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Realities of insanity.

--Dr. Winslow gives us to understand that madness is, for the most part, a condition of most awful suffering. I used to think that, though there might be dreadful misery on the way to madness, yet, once reason was fairly overthrown, the suffering was over. This appears not to be so. All the miserable depression of spirits, all the incapacity to banish distressing fears and suspicions, which paved the way to real insanity, exist in even an intensified degree when insanity has actually been reached. The poor maniac fancies he is surrounded by burning flies, that he is encircled by writhing snakes, that he is in hell, tormented by devils; and we must remember that the misery caused by firmly believing a thing which does not exist is precisely the same as that which would be occasioned to a sane person if the things imagined were facts. --It seems, too, that many insane people are quite aware that they are insane, which, of course, aggravates what they have to endure. It must be a dreadful thing when the mind passes the point up to which it is still useful and serviceable, though unsound, and enters upon the stage of recognized insanity. It must be dreadful to feel that you are not quite yourself; that something is wrong; that you cannot discard suspicions and fears which still you are aware are foolish and groundless. This is a melancholy stage, and, if it lasts long, a very perilous one. Great anxiety, if continued for any length of time, is almost certain to lead to some measure of insanity. The man, who, night and day, is never far from the thought of how he is to pay his way to maintain his children, is going mad. It is thoroughly evil when one single thought comes to take entire possession of the mind. It shows the brain is going. It is no wonder, my friendly reader, that so many men are, mentally, screws. There is something perfectly awful in reading what are the premonitory symptoms of insanity.-- Fraser's Magazine.

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