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Schizophrenia Awareness Week Understanding Schizophrenia
11 November 2013

Understanding Schizophrenia

Delusions, hallucinations, disorganised speech and erratic behaviour are all signs of schizophrenia. We’ve suffered from the condition for millennia. Today around 1 in 100 people globally are affected. Yet the term schizophrenia has only been in use for a century. German psychiatrist, Emil Kraepelin, argued that psychosis in manic depression is distinct from what was then known as dementia praecox. The former was considered a disorder of mood; the latter a disturbance of thinking leading to long-term mental decline. Swiss psychiatrist, Eugen Bleuler, renamed dementia praecox as schizophrenia noting that the disease didn’t necessarily precipitate long-term mental decline. He viewed it as a ‘splitting’ between the emotions and the intellect, although the term is still commonly misinterpreted as split-personality disorder.

Written by Brona McVittie

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