The term neurasthenia has not the wide application it had ten years ago. A more accurate clinical observation has narrowed its meaning, and in many cases that would formerly have been called neurasthenia, and which would have been treated as such, are now recognized as nervous features due to some bodily derangement not primarily nervous. Chronic disorder of internal organs may, and often does, predispose to neurasthenia and by interference with nutrition, by exhaustion, or by toxemic states, the resistive capacity of the nervous system is lowered so that it more easily succumbs to the ordinary stress of life.
There is, of course, stress in every life; every man, whether he drives a dray or runs a bank, is subject to stress of mind and body, and that which befalls the man of low capacity and rude life may be relatively to his strength and his outlook on the world
McBRIDE JH. SOME POINTS IN THE MANAGEMENT OF THE NEURASTHENIC.. JAMA. 1902;XXXVIII(14):855–861. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.62480140001001