Management of the Patient with Nervous Exhaustion
After a good American breakfast, topped off with a second cup of coffee, Mr. Brown rushed for his coat and hat and dashed for the garage on the first subzero morning of the winter. He had allowed himself the usual 20 minutes to get to his office where he would be busily occupied all day with perplexing business problems. This morning, however, only the slow growl of the starter mechanism greeted his push of the starter button. Mr. Brown then realized that for several weeks he had noticed the light had been dimming considerably when he started the car, but he hadn't paid any attention to this evidence of an exhausted battery. The result was that he was moderately inconvenienced this morning when the added strain of turning over a very cold motor was more than the already weakened battery could overcome. A short, but rather impatient, delay of an hour while the service man changed the battery and the slight expense of having the battery recharged were very trivial consequences, indeed, to pay for his negligence in observing that the additional electrical gadgets that he had recently installed were taking more energy out of the battery each day than the generator was restoring.
This experience with the battery meant very little to Mr. Brown, however, when six months later he began to feel fatigued, noticed some increasing irritability, a change in his disposition, and toward the end of the day a distinct need for a stimulant which he took. . .