This disease is so well known as to require but slight description here. It is met with in every grade of society, from the high to the low, among the rich and the poor. Among the so-called higher classes of society, it very often receives the name of nervous fever, or infiammation of the brain, while among the poor it is called by its blunt and appropriate name, "delirium tremens"
This disease, as a general thing, is produced by a long-continued use of spirituous liquors. We sometimes find it, however, in those who are not in the least addicted to this detestable vice, but whose nervous system has been overstrained by other modes of strong excitement. Thus, the long-continued mental anxiety in which gamblers and great speculators are accustomed to live, may cause it.
This disease is sometimes mistaken for inflammation of the brain, yet when observed even with but litle care, the difference is very apparent.
The face may be red and the eyes blood-shot. There is a rapid pulse, wildness of look and constant fidgeting with the hands, and sometimes tremor of the limbs. The delirium is generally a busy delirium; whatever he does is done in a hurried manner, and with a sort of anxiety to perform it properly. There is great sleeplessness, frequently an entire absence of sleep for several days and nights; constant chattering. The tongue is moist and creamy, the pulse though frequent, is soft, and the skin moist. Ask the patient a question, and he may answer it properly, but immediately his thoughts are wandering to things which exist only in his imagination. His thoughts are generally distressing and anxious; he is giving orders about his business to persons who are absent, or devising plans of escape from some imaginary enemy, or starting in terror at the hideous reptiles which he thinks he distinctly sees all around him. He seldom meditates harm, the delirium more frequently being combined with a mixture of cowardice and fear.
Opium. - This is one of the most prominent remedies in the treatment of this disease. There are rapid and constant motions; wild and staring expression; tremor of the hands and limbs; frightful or 14 fantastic visions, confusion of ideas, and sometimes stupefaction and inclination to commit suicide.
Trembling of the limbs; spasmodic twitching in different parts of the body; vomiting or pressure and burning in the stomach; constipation, headache, coldness of the extremities; depression of spirits; constant uneasiness, anguish, and desire to run away; troublesome visions.
Stramonium and Hyosciamus are also valuable remedies, especially where there are convulsive movements, great excitability, rapid motions, picking at imaginary objects and muttering delirium.
Two drops of the remedy, in a tumbler of water, a table-spoonful every hour, until relief is obtained