This section is from the book "The Transmission Of Life. Counsels On The Nature And Hygiene Of The Masculine Function", by George H. Napheys. Also available from Amazon: The Transmission of Life.
There is a difference of opinion in the minds of the pro-fession at the present time as to the frequency with which the solitary vice induces epileptic fits. All agree, however, that here is to be found one of the causes of epilepsy, some asserting that it is a prominent cause, others that it is far from being the usual one. We have just pointed out, on a previous page, that " a tendency to venereal excess and onanism is sometimes the result and not the cause of epilepsy." Bearing this truth in mind, and also the lament-able fact that there have been, and are, many ruthless alarmists who, some of them designedly, make exaggerated statements as to the connection between abuse of the masculine powers and epileptic disease, still it cannot be denied that an abundance of the best of medical evidence proves the existence of such a connection in a certain proportion of the cases. Thus Prof. Watson in his work on Practice, so familiar to every physician and medical student, says: -
" There are certain vices which are justly considered as influential in aggravating, and even in creating, a disposition to epilepsy : debauchery of all kinds; the habitual indulgence in intoxicating liquors; and, above all, the most powerful predisposing cause of any, not due to inheritance, is masturbation - a vice which it is painful and difficult even to allude to in this manner, and still more difficult to make the subject of inquiry with a patient. But there is too much reason to be certain that many cases of epilepsy owe their origin to this wretched and degrading habit, and more than one or two patients have voluntarily confessed to me their conviction that they had thus brought upon themselves the epileptic paroxysms for which they sought my advice."