Research Paper: Schizophrenia
History of Schizophrenia
The word schizophrenia is less then a 100 years old, but the disease itself is recognized as being thousands of years old. Documents revealed from ancient Egypt contained knowledge of symptoms relating to schizophrenia. Greek and Roman documents however contain no descriptions of the disorder. The disorder was first identified as a discrete mental illness by Dr. Emile Kraepelin in 1887. Dr. Kraepelin used the term "dementia praecox" for individuals who had symptoms that are now associated with schizophrenia. He was the first to make a distinction in the psychotic disorders between what he called dementia praecox and manic depression. Kraepelin believed that dementia praecox was primarily a disease of the brain, and particularly a form of dementia.
The Swiss psychiatrist, Eugen Bleuler, coined the term, "schizophrenia" in 1911. He was also the first to describe the symptoms as "positive" or "negative." Bleuler changed the name to schizophrenia as it was obvious that Krapelin's name was misleading as the illness was not a dementia. The word "schizophrenia" comes from the Greek roots schizo (split) and phrene (mind) to describe the fragmented thinking of people with the disorder. Since Bleuler's time, the definition of schizophrenia has continued to change, as scientists attempt to accurately define the different types of mental diseases. Both Bleuler and Kraepelin subdivided schizophrenia into categories, based on prominent symptoms and prognoses. Over the years, theorists have continued to attempt to classify the different types of schizophrenia. Five types are defined in the DSM-III: disorganized, catatonic, paranoid, residual, and undifferentiated. The first three categories were originally proposed by Kraepelin. Without knowing the exact causes of these diseases, scientists can only base their classifications on the observation that some symptoms tend to occur together.