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The symptoms are despondency, sorrow, fear and despair in degree beyond the natural emotions. Anxiety, grief and fear are peculiar to the normal mind and it is only when they exist to such a degree as to be beyond the power of reason and not in harmony with the laws of logic that we may justly style them morbid or call them delusions. Melancholia, as a rule, does not come on abruptly; on the contrary it is a condition of slow growth, with bodily symptoms of so trivial a nature as to scarcely attract attention; notwithstanding, we believe it is more frequently due to physical conditions than otherwise. Melancholia does not necessarily follow neurasthenia. Observation of cases coming under our treatment strongly incline us to the belief that we should look for toxic causes, auto-toxic substances, poisons created within the body, which, step by step, exert a destructive influence over
WATSON WS. MELANCHOLIA AND ITS TREATMENT. JAMA. 1898;XXX(15):831–834. doi:10.1001/jama.1898.72440670019002c
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