The alarming mortality and widespread prevalence of nervous and mental disorders in recent years is sufficient to attract the attention of every intelligent citizen. At first sight it scarcely seems possible that during four years, viz., from 1900 to 1904, diseases of the nervous system were responsible for more deaths than any other class of ailments. A bulletin on health statistics has just been issued by the United States Census Bureau, which claims that no less than 302,876 persons died from some nervous disorder during this period. This large number of deaths is even greater than those who died from more common fatal tendencies of tuberculosis, typhoid fever, malaria, infectious fever, alcoholism, cancer, pneumonia, and even the epidemics of yellow fever. Hence nervous diseases take precedence of all other classes of diseases as a death producer or destroying agent.
That nervous and mental diseases are increasingly prevalent and widespread in
PUNTON J. NERVOUSNESS: ITS SIGNIFICANCE AND TREATMENT.. JAMA. 1908;L(5):353-357. doi:10.1001/jama.1908.25310310029001g