This section is from the book "The Hygienic System: Fasting And Sun Bathing", by Herbert M. Shelton. Also available from Amazon: The Hygienic System Vol III Fasting and Sun Bathing.
The insane commonly manifest a strong aversion to food and, unless forcibly fed, will often go for extended periods without eating. It is customary in institutions devoted to the care of the mentally ill, to force-feed such patients, often by very cruel means. This aversion to food by the insane is undoubtedly an instinctive move in the right direction. In his Natural Cure, pp. 140-143, Dr. Page presents a very interesting account of a patient that recovered normal mental health by fasting forty-one days, after other treatment had miserably failed. One case of insanity in a young man who came under my care refused food for thirty-nine days, resuming eating on the morning of the fortieth day of fasting, greatly improved in mental condition. I have used fasting in other cases of mental disease and have no doubt that fasting is distinctly beneficial and, I am convinced that when the insane patient refuses food, this is an instinctive measure designed to assist the body in its reconstructive work.