This section is from the book "Materia Medica And Therapeutics Inorganic Substances", by Charles D. F. Phillips. Also available from Amazon: Materia medica and therapeutics.
Dr. S. W. Williams in this country, and Dr. Ford in America, have recorded their experience of phosphorus in these conditions. The six cases of the former physician were treated by 1/30 gr. doses (Kirby's pills) twice or thrice daily, but only two could be considered relieved (Journal of Mental Science, 1874). Dr. Ford recognized improvement in fifteen cases of dementia (American Journal of Insanity, January, 1874). Dr. Judson Andrews had previously written in favor of phosphoric acid in different forms of insanity, but especially those tending to melancholia (American Journal of Insanity, October, 1869).
I have notes of thirteen cases of recovery from this distressing affection in patients between the ages of thirty-two and forty-five years, most of whom showed well-marked symptoms, such as despondency and depression, suicidal impulse, fear of solitude, loss of sleep, etc.: they looked haggard, with flushed face, and complained of cold, clammy skin, vertigo, and various disturbances of the digestive system. In addition to general treatment by exercise and different forms of bath, and the occasional use of nux vomica or aperients, I gave phosphorus, at first 1/30 gr., afterward 1/100 gr., thrice daily, with the result that all recovered in the course of two to three months. My experience of fourteen other cases between the ages of thirty-five and fifty shows, however, that it is an uncertain remedy, and although quickly beneficial in some cases, in others it is disappointing.