Nervous Breakdowns and How to Avoid Them by Charles David Musgrove

Nervous Breakdowns and How to Avoid Them

byCharles David Musgrove

Kobo ebook | December 22, 2014

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An express train was on its way from London to Edinburgh. It was running at sixty miles an hour, and the passengers, as comfortable as if they had been sitting in easy chairs by their own firesides, were engaged in reading, sleeping, talking or looking out of the windows. Not a thought of any impending trouble crossed their minds.

Suddenly they felt a jar, followed by a jerk; the train slowed down, and within ten seconds had come to a standstill. Then there was general commotion, and heads appeared at every window, to see or inquire what was the matter. There was no station in sight, and no signal against them. Yet that train, which a few moments earlier had been speeding along in all its power and pride, had come to a dead stop.

And when those passengers alighted from their compartments and began to investigate matters, they were no nearer a solution of the mystery. The train had not left the rails, the carriage wheels were intact, the engine was undamaged, the fires burning and the steam up. Yet something had happened, and whatever it was, it had rendered that train a useless mass of timber and steel for the time being. It was still a fine thing to look at, but as a means of locomotion it was of no more use than a child’s toy would have been.

Yet, great as was the trepidation of those passengers, it was nothing to the shock experienced by the man who in the prime of life, and perhaps just when he bids fair to reach the heights towards which he has been striving with all his might for long years, suddenly finds that he is incapable of the very work of which he had prided himself he was master.

It may be that he has toiled since youth in order to attain a certain position, and just when it comes within his reach his nerve fails him, and he cannot put out his hand to take it. The energy and ability which have carried him so far along the road fail him at the critical moment.

Or it may be that he has struggled through laborious days and nights and amid many disappointments for fame. Just as he is about to realise his ambitions he breaks down, and becomes an embittered misanthrope. The genius which has enabled him to climb so many rungs of the ladder becomes inert, and he cannot mount the last step.

Another spends his life in a good cause—philanthropy, religion, public work of any sort. At the very time when, by the experience he has gained, his years of greatest usefulness stretch before him, he is cut off, incapacitated by nervous debility.

And it is not only men who go through this experience; the same may befall women. Often has it happened that a woman has devoted herself so assiduously to the care of her family, regardless of her own disturbed meals and broken rest, that just when her children needed her most of all—and that is when they were growing up—her strength has failed her and she has become an invalid.

The lamentable part about breakdowns is the fact that they attack those who can least be spared. It is not the clodhopper, the navvy or the labourer, the careless or the incompetent, who suffer from them. On the contrary, we meet with them among skilled workmen, business men of the greatest ability, professional men of the highest acumen and experience. The former can be replaced, whilst these others have carved a niche for themselves which no one else can fill.

It is the natures of finest fibre which accomplish the most, and it is they who are most liable to give way beneath the strain. A common mug may fall to the ground unharmed, where a piece of costly china would be smashed to atoms. When a masterpiece of art is lost or stolen, the whole nation grieves after it. How much more so when a man of repute, either in great ways or small, is invalided and his services lost to the world.

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Title:Nervous Breakdowns and How to Avoid ThemFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:December 22, 2014Publisher:FUNK AND WAGNALLS COMPANYLanguage:English

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