Obsolete term used for persons with unexplained chronic, abnormal fatigue and lassitude - nervous exhaustion. Other symptoms are insomnia, back pain, nervousness, anxiety, depression, headache, difficulty in concentrating, reduced sexual impulse, and lack of appetite. Both sexes are affected, but predominant in women, especially in 4th or 5th decade Onset gradual or sudden. Beard reported 50 symptoms and signs. Etiology unknown. Various hypotheses according to schools of psychiatry.
See also Gilles de la Tourette’s syndrome, under Georges Albert Édouard Brutus Gilles de la Tourette, French neurologist, 1857-1904.
- G. M. Beard:
Neurasthenia, or nervous exhaustion.
Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, 1869, 80: 217-221. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders.
Washington, American Psychiatric Association, 1980: 230.