History, Diagnosis, Symptoms and Treatment
Schizophrenia is defined as a severe and often chronic brain disease that can make a person unable to function in an everyday life routine like for example maintain a job, go to school or maintain interpersonal relationships and even taking care of their own basic needs due to a disruption in basic brain function which leads toloss of touch with reality. The word Schizophrenia comes from the Greek root “skhizein” that means split and “phrene” that means mind in order to describe the fragmented thinking of people that suffer from this disorder. The actual word of Schizophrenia is less than a 100 years old. However the disorder was first identified as an early dementia in the 19th century, French psychiatrist BenedictAugustine Morel used the term “dementia praecox” or precocious dementia. However the actual concept of schizophrenia was first formalized by the German psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin who basically integrated two different descriptions of symptoms previously used by other psychiatrist and one of his own which was “dementia paranoia” into one disorder that he called “dementia praecox”. However the actualterm of Schizophrenia was first used by the Swiss psychiatrist, Eugene Bleuler who wrote a book based on Kraeplin’s concept of dementia praecox and other mental illnesses and name it “The Group of Schizophrenias” in 1911. He was also the first to describe the symptoms as positive or negative. It is known that Blueler change the name to Schizophrenia due to the fact that Dr. Kraeplin’s name of“dementia praecox” was misleading since the illness it is not dementia and it can occur either late or early in life.
Throughout history, the people affected by the symptoms of now day’s schizophrenia was seen as crazy and either tried as witches or lunatics, they were also feared, exiled, tormented or even locked up for years or the rest of their life. It was not until the rise of psychologythat the disease was seen as a mental illness. Schizophrenia is now seen as an illness of the brain.
In today’s world and modern societies Schizophrenia can be diagnose and treated or controlled for the benefit of the schizophrenic as well as for close relatives. In order to diagnose somebody with schizophrenia, the person in question has to be evaluated by a psychiatrist throughout apsychiatric assessment in which the psychiatrist will ask about background information and assess a range of symptoms. There are currently two main approaches to diagnose schizophrenia, the ICD that stands for International Classification for Diseases most used in Europe and the DSM that stands for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual most used in the USA. Even thou the two main approaches are verysimilar in diagnosing schizophrenia the most accurate diagnosis is when the psychiatrist follows an structured clinical interview that focuses on questions specifically designed to bring out answers that will reflect the key symptoms of the disease. However other factors related to the life of the person in question are taking into account mostly provided by closed relatives or caregivers. The DSMapproach to diagnose schizophrenia is the most widely use in the USA and it is usually called “the bible of psychiatric diseases”, it was created based on consensus of about 1000 experts in the field and it is updated periodically, the book uses a common language used by the different people involved in diagnosing, treating and dealing with psychiatric illnesses like for example psychiatrist,psychologist, nurses, social workers and even insurance companies. Even thou schizophrenia can be diagnose very accurately in present time, the symptoms are not always the same and they differ from individual to individual as well as gender, however there are some common symptoms that indicate that people suffer from the disease. As symptoms vary from person to person, treatment also does vary and it...