Neurasthenia

Neurasthenia
Pronunciation
SpecialtyPsychiatry, psychology, psychotherapy Edit this on Wikidata

Neurasthenia is a term that was first used at least as early as 1829[1] to label a mechanical weakness of the nerves and would become a major diagnosis in North America during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries after neurologist George Miller Beard reintroduced the concept in 1869.

As a psychopathological term, the first to publish on neurasthenia was Michigan alienist E. H. Van Deusen of the Kalamazoo asylum in 1869,[2] followed a few months later by New York neurologist George Beard, also in 1869[3] to denote a condition with symptoms of fatigue, anxiety, headache, heart palpitations, high blood pressure, neuralgia, and depressed mood. Van Deusen associated the condition with farm wives made sick by isolation and a lack of engaging activity, while Beard connected the condition to busy society women and overworked businessmen.

Neurasthenia is currently a diagnosis in the World Health Organization's International Classification of Diseases (and the Chinese Society of Psychiatry's Chinese Classification of Mental Disorders). However, it is no longer included as a diagnosis in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.[4]

Americans were said to be particularly prone to neurasthenia, which resulted in the nickname "Americanitis"[5] (popularized by William James[6]). Another, rarely used, term for neurasthenia is nervosism.[7]

  1. ^ Good, John Mason (1829). The study of medicine. New York: Harper and Brothers. pp. (ed. 3) IV. 370.
  2. ^ Van Deusen, E. H. (April 1869). "Observations on a form of nervous prostration, (neurasthenia) culminating in insanity". American Journal of Insanity. 25 (4): 445–461. doi:10.1176/ajp.25.4.445.
  3. ^ Beard, G (1869). "Neurasthenia, or nervous exhaustion". The Boston Medical and Surgical Journal. 80 (13): 217–221. doi:10.1056/NEJM186904290801301.
  4. ^ Dimsdale, Joel E.; Xin, Yu; Kleinman, Arthur; Patel, Vikram; Narrow, William E.; Sirovatka, Paul J.; Regier, Darrel A. (2 March 2009). Somatic Presentations of Mental Disorders: Refining the Research Agenda for DSM-V. American Psychiatric Pub. p. 58. ISBN 978-0-89042-656-2.
  5. ^ Marcus, G (1998-01-26). "One Step Back; Where Are the Elixirs of Yesteryear When We Hurt?". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-09-11.
  6. ^ Daugherty, Greg (25 March 2015). "The Brief History of "Americanitis"". Smithsonian. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  7. ^ "Nervosism - Biology-Online Dictionary - Biology-Online Dictionary". www.biology-online.org.