Chapter

Nerve Tonics and Treatments

Janet Oppenheim

in “Shattered Nerves”

Published in print July 1991 | ISBN: 9780195057812
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199854394 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195057812.003.0005
Nerve Tonics and Treatments

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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When alienists and nerve specialists set themselves to cure patients incapacitated by nervous breakdown, the treatments they designed reflected their awareness that mind and body needed to be healed together. Although there is no single prescription for the care of shattered nerves, virtually all of the therapeutic methods employed during the Victorian and Edwardian decades sought to address both somatic and psychological distress, restoring the depleted supplies of nerve force that precipitated the collapse and calming whatever form of mental strain that had exacerbated it. Throughout Victoria's reign, most medical men relied on drugs during some stage of a nervous patient's treatment. However, Victorian and Edwardian doctors had no idea why some forms of therapy worked well on some depressed patients and had no effect, or a highly detrimental one, on others.

Keywords: nerve tonics; nerve treatments; somatic distress; psychological distress; nature therapy

Chapter.  17705 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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