As elsewhere stated, depression is a condition in which there is a deficiency of vital action. It may be either general or local in character. Its symptoms may be either an increase or decrease of irritability. Increase of irritability in consequence of depression, although a seeming anomaly, is a well-established fact, having been determined by numerous observations, not only upon men but also upon animals, in which it is frequently found that just before dissolution, when the depression has reached the highest degree compatible with life, irritability is sometimes enormously increased. The irritability of depression is, however, peculiar, being in a marked degree deficient in strength and vigor, usually lasting but for a very brief period, and being followed by a great increase in depression. Depression is one of the most prominent symptoms in all diseases of debility, in cases of convalescence from acute diseases or serious surgical injuries, and a great variety of local and general conditions.

The Causes of Depression

As elsewhere shown, are anything whatever which exhausts the vital forces faster than they are replenished by nutrition. The treatment of depression is exactly what would be indicated by the common sense of the most inexperienced person; that is, simply to economize the vital forces by lessening the expenditure of force so far as possible and increasing the supply through improved and augmented nutrition. The treatment of depression implies the application of all hygienic means, obedience to all hygienic rules, and placing the system so far as possible in harmony with all the laws of nature. When this is done, unless the cause is one which cannot be removed, the patient will shortly recover. The length of time required will, of course, depend upon the natural activity of his system, upon the degree of reserve force which he possesses, and upon the thoroughness with which he complies with the conditions necessary for recovery.