Schizophrenia, A splitting of the mind.
Dementia Praecox, the early term for schizophrenia was presented by Emil Kraepelin in 1898. Dementia Praecox included - dementia paranoids, catatonia and hebephrenia. Whilst these different entities are symptomatically very diverse, Kraepelin believed they shared a common core. Kraepelin noted several major symptoms in his patients, these included hallucinations, delusions, negativism, attentional difficulties, stereotyped behaviour and emotional dysfunction. Kraepelin focused on describing schizophrenia and made no attempt to categorise and explain what he saw. .
Eugen Bleuler however tried to define the core of the disorder. Bleuler disagreed with Kraepelin on two points. Bleuler believed that the disorder didn"t necessary have an early onset and that the disorder didn"t necessarily lead to total dementia. Since he believed that the disorder didn"t lead to total dementia the term dementia praecox was no longer valid, so in 1908 Bleuler suggested a new term for the condition Schizophrenia. Bleuler had a great influence over the American concept of Schizophrenia. Whilst the European view of Schizophrenia remained relatively narrow. .
The American view of schizophrenia broadened significantly during the 20th century, with 80% of patients in the New York State Psychiatric Institute being diagnosed with Schizophrenia in 1952. Adolf Myer argued that diagnostic categories where often to stringent and believed that a more flexible approach to defining Schizophrenia was necessary. Kansnin then found that some patients showed signs schizophrenia combined with symptoms from other disorders. The concept of schizophrenia was also broadened by Hoch who believed that schizophrenia often disguises itself has other disorders. As a result a lot of people who would normally have been diagnosed with personality disorders or neurosis, where diagnosed has having schizophrenia.