This disease is a weakness of the mind, without being deprived of
intellect, which renders people unhappy in the midst of pleasure, and
often deprives them of performing the duties of life; the cause may be
from the stoppage of any usual evacuation, from grief, intense study,
narcotic or stupefactive poisons, the striking of eruptions, [such] as the
scurvy, scrophula, or from too much solitude; or a fever on the spirits,
obstruction of the menses, etc.
– The Family Physician, Edward Bullman, 1789
this is a fairly astute assessment of what would now be called depression,
it is notable that the first given possible source is constipation; should we
think of this as an indication of what might reasonably be called the English
‘disease’, namely an obsession – which lasted well into the twentieth century
– with emptying the bowels?