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A condition described in the late 1800s as being uniquely American, believed to most commonly affect those who performed cerebral work (e.g., physicians, lawyers and inventors), which is now known as stress. Reported findings included a loss of interest in mental labour and heart disturbances. Neurasthenia was viewed as a reflection of the natural superiority of the American culture and a product of the progress and refinement of modern civilisation; treatments included cold water cures, diets, exercise, arsenic and many others.
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.
General physical and nervous exhaustion. Synonym: neurasthenia
See also: prostration
Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners