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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