Melancholia is a state of mental depression occuring as symptom in most mental diseases.Presumably melancholia occurs mostly in women at the menopause, but it also occurs in men, and at other periods of life in both men and women.The involutional form of melancholia is supposed to be characteristic of the mental disturbance of women at the period mentioned.At this time it manifests itself by a feeling of inferiority, of self-degradation, of depression and of suicidal intents.
Supposedly this comes about by a realization of waning youthfullness, of mistakes and misfortunes too late to correct.Also there is often a sense of anxiety and insecurity about the future, a feeling of physical inadequacy and mental shock that comes with the incidence of sickness and deaths in the family.All this contributes to the psychotic state.
All these feelings,reactions and moods are experienced by most men and women at middle age and later on, but it does not necessarily unbalance them.There must be a real pathological condition in the brain or in other parts of the body to bring about a real case of manic depression.
Unfortunately,psychiatrists are so preoccupied with naming and labelling various groups of mental symptoms, and describing how the manifestations of these symptoms fit into some hypothetical theory of dream,libido,infantile dissipation or intrauterine experience that they fail to find out what is really wrong with the patient's physical and mental health.
The entire specialty of medical psychiatry is in a confusesd state, else hundreds of thousands of mentally ill patients who are curable would not be herded into state hospitals under the most horrible of physical, moral and medical neglect, as has been exposed in the public press from time to time. The few clear headed psychiatrists who dare to be critical are entirely ignored. To albert deutsch, a zealus newspaper man of New York, Particularly belongs the credit for his thorough investigation and exposure of these medieval conditions, and for his continued reminders and appeals to have these shameful conditions changed. He should be classed wit dix,Shattuck and Beers as the four american laymen who have done more for the advancement of public health than many medical organizations and foundations.
Removal of all mentally sick patients to special wards in local general hospitals in their own home towns and treating them like any other sick people by the entire cooperative hospital staff, and not like segregated outcasts, will cure most of them,expect those cases due to neglected chronic,uncured syphilis or other hopelessly degenerative disease. Only by this method will it be possible to discover the pathological conditions causing the various mental diseases