This section is from the book "Health Without Medicine. A Treatise On The Laws Of The Human System", by Larkin B. Coles. Also available from Amazon: Philosophy Of Health.
This affection of mind has an opposite effect, on the general health, to that of cheerfulness. Melancholy deadens the circulation in the bloodvessels and nerves; and also retards the action of the liver. It retards the process of digestion and of nutrition, and tends to dry up the fluids of the whole system.
A state of despondency and melancholy is a frequent accompaniment of deranged digestive organs. It sometimes is found to be both cause and effect. It often causes dyspepsia, and whether it cause it or not, it generally follows it; and then operates both as cause and effect. When melancholy, or a despairing state of mind, once exists, whether as connected with deranged digestive organs, or any other state of ill health, the cure becomes very much more difficult and doubtful; and nothing comparatively can be effected by way of medication, for the benefit of the patient, till something be done for the mental affection. Some method must be had at once to attract the attention of the patient away from himself and his complaints. Hence, in selecting a method of cure, some exercise or. employment must be chosen, which will interest and engage the thoughts, and prevent their being absorbed in himself; and those associated with him must put on the most cheerful aspect.