Mental Health History Of Schizophrenia

2288 Words Oct 15th, 2014 10 Pages
“God must have been having a bad day,” a father recently wrote me, “when He allowed schizophrenia to come into existence.” E. Fuller Torrey, M.D. (Walsh, 1985)
1. History of schizophrenic theory Accounts of schizophrenia have been recorded all throughout human history. From Mesopotamia, ancient Greece, Rome and India, all the way through the 15th and 17th centuries (Walker, 2003). It is difficult to truly ascertain whether or not this was schizophrenia or other psychotic illnesses. My guess is it was probably both. Throughout mental health history, theory on schizophrenia has changed in every aspect possible. Etiology, age of onset and even the disorder’s name has been changed, questioned, and changed yet again. The highly insightful early psychiatrist Emil Kraeplin, around approximately 1919, first termed this disorder “dementia praecox”, due to his understanding of schizophrenia as an early onset disorder with deficits in neurobiological function. As a trained psychiatrist, it seemed obvious for Kraeplin to use the medical model of illness when trying to understand schizophrenia, with the root of all medical diagnosis being some type of biological deficit or malfunction. Kraeplin also associated the gradual worsening of symptoms as schizophrenics age into inevitable “insanity” with the conclusion that dementia was an unavoidable outcome. A Swiss psychiatrist named Eugen Bleuler, in the 1950s, changed the name from dementia praecox to the common term of schizophrenia…
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