in myelitis after getting soaking wet or being out long in wet, foggy weather.
Rhus Tox in cases developing during inflammatory rheumatism. Arsenicum Album when a sequel of acute infectious diseases, or resulting from the direct absorption of septic matter as in childbed fever. Strychnia, one sixtieth of a grain three times a day in cases becoming chronic. Hyoscyamus in cases marked by paralysis of the bladder and lower bowels and convulsions. Belladonna is a remedy more truly indicated where the coverings of the cord are highly inflamed, resulting in spinal meningitis with much pain and tenderness along the spine.
The patient should be kept absolutely quiet in bed, scrupulously clean by means of luke warm sponge baths, and the back and all parts where pressure is felt gently rubbed twice a day with alcohol, then thoroughly dried and dusted with talcum powder. Keep the sheets free from wrinkles. Bed sores are the greatest danger, therefore if the skin gets reddened despite alcohol rubs and powder, use air cushions or rubber rings, or place the patient on a water bed. Consult the section on "Bed Sores." Electricity along the spine will benefit chronic cases, but must not be used while the disease is acute. Leakage of urine into the bed must be prevented by the use of absorbent cotton, or a bed urinal. Equal parts of iodine and arnica tincture may be painted along the spine twice a week in chronic cases.
PARALYSIS is a loss of power of motion, and as a common term is often applied to loss of any kind of bodily function, such as sensation or secretion. Paresis is a term used to indicate a partial paralysis do not confound it with the term general paresis, which is a form of insanity. Paralysis is generally a symptom of disease of the brain or spinal cord, but sometimes it arises from injury or pressure upon a nerve trunk, or from the effects of poison on the nervous system. There are many different forms of this dreaded affection; several of them are well described in earlier pages of this work to which the reader is referred.
There may be a hereditary tendency to paralysis due to the bad habit of one or both parents, such as intemperance, the excessive use of tobacco, chloral, cocaine, or some form of opium. Local paralysis,; such as wrist drop is caused by lead poisoning, facial paralysis, by pressure on nerves leading to the face, and the paralysis of diphtheria from inflammation of certain nerves supplying the throat, eyes etc. Paralysis in those of a highly nervous temperament may be simply an hysterical inflammation.
Aside from the special forms is the paralytic stroke which may be preceded by numbness, coldness, paleness, and slight convulsive jerking or twitching. The loss of motion, or motion and sensation which follows may be partial or complete, and affect either the upper or lower half of the body, or one or both sides. The patient's return to his usual condition is generally slow and imperfect, and sometimes the muscles of the affected portion of the body waste away.
Aconite. Premonitory symptoms and acute attacks; numbness, crawling sensation, feeling as of pins and needles in legs and arms, or loss of motion and sensation.
Gelsemium. Paralysis not due to organic disease; loss of motion but not of sensibility, also when paralysis is preceded for some time by giddiness and heaviness of the limbs, the eyelids feel heavy and droop. Useful in paralysis following diphtheria.
Conium. Sensation is not much affected, but motion, especially of the legs, is lost partially or wholly. Paralysis in old people, or when preceded by stupefying headache, vertigo, great drowsiness, heat in the head and eyes, with coldness of the hands and feet, dilatation of the pupils of the eyes.
Phosphorus. When the paralysis is confined to either the upper or lower extremities and is preceded by debility and exhaustion; in cases of softening of the spinal cord; wasting away of the muscles of the legs or arms.
Mercurius Vivus. Paralysis due to syphilis or hemorrhage of the brain; rigidity of the lower limbs with cold sweat at night.
Nux Vom. in threatened paralysis due to intemperance; patient finds difficulty in guiding himself, and trips over trifling obstructions; twitching of the limbs at night; of no use when loss of motion is complete.
Also Causticum in paralysis associated with marked disturbance of the urinary organs, when the extremities tremble on walking or standing, but not on sitting. Ignatia in cases of hysterical origin. Arnica in paralysis due to shock or a fall, and facial paralysis from an injury, with much soreness of the affected parts, and inflammation of the nerve.
Belladonna, recent cases especially of facial paralysis with much congestion of the affected part; throbbing and inflammation; also right sided cases of paralysis of the body. Plumbum paralysis is due to disease of the spinal cord with wasting away of muscles.
Give the indicated remedy three times a day; keep the patient quiet in bed, and let the diet be light and nutritious. Friction of the affected parts or massage and passive motion is helpful, also electricity, but not while there is an organic cause. When there is wasting of the muscles, rubbing with cod liver oil, or cocoanut or sweet oil is recommended. In paralysis in children cold spinal douches are excellent, also persistent bathing with salt water, followed by brisk rubbing.
THE bite of a rabid dog, wolf, skunk, cat or fox may cause hydro phobia. Lacerated wounds about the face, head or hands are most apt to be infected, but the disease develops in only fifteen per cent. of persons bitten. The period of incubation is shorter in children than in adults, and is generally under two months; in rare instances two years may elapse. The symptoms are stated on page 208.
Belladonna, 1 x. Give this remedy at once, frequently, for at least six weeks, and also at any time afterwards if convulsions occur, with great burning and much frothy mucus in the throat; constriction of the throat on attempting to swallow; face red and bloated; foaming at the mouth; spasms; delirium. A dose every half hour during an attack.
Scutellaria, 1 x. Restlessness at night; frightful dreams; heart's action rapid and uneven; with pain, tremors and muscular twitchings; when hydrophobia develops with spasmodic or constrictive closing of the jaws, and rigidity of the muscles of the face. A dose as above.
Stramonium, 1 x. Extreme irritability; disturbed sleep with horrible dreams; and sudden shrieks; pupils of the eyes dilated; when hydrophobia develops, delirium, biting and tearing, frothing at mouth.
The first thing to do if there is no abrasion of the mouth, is to suck, the virus from the wound, or if there is no one to do this, to cauterize the wound with nitrate of silver or a live coal, a white hot iron, poker, stove lifter, flat iron; bromine, fuming nitric acid or pure carbolic acid may be used. Poultice the wound, and keep it open several weeks. If anywhere near the Pasteur Institute in New York or other cities, send the patient there f or inoculation with the attenuated virus. Antitetanic serum has also been used elsewhere in cases of hydrophobia, but results have not been uniformly satisfactory.
TETANUS is now known to be a germ disease, scientists having isolated a specific organism which occurs in the earth, and sometimes in putrefying fluids and manure. In rare cases lockjaw results from exposure to cold or sleeping on cold, damp ground; commonly, however, it follows a punctured or bruised wound of the hands or feet, sometimes a very trifling injury. The symptoms usually appear within two weeks. The virus of tetanus is perhaps the most virulent poison known; it is produced by the bacillus or germ already mentioned, the bacillus forming at the site of the wound, but the poison developing in the blood and organs of the body. Even babies may contract tetanus, and these cases are nearly always fatal. The mortality is always very high whatever the age, and when death ensues it usually takes place in from three to seven days from respiratory spasm, heart failure, or exhaustion from the long continued spasm. Considerable time elapsing between receiving the wound and the development of lockjaw, absence of fever, spasms confined to the neck and jaw are favorable indications, also lessening of the number of spasms and increased ability to sleep. Consult page 210 for a description of the symptoms. Tetanus is more common in hot than in temperate climates, and in males than in females.
Belladonna. Stiffness of the jaws with convulsive movements, grinding of teeth; dilated pupils; foaming at mouth; difficult swallowing; shooting pains; staring eyes; spasmodic breathing; restlessness; involuntary discharge from bowels and bladder; sleeplessness; congestion of the head and spine.
Aconite. Rigidity of the lower jaw; face covered with cold sweat; stiffness of the limbs; head and neck bent backward; more or less fever; numbness and tingling. Tetanus following exposure to cold, or cold and a wound.
Strychnia .This is an important remedy, and its keynote is intermittent spasms excited by the slightest touch, noise or motion; during spasm body bent backward, and respiration much disturbed; stiffness of limbs; muscles very hard; patient fully conscious during spasm.
Hydrocyanic Acid. With this remedy the spasms are more persistent; there ;_s bloating of the face and neck; eyes protrude and glisten; body bent forward or backward; pulse irregular.
Cicuta Virosa. Especially in tetanus following injuries to the head or face. Rigidity of the lower jaw; spasms of the windpipe; deadly paleness of the face; eyes fixed; foaming at the mouth; body bent backward; whitish ulcers on the border of the tongue.
A dose of the first decimal (I x) of the indicated remedy should be given every half-hour or hour according to the condition of the patient. Absolute quiet in a darkened room is essential; the nurse should wear felt slippers; allow no draught or cold air to strike the sufferer. Give abundant nourishment, milk, raw eggs beaten up, and eggnogs through a quill if the jaws are rigid or a soft catheter run up through the nose and down into the throat, or a stomach tube. Rectal injections of liquid food may be necessary, and should be given every four hours. Warm baths and hot packs aid in relaxing the spasms. Treatment must be begun at the earliest possible moment. A wound must be thoroughly cleansed with hydrogen dioxide, if possible, then cauterized with nitrate of silver or nitric acid, and drained if necessary. A hot iron, live coal or even a lighted cigar may be used as a cattery,
Modern science has produced an antitoxin serum from the blood of an animal which has had the disease. This serum has proved valuable in treating many cases of lockjaw. All important dealers in drugs have this serum for sale; Behring's and Park, Davis & Co.'s are among the most reliable preparations.
Epilepsy. Epileptic Fits.
THIS disease is termed the "falling sickness," as without warning the patient loses consciousness, and falls insensible, with convulsive motion of the limbs, distortion of the muscles of the face, frothing at the mouth. Sometimes the mouth, lips and jaws are spasmodically closed, the hands clinched, and there is a general rigidity of the muscles of the entire body. After a time this rigidity passes off, and all the muscles become relaxed; the patient then appears to be in a deep slumber, and remains so for a longer or shorter period, exhibiting weakness on awakening, but no recollection of what has occurred. Epileptics from birth or cases of long standing are rarely cured, but the frequency of the attacks can often be lessened, and the general health greatly improved. This is a discouraging disease to treat, and whatever treatment is adopted must be persevered in for months and even years. Many fits, so called, are not epileptic but epileptoid, that is, resembling epilepsy. Read the sections on "Hysteria" and Worms."
Belladonna. In recent cases, especially in the very young, with much congestion of the head, and peevishness; excitability and vertigo between the attacks; jerking and starting in sleep.
Cyprum. Trembling, tottering and falling unconscious without a cry; frothing from the mouth; violent convulsions occurring at night; pain in the head and often nausea between and after attacks.
Calcarea Carb. Attacks followed by headache, dizziness, considerable thirst, vomiting, diarrhea. During the intervals the sufferer is stupid, peevish, complains of headache before breakfast; face pale and puffed; perspiration, especially of the head and palms of the hands, feet cold and damp. A valuable constitutional remedy.
Indigo. A prominent and very successful specialist in nervous diseases in Boston writes, (North American Journal of Homeopathy, November, 1899), "1 have now been trying Indigo in nearly all my cases of epilepsy for the past twelve years, and the percentage of actual cures has been so very much greater than from the Bromides that I still continue to employ it, with ten per cent. of apparent cures, i. e., patients who do not have an attack for over two years.
Also Opium when the convulsions occur only during sleep. Hydrocyanic Acid in recent cases with the frequent paroxysms, the jaws set, head thrown back, body stiffened, face flushed, foaming at the mouth; give five drops of the third decimal, (3 x), four times a day. The Bromide of Potassium or Sodium is used by physicians of all schools of practice, but is best administered under a doctor's instruction.
Select the remedy with care and give a dose three times a day for three or four weeks at a time, then omit for a fortnight and again administer. In all cases much attention must be paid to the general health. No tea, coffee, alcohol, rich, spiced, or fried foods must be taken; meats should be used very sparingly; celery, lettuce and water cress, fresh fruits and vegetables are to be chosen, and stale whole wheat or graham bread. Water should be drunk freely, baths taken daily; days should be spent in light labor or exercise and rest out of doors; all excitement, dancing and swinging avoided; the bowels kept regulated; malt and cod liver oil or iron used to improve nutrition; good ventilation secured in the house; all sexual intercourse forbidden. If there is any tendency to masturbation, circumcision should be performed; hemorrhoids or piles must be removed.
While, the causes of hysteria are innumerable, stress should be laid upon the truth that a large proportion of cases are the result of an exceedingly nervous temperament and lack of proper education in self control. For such conditions parents are directly responsible. A child has a right to be well born, and will not be if parents indulge in sexual excesses, live lives of social or other excitement, if tobacco, stimulants or drugs are used in excess, or if attempts are made to prevent conception. A child should be carefully taught self control, and not have every whim gratified or every wish deferred to.
Other prominent causes of the development of hysteria are local irritations, uterine or rectal; defective nutrition; fright, grief, domestic worry or other excessive strain on the nervous system; too much mental application at puberty, but in many cases equally due to a child's drinking tea and coffee, sitting up late and having too little outdoor life, and too much excitement. For the symptom of this affection see page 441.
Ignatia. Attack preceded by sensation of a lump in the throat; during the attack, alternate crying and laughing, flushing and pallor; convulsive movements of arms and legs; screaming; clinching of hands; profuse, pale urine. A dose every fifteen minutes during the attack.
Moschus, 3x. Great anxiety; palpitation of the heart; tendency to fainting; suffocation; feeling of a lump in the throat, and constriction of chest; alternate laughing and crying; copious flow of pale urine. Give as directed under Ignatia.
Pulsatilla, Hysteria, in mild, sensitive, tearful women, with menses suppressed, delayed or scanty; patient cries apparently without cause. A dose every half hour or hour.
Gelsemium, Ix, an excellent remedy for acute cases of pure hysteria, especially when resulting from, or connected with, a sudden stoppage of the monthly flow from cold or fright, or when occurring in highly sensitive organizations.
Asafetida in from one tenth of a grain to five grain doses will sometimes give wonderfully good results in controlling hysterical outbreaks, spasms or general muscular tension.
Also the tincture of Passiflora in twenty drop to two teaspoonful doses is most helpful in cases where sleeplessness is a marked feature.
Correction of unhygienic surroundings or habits is of the greatest importance. The patient must avoid excitement, late hours, tight clothing, sexual indulgence, stimulating food and drink, should sleep alone on a firm mattress in a well ventilated room, should be out of doors several hours a day, take up light gardening, or have not too tiring exercise. Uterine and other diseases must receive appropriate treatment. A bracing mental and moral atmosphere, sane and cheerful, is highly desirable. Treatment by means of suggestion (hypnotism so called) benefits many cases, also electricity, massage, frequent warm baths, and a nourishing diet. During an attack loosen the clothing, give air, and sprinkle the face with cold water. Too much sympathy is harmful, but kindness with firmness is desirable.
NEURALGIA May occur in the face, head, over the eyes, in the lumbar region, along the spine, in the ovaries, between the ribs or follow the course of the sciatic nerve. Its one great symptom is a darting, cutting or tearing pain, often very severe. The principal predisposing causes in most cases are a nervous temperament, poor nutrition, overwork, and such conditions of the blood as accompany gout, rheumatism, malaria and some diseases of the kidneys.
Decayed teeth or crowding of the teeth may be a cause of facial neuralgia in its severest form known as tic doloreaux, or pressure on a nerve from a bony growth, exposure to cold or wet also excessive excitement or emotion.
Aconite. Neuralgia after exposure to dry cold; face red and hot; pains very severe, lancinating, pulsating, and almost unbearable at night; great restlessness.
Belladonna. This remedy resembles Aconite in many of its symptoms, but there is very marked sensitiveness to the slightest jar; the attacks come on with great suddenness, causing flushing of the face and throbbing pains, worse toward midnight; much mental irritability.
Colocynth. Neuralgia from exposure to damp cold in gouty persons; tearing, drawing pains, much worse from moving muscles of face; better from warmth and rest; heat, redness and swelling.
Spigelia.. Jerking, tearing, or pulsating pain in the face, sometimes periodical, with feeling of anxiety in the heart and great restlessness; worse from motion and touch. Adapted to acute cases.
Arsenicum. Purely nervous cases suffering from malaria, influenza or great debility; burning, agonizing pain, much worse toward night, with great restlessness and anguish; easier while moving about.
Cimicifuga. Reflex neuralgia from diseases of the uterus or ovaries, or of rheumatic origin; sharp, lancinating pains over the eye or between the ribs, better at night; much mental depression.
Iris Versicolor. Neuralgic sick headache involving the temples and eyes; sharp, shooting, cutting pains beginning in the morning and lasting for hours, causing burning in stomach, nausea and vomiting.
Paint the course of the nerve with the mother tincture of aconite or belladonna, or apply chloroform liniment, or cocaine. Counter irritation, even the actual cautery may be required. Either hot or cold application may give relief; regular gymnastic and breathing exercises are of value, also frequent treatments with electricity; change of air; nourishing, digestible food; baths with friction; massage, and rest from overwork. Defective teeth should be filled or removed.
In intercostal neuralgia, i. e., between the ribs, where breathing is painful, a broad strip of cotton cloth may be drawn tightly about the chest and fastened, so that motion may be limited.
ALTHOUGH sciatica is a true neuralgia it is thought of by most people as a distinct disease, and therefore is given this separate section. The pain follows the course of the sciatic nerve, extending from the hip to the leg and foot, and may even be felt in the inner side of the knee joint. Exposure to cold and excessive physical exertion are prominent causes; gout, muscular rheumatism and the highly nervous temperament predispose one to it. It occurs more often in men than in women. The pain is very severe in acute cases, which should run their course in about six weeks, but may become chronic.
Aconite. Recent cases, especially if accompanied by fever; great restlessness; severe, shooting pains darting from hip to ankle.
Arsenicum. A most important remedy, especially in chronic cases; attacks occurring about once in so often; burning pains, with anguish and great restlessness.
Rhus Tox. Sciatica alone, or associated with rheumatism, from exposure to wet, from straining or lifting; worse in damp weather, and from lying quiet; numbness, stiffness and crawling sensations.
Refer also to the remedies under "Neuralgia," especially Colocynth and Belladonna. In young, very nervous persons Chamomilla has been used with success when the pains are drawing, tearing and intolerable, with a sensation as if almost paralyzed.
Sufferers from sciatica should stay in bed or in the house with the affected leg at rest, and as nearly immovable as possible; air cushions may be used; hot water bags give some relief; hot mineral mud baths are recommended, also electricity, flannels wrung out in hot water, gentle massage in cases that can bear it. Acupuncture, i. e., the running of a needle into the most painful spot about two inches, and leaving it there fifteen or twenty minutes is often resorted to. Good results are obtained by applying antiphlogistine along the course of the nerve. Nerve stretching is also another approved method of treatment, and even a cutting out of a portion of the nerve.
Nervous Prostration. Neurasthenia.
NEURASTHENIA is a condition of weakness or exhaustion of the nervous system, causing various forms of mental or bodily inefficiency. The inheritance of a defective nervous organization predisposes to it, but the exciting causes are many, and are serious because our present manner of living at high pressure, demanding the most rapid forms of transit, the luxuries of life, the maximum of display and excitement has a tendency to multiply the number of cases of nervous exhaustion, and even the number of the insane. One of the most common causes of neurasthenia is worry and anxiety dependent upon competition in business, and mental strain. Neurasthenia may follow influenza, typhoid fever and syphilis; the use of cocaine, alcohol, tobacco, sexual excesses, grief, disappointments, and religious emotion.
The chief symptoms are inability to concentrate the mind; low spirits; sleeplessness, disturbed sleep, or drowsiness; great annoyance over trifles, the "irritable humor," sensation of pain in some special region of the body; pressure in the head; disturbances of vision; acuteness of thought, or absence and dullness of mind; flushes of heat and disorders of digestion.
Picric Acid. Headache, generally in the forehead or back of the head, brought on or aggravated by the least mental effort; speedy exhaustion from least exertion; great chilliness, followed by cold, clammy sweat; patient feels "tired all over."
Phosphoric Acid. This remedy has more irritability with the weakness than Picric Acid; the sufferer is highly sensitive to noise, odors, changes of temperature; exhaustion from overwork; loss of sexual power; emissions; confusion of thought; head heavy; back and legs weak; night sweats.
Silicea. Nervous exhaustion with dread of any exertion of mind or body, but when once warmed up to his work the patient does very well. There is numbness in the fingers and back, and constipation.
Zinc Phosphide. Brain fag of business men who grow haggard, pale, sleepless, and suffer from depression of spirits and worry; backache, and burning along the spine; crawling sensations in the legs; all symptoms worse from wine.
Ignatia. Sleeplessness; apprehension; poor memory; trifling causes provoke weeping; loss of appetite; sense of repletion after but a mouthful of food; palpitation; coldness of the extremities; loss of sexual desire.
The general treatment must be adapted to each individual case. The "rest cure" of late years has created great enthusiasm, and patients have been kept in bed and hardly allowed to move, certainly not to wash their face or brush their teeth. In a modified form this treatment is excellent for patients exhausted by overwork, noise, confusion; by being "rushed to death." Other cases require change of scene and occupation; the man who works with his head, work he can do with his hands like carpentering, gardening and the like. Some are benefited by an ocean voyage; dwellers in the country confined to a limited routine may require the mild excitement of city life. Rest in the shape of lying down after meals, or lounging about for an hour or so is very beneficial, also early retiring at night, as much nourishment as can be assimilated, especially in the form of raw eggs, custards, milk, buttermilk, cream and butter; fat meats in small quantities at a time; bacon, lamb and chicken; chocolate and cocoa, but no tea or coffee. Massage is indicated in almost every case, and freedom from care and worry in every instance. Treatment by electricity may be indicated. The section on "HydroTherapy" should be read with care as baths and spinal douches are most helpful. Many cases of nervous prostration recover with far greater rapidity among strangers, as in a sanitarium, than at home.
St. Vitus's Dance. Chorea.
CHOREA occurs most commonly between the ages of six and sixteen and more often in girls and young women than in boys or men. Rheumatism, fright or other mental shock, too much school work, masturbation, worms, affections of the organs of generation, spinal irritation, or irritation or debility of the nervous system as a whole, and imitation, are the principal causes. Chorea is characterized by often wholly uncontrollable twitching and jerking of the muscles of the head, face, arms and legs; sometimes one, sometimes both sides of the body being affected. There may be pain in the head and limbs, stammering, digestive disturbances, and night terrors. A more extended description is given on page 213. This affection begins, as a rule, in the hands and arms, then involves the face, and subsequently the legs. From eight to ten weeks is the average duration of an attack of moderate severity, but cases comparatively mild and noticeable chiefly under excitement may persist for months. Recovery is the rule in children, although some chronic cases last years.
Ignatia. Chorea from fright or other excessive emotion; great excitability or extreme mental depression; tendency to hysteria; cold, emotion, noise or light aggravate all the symptoms.
Arsenic. Uncomplicated' cases with much debility; poor appetite; loss in weight. Fowler's Solution, three drops three times a day for a week, increasing dose a drop at a time daily for another week, then gradually decreasing in same manner.
Cimicifuga. Rheumatic cases, and girls at puberty with neuralgic pains or pains in the muscles; headache; sleeplessness; irritability; depression of spirits. A dose every four hours.
Hyoseyamus. Severe local twitchings sometimes convulsive, worse after eating; disposition to laugh and perform foolish actions; mental dullness; lack of appetite or very variable appetite; great prostration. A dose every four hours.
Cuprum. Mild cases without marked symptoms calling for some other remedy; twitchings, especially in the arm; involvement of the muscles of the throat. Dose as above.
Also Pulsatilla in girls at puberty who cry and laugh easily in alternation. Phosphoric Acid when there is great weakness and prostration; partial loss of voice, and some paralysis of the muscles of the throat; urine looks milky. Veratrum Vir. Bad cases, convulsive movements: rapid pulse; congestive headaches. A drop of the tincture four times a day. Consult the section on "Worms," page 804.
Every effort must be made to improve nutrition; milk, eggs, cream, bacon and cod liver oil must be given; rest in bed for several days is most desirable, and separation from other children, especially those similarly affected. Cheerful, quiet companionship without either severity or indulgence should be given the sufferer. Massage, electricity, warm salt water baths, change of air and scene during convalescence are recommended. Men chorea is due to spinal irritation with much sensitiveness along the spine, pounded ice in a towel or ice bag may be applied for ten minutes at a time; or the back sprayed with ether once a day for ten minutes.
THIS is but another form of Chorea, affecting the organs of speech. Belladonna, Sulphur, Hyoscyamus, and Causticum have been employed against this difficulty, and with success. The training of young boys or girls addicted to stammering, to be deliberate in their efforts to express themselves, will often accomplish more than remedies. It is remarked that stammerers can sing, or utter any sentence in song. This would indicate the propriety of enjoining upon all thus affected to practice slow and deliberate speech. Cuprum met. is a remedy that has cured many cases; and so has Ferrum, Ignatia and Belladonna. Employ each remedy singly; and repeat every three hours.
Writer's Cramp. Scrivener's Palsy.
TELEGRAPHERS, engravers, bookkeepers, copyists, musicians, painters, and seamstresses are liable to this annoying affection as well as writers. A peculiar spasm of the muscles of the thumb, index and middle fingers makes the use of them difficult and painful. The disease is more common in men than in women, and in middle life. There are several varieties of writer's cramp, the spasmodic, which is the most common; the neuralgic; the tremulous, and the paralytic. Treatment should not be deferred, as chronic cases are difficult to cure, and often incurable.
Arnica. Especially in spasm due to fatigue and overexertion. A dose three times a day.
Gelsemium. Weakness and loss of muscular power, fatigue after slight exertion; numbness of the hand or aching of the muscles. Give as above.
Entire cessation of the employment causing the cramp is necessary. Galvanism and massage are the best forms of treatment. For slight cramp rub the hand with spirits of camphor. Use a large pencil or penholder. Improve the general health by an outdoor life; simple, nourishing food; the avoidance of excitement, and use of stimulants.
Cramps In the Legs.
THE nervous, involuntary, strong contractions of the muscles of the feet or legs, which constitute cramps, often occasion much pain. They are due, as a rule, to cold, overexertion, pregnancy, and sometimes to indigestion, and occur mostly at night.
Cuprum. Nervous contractions of muscles upon going to bed. A dose night and morning.
Nux Vom. Cramps accompanying indigestion, more or less numbness in the legs as if they would "go to sleep." A dose three times a day.
Veratrum Alb. Cramps in the legs during pregnancy or from cold, with sensation of weakness and inability to walk. A dose night and morning.
Arnica. Muscular contractions from fatigue. A dose every two hours.
Pressing the foot firmly against the floor or wall, or holding it tightly may give relief, also rubbing the legs with spirits of camphor or equal parts of warm olive oil and chloroform. Rub the legs often and keep them warm and dry. Avoid all exposure to cold and damp.
IN a work of this kind it is not possible to describe all the various forms of mental affections, or to give the treatment in such detail as to make it possible for every case to receive benefit. But even the briefest reference to the subject would be incomplete, without calling attention to the great responsibility which rests upon every individual to lessen in themselves and in others the possibility of the development of these distressing and often incurable affections. Men it is remembered that every thought and emotion leaves an indelible impression upon the substance of the brain, the most delicate and intricate structure known; that many avoidable diseases react most disastrously upon the brain and important nerve centers, and that the tendency to insanity is transmitted from parents to children through generations, it must be plain to the most thoughtless that every person is in duty bound to aid in making any form of mental derangement as nearly unknown as modern conditions of civilization permit.
The causes of defective mentality and insanity are largely preventable. That children shall grow up and end their lives in insane asylums it is not necessary that insanity should be in the family, as the phrase is. The offspring of drunkards, syphilitics or those who have lived licentious lives, or are confirmed users of drugs such as cocaine and opium, or children conceived with one or both parents under the influence of liquor, or during lust, rage or fear, will in all probability exhibit some mental as well as physical stigma, may be mentally defective if not idiots or imbeciles, and may eventually become insane. From this class some of the worst criminals come, committing the most revolting crimes.
The state of mind of the mother when carrying the child is of the greatest importance to its future welfare.
Some of the causes during the life of the individual predisposing to some form of insanity are: Defective nutrition; injuries to the brain; the cramming system in schools; masturbation; dissipation; sexual excesses; disappointment of natural ambition, or, on the other hand, limitless ambition allowed to interfere with normal, healthy living.
All attempts to care for the mentally deranged must include general treatment. No drugs will take the place of the many other agencies now used by all qualified practitioners of medicine. It is thought wise to place these instructions here, that whatever the kind or degree of derangement in a given case the reader may have to deal with, he may first avail himself of these suggestions.
A distinguished alienist of Johns Hopkins University has said and most truly: "The first requisite in the treatment of any case of ordinary insanity is a good nurse; the second, a good cook; and the third, good air with pleasant surroundings." Patients that are quiet and harmless can be treated at home, and many other cases if competent nurses can be procured to attend them night and day. All cases require a quiet, kind manner, fearlessness and self control in the attendant; gentle discipline, and a watchfulness not too obvious. Nutrition is of great importance; eggs and milk are the best foods, and are generally wellborn in the form of eggnogs, when there is no organic disease of the brain, or egg and milk, raw eggs, soft custard, plain milk warmed for patients having little vitality; often ten or a dozen eggs, and several quarts of milk can be taken in the twenty-four hours, all depends on the digestion. Other valuable foods are chicken, clam, oyster and other broths, but not an excess of meat soups; gruels of rice, barley, oatmeal and other cereals, and vegetable soups, especially celery and bean soup; vegetables, especially lettuce and spinach, and fresh fruits if they agree. Patients may have to be fed by nourishing rectal injections, or food given in small quantities by means of an ordinary soft bulb syringe through a soft rubber tube passed into the nose and beyond to the stomach. During convalescence the nervous and excitable patient will be benefited by the use of cream, butter, salad oil and cod liver oil. Lamb, fowls and sweet breads are the best meats. Encourage the patient to drink a great deal of water. Rest in bed is of great service to patients much debilitated or exhausted. Warm sponge and tub baths are beneficial, the latter followed by the use of cooler water and friction, also rubbings with cocoanut oil, ninety-five parts and hypericum tincture five parts. Next to rest comes amusement and not exhausting exercise; gardening can be recommended, also music,, dominoes, billiards. The use of well chosen music as a healing agent is now receiving much recognition.
When restraint is required in an excitable case it should be as mild as is consistent with effectiveness. If a patient in bed insists on getting up and is not violent, put him gently back again, encouraging him to remain there and acting as if you expect he will. It is really surprising what an effect such treatment often exerts when pursued by an attendant fully master of the situation. If necessary a wide band of cotton cloth may be secured about the upper part of the body, and a strip of cloth on each side fastened to the bed rail. A "protective sheet " so called, is applied in addition to the body bandage, and leaves only the head and neck exposed; fasten the ends and sides to the bed rails by tapes sewn to the sheet. Canvas mittens padded with cotton or cotton batting will keep a patient from injuring himself or tearing his clothes, etc. A very violent patient can be rolled up from neck to heel in sheets, being then as harmless as an Indian papoose. Never show fear of an insane person, and never trust one.
Excessive gloom, despondency and apprehension are the principal characteristics of melancholia, also a concentration of the patient's thoughts upon himself. Although this disease is not peculiar to either sex, women are more subject to it than men, especially at the change of life. Poor nutrition associated with business reverses, grief, worry, actual want, severe disappointments and hereditary tendency are the common causes. Self abuse and any form of dissipation predispose to melancholia. Melancholia may occur in childbirth or in nursing mothers when exhausted from prolonged lactation, and may follow the grippe. Suicidal thoughts often accompany this affection, but in simple cases the patient's will power is sufficiently strong to counterbalance them; in acute cases, however, the sufferer should be closely watched. Melancholia may develop into mania, or complete recovery may ensue.
Nux Vom. Slow pulse; lack of appetite; constipation; great depression of spirits; obstinate silence; involuntary sighing and moaning.
Veratrum Alb. Great anxiety, despondency, and despair; distrust of everyone; cold sweat all over body, moaning during sleep; frightful dreams; patient fearful and easily startled.
Cimicifuga. Melancholia after childbirth, with great depression, suspiciousness and apprehension of going crazy; disturbance of menstrual function; rheumatic pains in head and back.
Also Ignatia, an important remedy in recent cases, especially from sorrow or disappointments, where patient of ten weeps or seems full of suppressed grief; sighs and mopes. Pulsatilla in weak, feeble, tearful women, with uterine difficulties, disordered menstruation or leucorrhea. Arsenicum, chronic cases, with intense anxiety and restlessness; fear of being left alone; general debility, often emaciation; much depression; tearfulness. Natrurn Mur. attacks of violent weeping; patient sheds tears copiously, and more the more attempts are made to quiet her; if contradicted she becomes irritable.
It should be borne in mind that one of these remedies may be equally well indicated for melancholy and depression of spirits, when true melancholia has not developed, but when the general condition calls for medical as well as moral and hygienic treatment with a view to the prevention of more serious disease.
THE, term mania is from the Greek, and means "I am furious." It will readily be inferred from this that the mental faculties of the sufferer exhibit a morbid exaltation, and increase of the imagination, with disordered ideas, and disturbances in the centers of the brain which govern motion. There is a mild form characterized chiefly by loquaciousness, restlessness, goings to and fro without object, slight incoherence, unreasonableness, and inability to perform mental work. This state may pass into a more typical form of exaltation, then frenzy, and finally a decrease in the acute and most alarming symptoms. Both mild and typical mania are generally preceded by digestive disturbances, headaches, exhaustion, despondency, unrestful sleep or sleeplessness, followed by excitability, extravagant fancies and ideas, delusions such as conviction of possessing great wealth, positions of high honor, or the patient may have pleasant or frightful visions.
Sufferers from mania often talk with great sense on many subjects; some cases proceed to recovery, but subsequent attacks are common, also the merging of mania in dementia, which is a loss of mental vitality, sometimes to the point of imbecility or, in the aged, dotage. Cases of mild mania with periodical excitability are the most common, and can be treated at home. Causes other than those given under " Mental Derangement," are acute diseases, such as pneumonia and typhoid fever; starvation; organic diseases of the brain; epilepsy, religious excitement.
Aconite. Acute mania attended with fear, despondency and apprehensions of future calamity; anxious lamentations, with heat of the face and head, palpitation of the heart, and coldness of the extremities; fear of death.
Belladonna. Hot, flushed face; dilated pupils; throbbing arteries; much restlessness; spasmodic attacks of rage and fury, biting, tearing clothes, striking anyone nearby, and again laughing, singing and even dancing. The Belladonna patient is aggressive and destructive and frequently has suicidal tendencies.
Hyoscyamus. Hysterical insanity in excitable, nervous women; religious mania; patient talkative, frequently good natured, but may have savage outbursts, with obscenity and exposure of person; fears being poisoned; makes ludicrous gestures and disarranges clothing. The use of this remedy is not confined to women.
Stramonium .Furious outbursts; incessant, incoherent talk; patient tries to escape; has horrible visions; bites, scratches and screams; is in great fear from his imaginings; has fits of wild laughter, and for days may seem quite busy and cheerful with his own fancies; religious mania.
Tarantula. Cunning, crafty, mischievous patients, subject to sudden fits of destructiveness, will then laugh and apologize, but must be constantly watched.
Nux Vom. A valuable remedy in sub acute mania, where the patient is suspicious, and thinks he is persecuted or wronged; is obstinate, cross; even ugly; often morose and taciturn; wants to die because life seems insupportable.
Veratrum Alb. Much physical as well as nervous prostration; wild vagaries; religious excitement, persistent raging with attempts to cut and tear clothing; weeping, howling and screaming over fancied misfortunes, then almost collapse of body and mind; weakness of heart's action; coldness of skin; conviction of being damned.
Other valuable remedies are Cantharis with many of the Belladonna symptoms, but, in addition, great sexual excitement with imperative desire for gratification. Opium when the patient's face is distorted during furious rage; head and face swollen; eyes protrude; lips bluish red; rage followed by dullness and stupor. Cuprum in insanity characterized by full, quick pulse; redness of the eyes; wild looks, incoherent speech and rage, paroxysms terminating with profuse perspiration. Rhus Tox. in acute cases having a rheumatic history, and where the patient is extremely restless at night; fears he is being poisoned; has suicidal tendencies. Arsenicum, also, has a disposition to commit suicide and the patient is restless, agitated, indifferent to life; the countenance is haggard and anxious, the tongue red, dry and tremulous. Ignatia is peculiarly adapted to the hysterical form of insanity with the symptoms given under "melancholia."
Pulsatilla has fear of death and silent anguish, a weeping mood and great depression of spirits, yet with a disposition to commits uicide. The Aurum patient thinks he was not intended for this world but fears he is irretrievably lost as regards the next; is very melancholy, thirsty; has cramps in the stomach and bowels, and wants to commit suicide.
In summing up these remedies the suggestion may be offered that in cases of Religious mania one should think of hyoscyamus, stramonium, veratrum alb., and aurum; in Suicidal mania of belladonna, arsenicum, aurum, nux vom., and rhus tox.; in Hysterical mania, of ignatia and pulsatilla; in Mania with Fury of belladonna, hyoscyamus, stramonium, cuprum, opium and veratrum alb., and that in aconite the great symptom is fear, and in cantharis, sexual excitement.
DEMENTIA is a term denoting a partial or total loss of the mental faculties; in the latter case it resembles idiocy. Dementia may occur independently of any other form of insanity, or may follow melancholia or mania; it may be acute or chronic, but the latter is the common form. Recovery seldom takes place. The section on " Dementia, " page 221, should be read, as it gives a short description of the symptoms of this disease. The general treatment under "Mental Derangement" must be followed in these cases. Masturbation and epilepsy are common causes of dementia, also the prolonged use of alcohol and degenerative changes in old age. The treatment of dementia with masturbation must include local treatment when necessary, circumcision and great cleanliness of the parts, also moral, medical, dietetic and hygienic measures.
Anacardium. Great weakness and loss of memory; irresistible desire to curse and swear; hears voices and smells odors not present; great sleepiness during the day.
Phosphoric Acid. Absolute indifference to surroundings; disinclination to talk, with confusion of mind and dullness of brain; weakness in back and limbs; loss of memory; flow of urine very profuse. Dementia due to masturbation or from sexual excesses.
Silicea. Epileptic dementia in scrofulous children, with constant headache and sensitiveness of the spine; jerkings of the limbs during sleep; constipation; the body poorly developed.
Picric Acid. Sexual excitement and masturbation; weakness of the back and legs; severe pain in back and back of head; burning along the spine; patient easily prostrated.
WHILE, hypochondria resembles melancholia and sometimes hysteria, in its true form it is a distinct disease which may be defined as " mental depression, without adequate cause; and taking the shape, either from the very first or very soon, of a conviction in the patient's mind that he is the victim of serious bodily disease." All his thoughts are centered on himself. A good description of this disease is given on page 224. An inherited predisposition is a frequent remote cause of this condition, and favors its development in persons of dissipated habits, given to intemperance, sexual excesses, masturbation, overeating, or other vices; or persons suffering from great anxiety or severe mental shock.
Nux Vom. A remedy always to be thought of in hypochondria in those of sedentary habits, exercising but little, using the head a great deal, overeating or drinking, indulging in rich or highly spiced food, easily irritated, troubled with flatulence and constipation.
Staphysagria. Hypochondria due to masturbation, patient moody and taciturn, full of anxious imaginings about his health, etc., has many queer notions; or the memory is weak, the mind confused, the urine deep red or yellow; seminal emissions.
Stan n um. Constant weak, weary feeling of mind and body, although the patient feels better from walking about; has many ailments and exaggerates them all; constipation; pain in the abdomen; night sweats.
Aurum .Especially serviceable in men; extreme melancholy, sullenness and disinclination to speak; peevishness; vertigo; dwells on religious subjects.
Arsenicum. Burning pains in stomach; great depression; intense anxiety and concern about bodily condition; sleeplessness or sleep disturbed by bad dreams; exhaustion; poor nutrition.
Also Asafetida in hypochondria with flatulence, torpor of the liver, indigestion, constipation, loose cough and great depression of spirits. China when the patient has a fixed idea he is unhappy and persecuted; is stubborn and unreasonable; digestion slow; may have watery diarrhea; throbbing headache with ringing in ears; after sexual abuse. Any of the above remedies may be given three times a day.
CHILDREN may be born imbeciles, or develop imbecility after birth. With care and patience many of these poor unfortunates may be greatly improved both mentally and physically. The intermarriage of those nearly related to each other, and alcoholism, epilepsy or syphilis, in one or both parents accounts for many born imbeciles. Injuries to the child's head at birth, a blow or fall afterwards, imperfect nutrition, drugging with soothing syrups, infectious fevers,, masturbation, fear and fright, and organic diseases of the brain are causes of defective mentality. Male children are more prone to be feebleminded than female. The development of the brain and its functional powers is incomplete. Children thus afflicted may be thought blind or deaf in infancy when they are simply incapable of responding to the usual stimulation of light, noise, and color; but sometimes, on the other hand, children whose eyesight is defective, are thought to be feebleminded when they are not. Imbeciles are generally vain, irritable, mischievous, hard to control, sometimes destructive, cannot fix their attention on one thing, may have difficulty in walking or in speaking distinctly, and exhibit many bad habits.
If imbecility is the result of epilepsy, refer to the remedies mentioned under that subject. When the only indication is the feeble, undeveloped mind Zinc Phos. is recommended three or four times a day, and its use continued for months. Phosphorus is a remedy well indicated when there is apathy, indifference, stupidity, indisposition to any exertion, mental or physical; slowness of comprehension. Imbecility with great nervousness and masturbation, or softening of the brain. Sulphur as a constitutional remedy for the mentally defective when dirty and untidy in all their habits; irritable; selfish; depressed; poor sleepers at night, drowsy during day; sensitive to cold water and cold air. Give a dose every morning and one of Nux Vom. at night when with some or many of the above symptoms the patient is constipated, has indigestion and masturbates. Arsenicum for poorly nourished patients given to sexual excesses; sleepless or starting in sleep; restless and fearful when awake; for those who have had epilepsy or diseases lessening vitality.
A dose of the indicated remedy may be given three times a day unless otherwise specified. Modern methods followed by qualified practitioners of the leading schools of practice, in dealing with the mentally deficient, include personal care and teaching by attendants of a superior class and, if possible, by those specially trained in this work. There are now admirable homes and institutions, private as well as public, where this class of cases receive judicious instruction adapted to the individual; by this is meant modified mental training manual training, systematic exercise out of doors and in the gymnasium, baths, electricity, massage, wise supervision of morals and personal habits, and patient and persevering guidance. Under such treatment surprising progress is often made in apparently hopeless or most discouraging cases, and the lives of these unfortunates so often bearing the sins of their fathers, made infinitely brighter and happier.
LIST OF REMEDIES.
Alumina.* Cicuta Virosa.
Antimonium Crudum.* Cina.
Antimonium Tartaricum.* Clematis.
Apocynum Cannabinum. Collinsonia.
Argentum Metallicum.* Colocynthis.
Arsenicum Album. Copaiva.
Arsenicum lodatum.* Crotalus.
Asaf oetida. Croton Tiglium.
Aurum.* Cuprum Arsenicosum,
Baptisia. Cuprum Metalicum.*
Baryta Carbonica.* Digitalis.
Boracic Acid or Borax. Erigeron.
Bromine. Eupatorium Perfoliatum.
Calearea Carbonica.* Ferrum Macriaticum.
Calcarea lodata.* Ferrum Phosphoricum.*
Cannabis Sativa. Fluoric Acid.
Caxbo Animalis.* Glonoine.
Carbo Vegetahs.* Graphites.*
Remedies that are starred should be purchased in the form of triturations or tablets
LIST OF REMEDIES.
Hepar Sulphuris.* Passiflora.
Hydrobromic Acid. Phosphorus.
Hydrocyanic Acid. Pieric Acid.
Iodide of Antimony.* Pulsatilla.
Iodine. Rhus Toxicodendron.
Ipecacuanha. Sanguinaria Canade
Iris Versicolor. Santonine.
Kali Bichromicum.* Scutellaria.
Kali Iodatum.* Sepia.*
Kali Muriaticum.* Silicea.*
Manganum.* Stannum lodatum.*
Magnesia Phosphorica.* Staphysagria.
Mercurius Corrosivus.* Stramonium.
Mercurius Iodatus.* Strychnia.*
Mercurius Solubilis.* Sulphur.
Mercurius Vivus.* Tarantula.
Mezereum. Tartar Emetic.*
Muriatic Acid. Terebinthina or Turpentine.
Natrum Muriaticum.* Thuja.
Nitric Acid. Urtica Urens.
Nux Vomica. Aleratrum Album.
Opium. Veratrum Viride.
Pareira Brava. Zinc Phosphide.*
Remedies that are starred should be purchased in the form of trituratioiis or tablets
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