Neurasthenia

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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Neurasthenia'

Neurasthenia Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    neurasthenia n : nervous breakdown (not in technical use)
Neurasthenia Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Neurasthenia \Neu*ras`the*ni"a\, n. [NL., fr. Gr. ? nerve + ? weakness.] (Med.) A condition of nervous debility supposed to be dependent upon impairment in the functions of the spinal cord.
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Neurasthenia'


Neurasthenia is a psycho-pathological term first used by George Miller Beard It is currently a diagnosis in the World Health Organization's International Classification of Diseases (and in the Chinese Classification of Mental Disorders, translated as 神经衰弱). However, it is no longer included as a diagnosis in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

Americans were supposed to be particularly prone to neurasthenia, which resulted in the nickname "Americanitis" (popularized by William James). Today, the condition is still commonly diagnosed in Asia.

The condition was explained as being a result of exhaustion of the central nervous system's energy reserves, which Beard attributed to modern civilization. Physicians in the Beard school of thought associated neurasthenia with the stresses of urbanization and the stress suffered as a result of the increasingly competitive business environment. Typically, it was associated with upper class people or professionals with sedentary employment.

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