'American Nervousness: its Causes and Consequences', by George Beard (1881)


“American nervousness”, declared Geoerge Beard, “is the product of American civilization”. He attributed the prevalance of neurosynthesia to "the telegraph, railroad, press, and the market driven rat race of wall street" which "rendered life insupportably hectic, intense, and stressfull":

    "The causes of American nervousness are... : First of all modern civilization. The phrase modern civilization is used with emphasis, for civilization alone does not cause nervousness. The Greeks were certainly civilized, but they were not nervous, and in the Greek language there is no word for that term. The ancient Romans were civilized, as judged by any standard. [...] The modern differ from the ancient civilizations mainly in these five elements-- steam power, the periodical press, the telegraph, the sciences, and the mental activity of women. When civilization, plus these five factors, invades any nation, it must carry nervousness and nervous diseases along with it."