Symptoms of windy Hypochondriacal Melancholy.

Symptoms of windy Hypochondriacal Melancholy.

"IN this hypochondriacal or fatuous melancholy, the Symptoms are so ambiguous," saith Crato in a counsel of his for a noblewoman, "that the most exquisite physicians cannot determine of the part affected." Matthew Flaccius, consulted about a noble matron, confessed as much, that in this malady he with Hollerius, Fracastorius, Fallopius, and others, being to give their sentence of a party labouring of hypochondriacal melancholy, could not find out by the symptoms which part was most especially affected; some said the womb, some heart, some stomach, &c., and therefore Crato, consil. 24. lib. 1. boldly avers, that in this diversity of symptoms, which commonly accompany this disease, "no physician can truly say what part is affected." Galen, lib. 3. de loc. affect. reckons up these ordinary symptoms, which all the Neoterics repeat of Diodes; only this fault he finds with him, that he puts not fear and sorrow amongst the other signs. Trincavellius excuseth Diocles, lib. 3. consil. 35. because that oftentimes in a strong head and constitution, a generous spirit, and a valiant, these symptoms appear not, by reason of his valour and courage. Hercules de Saxonia (to whom I subscribe) is of the same mind (which I have before touched) that fear and sorrow are not general symptoms; some fear and are not sad; some be sad and fear not; some neither fear nor grieve. The rest are these, beside fear and sorrow, "sharp belchings, fulsome crudities, heat in the bowels, wind and rumbling in the guts, vehement gripings, pain in the belly and stomach sometimes, after meat that is hard of concoction, much watering of the stomach, and moist spittle, cold sweat, importunus sudor, unseasonable sweat all over the body," as Octavius Horatianus, lib. 2. cap. 5. calls it; cold joints, indigestion, "they cannot endure their own fulsome belchings, continual wind about their hypochondries, heat and griping in their bowels, præcordia sursum convelluntur; midriff and bowels are pulled up, the veins about their eyes look red, and swell from vapours and wind." Their ears sing now and then, vertigo and giddiness come by fits, turbulent dreams, dryness, leanness, apt they are to sweat upon all occasions, of all colours and complexions. Many of them are high-coloured, especially after meals, which symptom Cardinal Cæcius was much troubled with, and of which he complained to Prosper Calenus his physician, he could not eat, or drink a cup of wine, but he was as red in the face as if he had been at a mayor's feast. That symptom alone vexeth many. Some again are black, pale, ruddy, sometimes their shoulders, and shoulder blades ache, there is a leaping all over their bodies, sudden trembling, a palpitation of the heart, and that cardiaca passio, grief in the mouth of the stomach, which maketh the patient think his heart itself acheth, and sometimes suffocation, difficultas anhelitus, short breath, hard wind, strong pulse, swooning. Montanus, consil. 55, Trincavellius, lib. 3. consil. 36, et 37. Fernelius, cons. 43. Frambesarius, consult. lib. 1. consil. 17. Hildesheim, Claudinus, &c., give instance of every particular. The peculiar symptoms, which properly belong to each part be these. If it proceed from the stomach saith Savanarola, 'tis full of pain and wind, Guianerius adds vertigo, nausea, much spitting, &c. if from the myrach, a swelling and wind in the hypochondries, a loathing, and appetite to vomit, pulling upward. If from the heart, aching and trembling of it, much heaviness. If from the liver, there is usually a pain in the right hypochondrie. If from the spleen, hardness and grief in the left hypochondrie, a rumbling, much appetite and small digestion, Avicenna. If from the meseraic veins and liver on the other side, little or no appetite, Herc. de Saxonia. If from the hypochondries, a rumbling inflation, concoction is hindered, often belching, &c. And from these crudities, windy vapours ascend up to the brain which trouble the imagination, and cause fear, sorrow, dulness, heaviness, many terrible conceits and chimeras, as Lemnius well observes, l. 1. c. 16. "as a black and thick cloud covers the sun, and intercepts his beams and light, so doth this melancholy vapour obnubilate the mind, enforce it to many absurd thoughts and imaginations," and compel, good, wise, honest, discreet men (arising to the brain from the lower part; "as smoke out of a chimney") to dote, speak, and do that which becomes them not, their persons, callings, wisdoms. One by reason of those ascending vapours and gripings, rumbling beneath, will not be persuaded but that he hath a serpent in his guts, a viper, another frogs. Trallianus relates a story of a woman, that imagined she had swallowed an eel, or a serpent, and Felix Platerus, observat. lib. 1. hath a most memorable example of a countryman of his, that by chance falling into a pit where frogs and frogs' spawn was, and a little of that water swallowed, began to suspect that he had likewise swallowed frogs' spawn, and with that conceit and fear, his phantasy wrought so far, that he verily thought he had young live frogs in his belly, qui vivebant ex alimento suo, that lived by his nourishment, and was so certainly persuaded of it, that for many years following he could not be rectified in his conceit: He studied physic seven years together to cure himself, travelled into Italy, France and Germany to confer with the best physicians about it, and Anno 1609, asked his counsel amongst the rest; he told him it was wind, his conceit, &c., but mordicus contradicere, et ore et scriptis probare nitebatur: no saying would serve, it was no wind, but real frogs: "and do you not hear them croak?" Platerus would have deceived him, by putting live frogs into his excrements; but he, being a physician himself would not be deceived, vir prudens alias, et doctus, a wise and learned man otherwise, a doctor of physic, and after seven years' dotage in this kind, a phantasia liberatus est, he was cured. Laurentius and Goulart have many such examples, if you be desirous to read them. One commodity above the rest which are melancholy, these windy flatuous have, lucida intervalla, their symptoms and pains are not usually so continuate as the rest, but come by fits, fear and sorrow, and the rest: yet in another they exceed all others; and that is, they are luxurious, incontinent, and prone to venery, by reason of wind, et facile amant, et quam libet fere amant. (Jason Pratensis.) Rhasis is of opinion, that Venus doth many of them much good; the other symptoms of the mind be common with the rest.

Previous Next