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Understanding Schizophrenia - History Origination and Meaning

posted 27 Sep 2010, 13:56 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 27 Sep 2010, 13:58 ]

The origin of the term Schizophrenia tracks back to Greek
roots: schizo (split) and phrene (mind), is commonly used on
people that that are suffering from mental problems. This
mental problem affects the way people think and see the

Schizophrenia in 2000B.C.

The history of Schizophrenia dated back to around 2000 B.C.,
when little was known about mental disorders. The only way to
cure mental disorder was to drive the evil spirit out of the
body as people believed that the evil spirit is the cause of
this. In those times, there were many types of exorcism
method. One was to made patients listen to music in order to
drive the evil spirit out, another brutal one see patients
skull being drill to provide a way for the spirits to get

Schizophrenia as understood by the Egyptians

A mention of mental disorders and their symptoms is there in
The Book of Heart, an Egyptian book. The Egyptians believed
that the heart and brain are interlinked. Therefore,
according to their belief, a person who is suffering from
certain mental disorder must be suffering from certain heart
problems as well. All the people suffering from Schizophrenia
were considered mad and dangerous, in spite of the display of
their normal human characteristics at all other times. Mental
homes were the only places to shelter them. Such
misunderstanding stayed for a very long time before
researchers came up with a scientific explanation to dispel
the misconception.

Evolution in the understanding of Schizophrenia

Initial efforts to understand and record atypical mental
behaviors were made in the seventeenth century. Later in
1887, Emile Kraepelin, a German psychiatrist, started to
record and put into place the different types of mental
disorders and defined them by one term:  dementia praecox.
It was not until the nineteenth century before people begin
to gain more awareness about diseases and their causes. It
was not until the turn of the century before we saw many new
medical science breakthrough findings. Schizophrenia, as a
mental illness was coined by a Swiss psychiatrist named
Eugen Bleuler in 1908. The definition and symptoms of
Schizophrenia that we are using today was put up by another
German psychiatrist,Kurt Schneider, in 1957.

Regardless of the progression in medical science, there were
few people who were unable to accept the logic and
explanation of science and for their benefit continued to
commit cruelty towards human race, one such example is the
case of World War II. During the World War II Schizophrenia
was identified to be a genetic disorder and in order to
prevent transmission of the condition from one generation to
another and practice selective procreation, mentally
disturbed people were killed.

Despite of such pathetic examples in the history of
Schizophrenia, psychiatrists, doctors and scientists have
never given up hope and have worked day and night for
advancement in the understanding of Schizophrenia. Many
misconceptions about Schizophrenia have become clear.
Slowly, the general public is able to sympathize and
understand the challenges of people with Schizophrenia,
therefore reducing the need for brutal treatments and asylum
lodging. To help treat and relieve their mental disorder, you
need to spend time, show care and affection with proper

About the Author:

Schizophrenia is a terrible mental disorder that affects 1
percent of the US population. You can learn more about this
condition on Clivir - the free learning community: