Slow Down to Avoid Suffering from this Ancient Illness

This ancient illness is still around today. In fact, you probably have it.

Even if you’re a self-proclaimed health nut and value your sleep, piece of mind, and meditation regimen, you still could suffer from this ancient illness.

The illness we're referring to is neurasthenia. Sounds nasty, right? Thankfully, this illness isn’t as scary as it sounds, which is a good thing because I’m pretty sure we’ve all experienced its symptoms:

  • Anxiety
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • General malaise

Yes, even people in the 19th century (that's when neurologist George Beard coined the term) experienced these symptoms when they became overwhelmed by their day-to-day lives.

The industrialization illness

The diagnosis was quite common in cities that industrialized the fastest. “The decades after the civil war were a time of rapid change for the nation," The Pulse reports. "Cities were industrializing and growing, the railroad was expanding, the invention of the telephone was around the corner, the stock ticker was about to go live." Americans realized they were doing more and were "concerned about the impact of life in the fast lane on their health.”

"It's almost like if you had Neurasthenia, you were working hard at something, you worked yourself into sickness, and you needed to recover, take some time off, get back into the rat race," David Schuster, author of "Neurasthenic Nation,” adds.

So, you can only imagine how common this is now. Basically, this ancient illness should probably just be renamed “Being Alive in the World Syndrome.”

Ancient treatment

Now, while modern day women and men can either treat themselves via some TLC, vacation time, or embracing a healthier way of life or by going to a doctor, men and women in the past were treated very differently.

People who generally received treatment were entrepreneurs, artists, and creative people. Women were told they had to rest for nearly eight weeks in bed. Doctors often told women they had to use a bed pan so they could stay immobile.

Men, however, were encouraged to “go out West” and to rediscover their “cowboy roots.”

Ah, ancient sexism.

Have you ever felt like you are overwhelmed by today’s world? Wait, silly question—of course you have...

So, what do you do to protect yourself from modern day burnout?

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Woman asleep by computer via Shutterstock

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