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visitation of hereditary insanity, my long.conceived opinion regarding the nature of hereditary morbid transmissions, endeavouring to shew, by numerous cases, that they were in a great measure dependent on our temperaments and predispositions; and I endeavoured, at the same time, to point out the means which were most likely to prove efficacious in checking their development, both by moral and by physical agency.
For this purpose I divested my work of all obscure technicalities and scholastic terms, and carefully avoided
discussion that could lead my readers to wander in the intricate labyrinth of idle metaphysics and vague speculation on the marvellous mysteries of the creation.
A long experience in the treatment of mental affections, both in public asylums and in private practice, has afforded me many opportunities of observing their influence, which I have ventured to submit to the public, in the full conviction, that in many instances of this melancholy transmission of disease, a timely and well-judged attention to premonitory symptoms, and to the gradual progress of a disease that rarely becomes manifest until the age of puberty, might prove beneficial in checking and neutralizing the development of one of the most fearful visitations, to which many families are doomed by a predisposing influence hitherto deemed uncontrollable.
J. G. MILLINGEN, M.D., First Class Surgeon to the Forces, and late Resident Physician of the County of Millleses Lunutic Asylum at Hanwell,
August, 1848. 7, Paulton Square, Chelsea, and
York House, Battersen.