Chart: The Evolution of Nervousness circa 1881, by early neurologist George Miller Beard, M.D.
“In the 1880s, U.S. physicians developed a diagnostic profile for a condition afflicting the leading families of the United States. The best educated, most cultured Americans were suffering from a new, distinctly American condition that was destroying their health. They had migraines, poor digestion, fatigue, depression, and even complete mental collapse in alarming numbers. They suffered from neurasthenia - nervous exhaustion.
Beard saw neurasthenia as created by the hectic, fast-paced life in American cities - he even called it “American nervousness.” The nation’s leaders in business, government, and the arts were made ill by the stress and strain of modern life. The only cure was withdrawal from the pressures of urban life, rest, and a simpler, healthy lifestyle.”
More than 100 years later, we know the pressures that effect everyone (not just the elite) and while the terminology has evolved, when will the behavior that Beard believed to be the cause?