Causes of Head-Melancholy.

Causes of Head-Melancholy.

AFTER a tedious discourse of the general causes of melancholy, I am now returned at last to treat in brief of the three particular species, and such causes as properly appertain unto them. Although these causes promiscuously concur to each and every particular kind, and commonly produce their effects in that part which is most weak, ill-disposed, and least able to resist, and so cause all three species, yet many of them are proper to some one kind, and seldom found in the rest. As for example, head-melancholy is commonly caused by a cold or hot distemperature of the brain, according to Laurentius, cap. 5 de melan. but as Hercules de Saxonia contends, from that agitation or disttemperature of the animal spirits alone. Salust. Salvianus, before mentioned, lib. 2. cap. 3. de re med. will have it proceed from cold: but that I take of natural melancholy, such as are fools and dote: for as Galen writes, lib. 4. de puls. 8. and Avicenna, "a cold and moist brain is an inseparable companion of folly." But this adventitious melancholy which is here meant, is caused of a hot and dry distemperature, as Damascen, the Arabian, lib. 3. cap. 22. thinks, and most writers: Altomarus and Piso call it "an innate burning intemperateness, turning blood and choler into melancholy." Both these opinions may stand good, as Bruel maintains, and Cappivaccius, si cerebrum sit calidus, "if the brain be hot, the animal spirits will be hot, and thence comes madness; if cold, folly." David Crusius, Theat. morb. Hermet. lib. 2. cap. 6. de atrabilis, grants melancholy to be a disease of an inflamed brain, but cold notwithstanding of itself: calida per accidens, frigida per se, hot by accident only; I am of Capivaccius' mind for my part. Now this humour, according to Salvianus, is sometimes in the substance of the brain, sometimes contained in the membranes and tunicles that cover the brain, sometimes in the passages of the ventricles of the brain, or veins of those ventricles. It follows many times "phrensy, long diseases, agues, long abode in hot places, or under the sun, a blow on the head," as Rhasis informeth us: Piso adds solitariness, waking, inflammations of the head, proceeding most part from much use of spices, hot wines, hot meats: all which Montanus reckons up, consil. 22. for a melancholy Jew; and Heurnius repeats, cap. 12. de Mania: hot baths, garlic, onions, saith Guianerius, bad air, corrupt, much waking, &c., retention of seed or abundance, stopping of hæmorrhagia, the midriff misaffected; and according to Trallianus, l. 1. 16. immoderate cares, troubles, griefs, discontent, study, meditation, and, in a word, the abuse of all those six non-natural things. Hercules de Saxonia, cap. 16. lib. 1. will have it caused from a cautery, or boil dried up, or an issue. Amatus Lusitanus, cent. 2. cura. 67. gives instance in a fellow that had a hole in his arm, "after that was healed, ran mad, and when the wound was open, he was cured again." Trincavellius, consil. 13. lib. 1. hath an example of a melancholy man so caused by overmuch continuance in the sun, frequent use of venery, and immoderate exercise: and in his cons. 49. lib. 3. from a headpiece overheated, which caused head-melancholy. Prosper Calenus brings in Cardinal Cæsius for a pattern of such as are so melancholy by long study; but examples are infinite.

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