Symptoms of Head-Melancholy.

Symptoms of Head-Melancholy.

"IF no symptoms appear about the stomach, nor the blood be misaffected, and fear and sorrow continue, it is to be thought the brain itself is troubled, by reason of a melancholy juice bred in it, or otherwise conveyed into it, and that evil juice is from the distemperature of the part, or left after some inftammation," thus far Piso. But this is not always true,for blood and hypochondries both are often affected even in head-melancholy. Hercules de Saxonia differs here from the common current of writers, putting peculiar signs of head-melancholy, from the sole distemperature of spirits in the brain, as they are hot, cold, dry, moist, "all without matter from the motion alone, and tenebrosity of spirits;" of melancholy which proceeds from humours by adustion, he treats apart, with their several symptoms and cures. The common signs, if it be by essence in the head, "are ruddiness of face, high sanguine complexion, most part rubore saturato, one calls it a blush, and sometimes full of pimples," with red eyes. Aviceona, l. 3, Fen. 2, Tract. 4, c. 18. Duretus and others outof Galen, de affect. l. 3, c. 6. Hercules de Saxonia to this of redness of face, adds "heaviness of the head, fixed and hollow eyes. If it proceed from dryness of the brain, then their heads will be light, vertiginous, and they most apt to wake, and to continue whole months together without sleep. Few excrements in their eyes and nostrils, and often bald by reason of excess of dryness," Montaltus adds, c. 17. If it proceed from moisture: dulness, drowsiness, headache follows; and as Salust. Salvianus, c. 1, l. 2, out of his own experience found, epileptical, with a multitude of humours in the head. They are very bashful, if ruddy, apt to blush, and to be red upon all occasions, præsertim si metus accesserit. But the chiefest symptom to discern this species, as I have said, is this, that there be no notable signs in the stomach, hypochondries, or elsewhere, digna, as Montaltus terms them, or of greater note, because oftentimes the passions of the stomach concur with them. Wind is common to all three species, and is not excluded, only that of the hypochondries is more windy than the rest, saith Hollerius. Ætius, tetrab. l. 2, sc. 2, c. 9, and 10, maintains the same, if there be more signs, and more evident in the head than elsewhere, the brain is primarily affected and prescribes head-melancholy to be cured by meats amongst the rest, void of wind, and good juice, not excluding wind, or corrupt blood, even in head-melancholy itself: but these species are often confounded, and so are their symptoms, as I have already proved. The symptoms of the mind are superfluous and continual cogitations: "for when the head is heated, it scorcheth the blood, and from thence proceed melancholy fumes, which trouble the mind," Avicenna. They are very choleric, and soon hot, solitary, sad, often silent, watchful, discontent, Montaltus, cap. 24. If any thing trouble them, they cannot sleep, but fret themselves still, till another object mitigate, or time wear it out. They have grievous passions, and immoderate perturbations of the mind, fear, sorrow, &c., yet not so continuate, but that they are sometimes merry, apt to profuse laughter, which is more to be wondered at, and that by the authority of Galen himself, by reason of mixture of blood, prærubri jocosis delectantur et irrisores plerumque sunt, if they be ruddy, they are delighted in jests, and sometimes scoffers themselves, conceited: and as Rodericus a Vega comments on that place of Galen, merry, witty, of a pleasant disposition, and yet grievously melancholy anon after: omnia discunt sine doctore, saith Areteus, they learn without a teacher: and as Laurentius supposeth, those feral passions and symptoms of such as think themselves glass, pitchers, feathers, &c., speak strange languages, proceed a calore cerebri (if it be in excess), from the brain's distempered heat.

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