A medical officer cannot long remain in the Navy without being impressed by the fact that many of the officers whom he encounters have a distinctly “run down” appearance, or look, at least, as if they were not in the best of health. Yet upon examination no definite condition of disease is found. There is, however, an appearance of nervous strain and exhaustion of vitality. It is possible that more accurate methods of examination and diagnosis than those now available would show distinct pathology, but the most we can now say of these cases is that they are “under par.” They are not sick, nor are they entirely well. They cannot be placed upon the sick list, much less be surveyed or given sick leave, yet they clearly need rest and an opportunity to recuperate. It is a functional rather than an organic condition, but the one leads to the other if allowed to run on unchecked. The treatment these cases need most of all is not now available. This is nothing more nor less than rest, change, and temporary relief from exacting duties and the stress of a peculiarly abnormal life.
The Sabbatical Year
By Commander Reginald B. Henry (M.C.), U. S. Navy