No person can indulge his appetites beyond moderation without suffering the consequences in mind or body. The appetites are not to be indulged as if their indulgence were an object in itself, but for ulterior ends, as the nourishment of the body. Nothing can be more pernicious than the belief too commonly held that occasional excesses are for body; a belief, unhappily, sometimes supported by physicians who ought to know better. The strength and sanity both of mind and body depend on the virtues of temperance and chastity. Young men cannot have this truth too strongly impressed upon them, for it is in the period of youth that the seeds of much after-trouble are sown. The treatment of one of the chief kinds of excess – DRUNKENNESS- is considered under that head. Of equal, if not of greater moment, is the abuse of the organs of generation. This is often begun in childhood, from no fault of the child’s, but in consequence of an irritation in the lower parts. Sometimes it is due to worms. Sometimes to difficulty in making water in boys, owing to a narrow orifice. The treatment for this is circumcision. Much more often it is due to a habit learned at school. One evil-minded boy or girl is capable of corrupting members of others. Once acquired the habit is very difficult to overcome. The symptoms are manifold. Aches and pains in various parts; very obstinate indigestion, with constipation generally; loss of courage, manliness and straightforwardness. Those addicted to this habit can seldom look straight into another’s face. Excesses of adults, married or unmarried, are no less injurious.
General Treatment. – The first thing of course is to do away with the habit, and this is largely a moral question, though medicines may do much to help the effort to overcome it.
This done the effects remain. For these the best general treatment is a regular, wholesome life: early rising, morning cold bath, plain food, and open-air exercise. When indigestion results, for treatment see under DYSPEPSIA.
Medicines. – (Three or four times a day)
– The chief remedy.
Nux vomica 3.
– Spare subjects; great depression; constipation.
– Heat and chills; hot head, and cold feet and hands generally sinking sensation at the pit of the stomach in the forenoon.
– Chilly subjects, cold clammy feet; apprehensive, irritable.
– Constipation; chilly subjects; depression.