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Unformatted text preview: that he must do this or that in such a way had better beware; he is
getting old, no matter what his age. For we grow older as we lose mobility,--in joints, muscles, skin and
our ways of doing, feeling and thinking! It is a transitory stage of the final immobility of Death.
 Says the talkative Autocrat of the Breakfast Table: "There is one mark of age that strikes me more than
any of the physical ones; I mean the formation of Habits. An old man who shrinks into himself falls into ways
that become as positive and as much beyond the reach of outside influences as if they were governed by clock
We have not considered the pathological habits, such as alcoholism, excessive smoking and eating, perverse
sex habits. The latter, the perverse sex habits, will be studied when discussing the sex feelings and purposes in
their entirety. Alcoholism is not yet a dead issue in this country though those who are sincere in wishing their
fellows well hope it soon will be. It stands, however, as a sort of paradigm of bad habit- forming and presents
a problem in treatment that is typical of such habits.
Not all persons have a liability to the alcoholic habit. For most people lack of real desire or pleasure prevented
alcoholism. The majority of those who drank little or not at all were not in the least tempted by the drug. "Will
power" rarely had anything to do with their abstinence and the complacency with which they held themselves
up as an example to the drunken had all the flavor of Phariseeism. To some the taste is not pleasing, to others
the immediate effects are so terrifying as automatically to shut off excess. Many people become dizzy or
nauseated almost at once and even lose the power of locomotion or speech.
In many countries and during many centuries most of those who became alcoholic were such largely through
the social setting given to alcohol. Because of the psychological effects of this drug in removing restraint,
inhibition and formality, in its various forms it became the symbol of good-fellowship; and because it has an
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- Spring '11