<>!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN"> Samuel on Worry

This article has been transcribed from a copy of the Cardiff Times in the online collection of scanned Welsh newspapers 1804-1919 in the National Library of Wales, with grateful recognition of the free access accorded to all readers.

Explanatory Notes

Samuel clearly sees the link between worry (or as we would say, 'anxiety') and mental health, but his insight doesn't go far enough to suggest that anxiety is rarely under conscious control. He makes disappointingly little of the irrational suggestion that the use of a particular soap would dispel anxiety. We see an increased awareness of mental health issues around this time, but as yet very little public understanding of them. Psychiatric nursing was becoming a recognised speciality in the 1890s. It was arguably the First World War and its aftermath which belatedly produced dramatic advances in psychiatry.

The fourth illustration is far from clear to us today. Does it show the introverted type of child who would be a worry to parents, and who might end up in a mental hospital? This is perhaps reading too much into it. —— David Skilton

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ost people who travel either by rail or road will be familiar with an advertisement which states in the largest letters, 'Don't worry. Use Sunlight Soap.' Now, I imagine that few, if any, of the thousands of people who have passed this advertisement in the streets or in the numerous railway stations where it is conspicuously displayed, have for a moment paused to think of the value of the advice therein promulgated by the enterprising proprietors of a cleansing commodity. 'Don't worry!'

Verily the advice is good, indeed 'tis more than good, i' faith, 'tis excellent.

I know nothing of the value of the soap part of the advertisement, but the other part of it can be relied upon as most valuable advice.

Never Worries

It is far more frequently worry that kills people than work, though it is seldom that the fact is really known at the time.

If people gave. over worrying they would live longer and happier lives.

Take the case of a man who fancies he is ill. He begins to worry about the matter, and though in reality he has little or nothing the matter with him, he goes on worrying about his imaginary ailment until he finds himself in the hands of the doctor, suffering from a self-inflicted attack of nervous irritation.

And all because he would worry.

Always on the Worry

The actual worries of life are quite bad enough in themselves without people going out of their way to find things to worry about.

Perpetual worry will wear anyone out in the same way that water wears away stone. It is a mental strain that will wear out even the strongest intellect.

It may appear a strange connection, but it is no less a fact that a very great percentage of indigestion is brought about by worry. I once had this fact impressed upon my mind by a well-known medical man who was one of the biggest consulting surgeons in the North of England.

He told me that if people would only take life rationally and give over worrying, the decrease in the number of cases of indigestion would surprise people.

Ready to Worry Anything

Women are terrible creatures to worry about things, and I am not sure that some of them are not fond of it. They worry about anything or nothing, and those who do it on principle are never so pleased as when a friend tells them they look worried.

You see[s] it gives them such a splendid opportunity to air their pet grievances and to trot out a specially loved list of woes.

Still there are women whose lives are full of petty worries. These women live in a continual state of trying to make ends meet. Life is to them one long struggle, one sad tiring round of wondering how things will end, or wondering where the money is to come from to keep the wolf from the door. Their worries are realities, and their pinched, worn faces tell their own tales of days and nights of worry. To them worry becomes so much part and parcel of their lives that they imagine something serious is going to happen if they are a day without it.

A Terrible Worry to Parents

Girls often humbug themselves that they are worried, but their worries are of an infinitesimal order, and they soon grow out of them. From worrying to 'worriting' is but a short step, and it is the first move in the direction of 'nagging,' that habit so fatal to the peace and comfort of the domestic circle. If people would only get the truth about worry fairly implanted in their minds, and try to avoid it, there would be less work for the doctors to do all round, and many an unfortunate, whose days are ended in the asylum would live a rational and peaceful life.

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Last modified 1 May 2022