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What Is The History Of Schizophrenia

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Politicization In The Soviet Union

What is schizophrenia? – Anees Bahji

In the Soviet Union the diagnosis of schizophrenia has also been used for political purposes. The prominent Soviet psychiatrist Andrei Snezhnevsky created and promoted an additional sub-classification of sluggishly progressing schizophrenia. This diagnosis was used to discredit and expeditiously imprison political dissidents while dispensing with a potentially embarrassing trial. The practice was exposed to Westerners by a number of Soviet dissidents, and in 1977 the World Psychiatric Association condemned the Soviet practice at the Sixth World Congress of Psychiatry. Rather than defending his claim that a latent form of schizophrenia caused dissidents to oppose the regime, Snezhnevsky broke all contact with the West in 1980 by resigning his honorary positions abroad.

Module : A Brief History Of Mental Illness And The Us Mental Health Care System

The history of mental illness in the United States is a good representation of the ways in which trends in psychiatry and cultural understanding of mental illness influence national policy and attitudes towards mental health. The U.S. is considered to have a relatively progressive mental health care system, and the history of its evolution and the current state of the system will be discussed here.

What Tests Will Be Done To Diagnose This Condition

There arent any diagnostic tests for schizophrenia-spectrum conditions. But healthcare providers will likely run tests to rule out other conditions before diagnosing schizophrenia. The most likely types of tests include:

  • Imaging tests. Healthcare providers will often use computerized tomography , magnetic resonance imaging and other imaging tests to rule out problems like stroke, brain injuries, tumors and other changes to your brain structure.
  • Blood, urine and cerebrospinal fluid tests. These tests look for chemical changes in bodily fluids that might explain changes in your behavior. They can rule out heavy metal toxicity or other causes of poisoning, infections and more.
  • Brain activity testing. An electroencephalogram detects and records the electrical activity in your brain. This test can help rule out conditions like epilepsy.

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World Schizophrenia Day Is Observed On May 24 Every Year Read About World Schizophrenia Day History And World Schizophrenia Day Significance

World Schizophrenia Day 2020 is observed on May 24. Schizophrenia is a mental illness which affects the functioning of one’s brain. This affects the patient suffering from schizophrenia to feel, act or think like a normal person. They find imaginary things and also talk to them, they get hallucinations which is the ability to feel, hear or see something which does not exist. Some schizophrenia patients recover completely and find improvement while some suffer from it for a long period.

How Soon After Treatment Will I Feel Better

Brief History of Schizophrenia eBook by Emil Schulz

Your healthcare provider is the best person to tell you how long it will take for medication and therapy to work, as different medications take different amounts of time before their effects are noticeable. They can also tell you about other treatment options that might help if the first attempt isnt effective.

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What Does Mental Health Care Look Like Now

Treatment for mental illness has come a long way throughout history. With the first approaches to treatment resembling torture as well as the earlier incredulity of the existence of mental illness, its easy to feel as though there might not be a good treatment method mental health care.

However, our modern look at mental illness has improved tremendously. Former activists like Dorothea Dix and current mental health awareness movements on social media have changed the conversation. Now, treatments handle mental illness knowledgeably, effectively, and morally.

The programs offered at Baton Rouge Behavioral Hospital provide up-to-date treatment methods to patients in the Louisiana and Southern Mississippi regions. Most importantly, our dedicated staff will collaborate with patients and their families to create a collective approach to healing.

The Enduring Stigma Of Mental Illness

During this time period, soldiers of the first and second World Waras well as oppressed minoritieswere often diagnosed with hysteria or neurosis. Symptoms of these disorders included:

  • Shortness of breath or chest pains
  • Chronic stomach aches
  • Prolonged feelings of sadness, paranoia, and hopelessness
  • Substance abuse

These symptoms were often viewed as shameful and dramatic. Sometimes, symptoms were even considered to be made up by the patient. This stigma has especially applied to women throughout history. Many women who experienced symptoms of mental illness were written off as products of the trend of hysteria. One well-known short story, The Yellow Wallpaper,written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, details the horrors of being locked away for treatment: a prisoner in her home and in her mind.

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Us Mental Health Policy

Mental Health America , originally founded by Clifford Beers in 1909 as the National Committee for Mental Hygiene, works to improve the lives of the mentally ill in the United States through research and lobbying efforts. A number of governmental initiatives have also helped improve the U.S. mental healthcare system . In 1946, Harry Truman passed the National Mental Health Act, which created the National Institute of Mental Health and allocated government funds towards research into the causes of and treatments for mental illness. In 1963, Congress passed the Mental Retardation Facilities and Community Health Centers Construction Act, which provided federal funding for the development of community-based mental health services. The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill was founded in 1979 to provide support, education, advocacy, and research services for people with serious psychiatric illnesses. Other government interventions and programs, including social welfare programs, have worked to improve mental health care access. For a discussion of current challenges in mental health care and proposed solutions, please see Module 6: Barriers to Mental Health Care and Module 8: Improving Mental Health Care.

World Schizophrenia Day : History And Significance Of This Day

What Causes Schizophrenia? | Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia has always existed but was discovered only in the 20th century. Schizophrenia Day 2020 is observed every year since 1986. May 20 to May 27 is observed as Schiphernia Week across the world. There are various campaigns and awareness programs held during this time.

These campaigns and activities are carried out to help schizophrenia patients and also increase sensitivity towards them. National Schizophrenia Foundation declared May 25 as World Schizophrenia Day to honour Dr Phillippe Pinel from France. He was one of the important figures to provide human care and treatment for those who were mentally ill.

There is a common myth surrounding Schizophrenia is that people suffering from it have a split personality. However, reportedly, people suffering from schizophrenia have one personality just like everyone else.

Some common symptoms of schizophrenia include confused thinking, delusions and hallucinations. It is also considered as a grave condition. World Schizophrenia Day 2020 aim is to fight these stigmas and make people aware of their mental condition.

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What Causes Schizophrenia And Its Spectrum Of Conditions

Schizophrenia and the related spectrum of conditions dont have a single confirmed cause. Several factors and circumstances increase a persons risk of developing it, but none of them is a guarantee that youll eventually have it.

Experts suspect schizophrenia happens for different reasons. The three main reasons include:

  • Imbalances in chemical signals your brain uses for cell-to-cell communication.
  • Brain development problems before birth.
  • Loss of connections between different areas of your brain.

Risk factors

While there arent any confirmed causes of schizophrenia, there are several factors and circumstances that researchers have connected to the condition.

Schizophrenia And Early Psychiatry

It is not until the middle of the 19th century that European psychiatrists begin to describe a disease, of unknown origin, typically with an adolescent onset and with a propensity towards chronic deterioration. Emil Kraeplin, a German psychiatrist, utilised the term dementia praecox to describe a variety of previously separately recognised illnesses, such as adolescent insanity and catatonia syndrome.

Kraeplins long term studies of a large number of cases led him to believe that despite the diversity of clinical presentations, the commonalities in the progression of the illness meant they could be categorised under the singular heading of dementia praecox. Later, he suggested nine categories of the disorder.

This leads us to Eugen Bleuler, who coined the term schizophrenia, meaning split mind, replacing the previous terminology dementia praecox. Bleulers schizophrenia incorporated an understanding that the disorder was a group of illnesses, and did not always deteriorate into a permanent state of dementia as was previously considered by Kraeplin to be a hallmark of the disease.

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Further, Bleuler suggested schizophrenia had four main symptoms, known as the 4 As: blunted Affect a reduction in emotional response to stimuli, loosening of Associations and disordered pattern of thought, Ambivalence, or difficulty making decisions, and Autism, by which he meant a loss of awareness of external events and preoccupation with ones own thoughts.

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What Is The Difference Between Schizophrenia And Multiple Personalities

While the name schizophrenia does come from the Greek words for split and mind, none of the conditions under schizophrenia involve multiple personalities. Instead, multiple personalities fall under a condition known as dissociative identity disorder . That condition falls under the category of dissociative disorders.

Activism For Mental Health


Today, the stigma surrounding mental illness has lessened with the new knowledge we have on the subject. This has partly stemmed from the mental health advocates who saw the benefits of offering hospitalization for mentally ill patients.

Dorothea Dix was a revolutionary leader in the mental health movement that started during the 19th and 20th centuries. Although she based herself in the United States, Dix traveled around the world to deliver her message. She even managed to convince Pope Pius IX to examine the unjust ways people with mental illnesses were treated.

Dix believed in hospitalizing people with mental illnesses who needed treatment. However, she demanded better conditions in these institutions. Additionally, Dix worked to advocate for womens rights, which directly helped to decrease the cases of hysteria diagnosed as we moved to the 20th century and beyond.

Dixs work didnt end there. It continued throughout and past her lifetimeas more institutions changed their treatment approaches to ensure that a patients chance of success after discharge would increase.

History does not necessarily highlight one singular, effective form of treatment for people with mental illnesses. Yet,it does illustrate how our ideas on mental health have evolved alongside our approaches for it.

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Development Of Treatments In The 20th Century

Harry Stack Sullivan applied the approaches of Interpersonal psychotherapy to treating schizophrenia in the 1920s viewing early schizophrenia as a problem-solving attempt to integrate life experiences, arguing that recovered patients were made more competent after a psychotic experience than before.:76

In the early 1930s insulin coma therapy was trialed to treat schizophrenia, but faded out of use in the 1960s following the advent of antipsychotics. The use of electricity to induce seizures was developed, and in use as electroconvulsive therapy by 1938.

Frontal lobotomies, a form of psychosurgery, were carried out from the 1930s until the 1970s in the United States, and until the 1980s in France, involving either the removal of brain tissue from different regions or the severing of pathways, widely recognized as a grave human rights abuse.Stereotactic surgeries were developed in the 1940s.

Antipsychotics were introduced to US hospitals in 1950s, following the discovery of chlorpromazine in 1952 and its trialing in French hospitals. Adoption was encouraged by advertising by the Smith, Kline & French company after it received permission to advertise use of the drug in 1954. Advertised under the brand name Thorazine, more than 2 million people had received the drug within 8 months. In the first report on chloropromazine’s use in the US, John Vernon Kinross-Wright suggested that the drug could be used as an adjunct to psychotherapy to improve its effectiveness.:33â35

When Should I See My Healthcare Provider

You should see your healthcare provider as recommended. You should also see them if you notice a change in your symptoms, such as symptoms getting worse even if youre taking your medication. You can also see them if side effects of your medication are causing disruptions in your life. Your healthcare provider can sometimes recommend alternative medications or treatments that might better treat your condition without causing those same effects.

When should I go to ER?

You should go to the ER or call 911 if you have thoughts about harming yourself, including thoughts of suicide, or about harming others. If you have thoughts like this, you can call any of the following:

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline . To call this line, dial 1.800.273.TALK .
  • Local crisis lines. Mental health organizations and centers in your area may offer resources and help through crisis lines.
  • 911 : You should call 911 if you feel like youre in immediate danger of harming yourself. Operators and dispatchers for 911 lines can often help people in immediate danger because of a severe mental crisis and send first responders to assist.

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Modern History Of Schizophrenia

While schizophrenia treatment once consisted of exorcisms and insulin shock treatment, the major breakthrough in the history of schizophrenia treatment came in 1952. Thats when Henri Laborit, a Parisian surgeon, discovered that chlorpromazine effectively treated the symptoms of schizophrenia. This discovery ushered in a time when people with schizophrenia were no longer confined to asylums but could live in the community.

In the 1970s, as growing numbers of people with schizophrenia were being successfully treated with antipsychotic medication, groups and programs began to emerge to support them. Assertive Community Treatment was developed to help these individuals and its programs are still in use and considered the gold standard for service delivery today. The National Alliance on Mental Illness also came into being in the 1970s to fight for the rights of those with a mental illness.3

Atypical antipsychotics, or second-generation antipsychotics, are now more commonly used to treat schizophrenia as they are thought to have a more tolerable side effect profile than first-generation antipsychotics. Psychosocial therapies are now also used to treat schizophrenia. Psychosocial interventions include:

  • Family therapy

What Can I Expect If I Have This Condition

What is Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a condition where the outlook varies greatly from person to person. People who have schizophrenia tend to struggle with work, relationships and self care. However, with treatment, some are able to work, care for themselves and have fulfilling relationships.

This condition also often affects people in cycles. That means many people with this condition go through periods where the condition flares up and their symptoms get much worse, followed by a period where symptoms improve but they still have some ongoing struggles.

Despite how serious this condition is, treatment does make it possible for people with schizophrenia to live with the condition and minimize how it affects their lives.

How long does schizophrenia last?

Schizophrenia is a lifelong condition. While some people will recover from this condition after having only one or two episodes, schizophrenia symptoms can return unpredictably. People with a history of schizophrenia are in remission as long as symptoms dont return.

Whats the outlook for this condition?

Schizophrenia itself isnt a deadly condition. However, its effects on a person can lead to dangerous or harmful behaviors, to both themselves and the people around them.

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What Medications Or Treatments Are Used

Treating schizophrenia and related conditions typically involves multiple methods. Those methods can happen in combinations or steps.


There are two main types of medications that treat schizophrenia.

  • Typical antipsychotics. Also known as first-generation antipsychotics, these medications block how your brain uses dopamine, a chemical your brain uses for cell-to-cell communication.
  • Atypical antipsychotics. These medications, also called second-generation antipsychotics, work differently from first-generation antipsychotics. These block both dopamine and serotonin, two key communication chemicals in your brain. Clozapine is a particularly effective medication that can treat symptoms of schizophrenia when other drugs dont work. However, it has a rare serious side effect that requires frequent blood monitoring to keep people safe, which is why healthcare providers usually recommend other antipsychotics first.

There are other medications your healthcare provider might also prescribe to treat other symptoms that happen alongside or because of your schizophrenia symptoms. They might also prescribe medications to help reduce side effects of antipsychotic medications such as tremors.

In general, your healthcare provider is the best person to talk to about the medications they might prescribe. They can give you more specific information related to your specific situation, including your life circumstances, medical history and personal preferences.


Leonhard’s Alternative Classification Of The Endogenous Psychoses

In a clinical tradition aiming to group psychotic illnesses on the basis of presumed localized cerebral dysfunction, Karl Leonhard24 developed an elaborate classification of the endogenous psychoses which departed substantially from the Kraepelinian and Bleulerian nosology. Leonhard defined sharply delineated disease entities, described by a detailed psychopathology emphasizing objective signs , course and outcome, and family history. The nonaffective psychoses were split into systematic and unsystematic groups of schizophrenias, and a third group of cycloid psychoses, each containing further subtypes , for which Leonhard claimed distinct categorical disease status. While the unsystematic schizophrenias were considered to be primarily genetic, hereditary factors were thought to play a secondary role in the cycloid psychoses and the systematic schizophrenias, which were presumed to be exogenously determined, eg, by maternal obstetric complications or early failure of social learning. Notably, Leonhard’s classification neither expands, nor constricts, the outer boundaries of schizophrenia, but carves up the schizophrenia spectrum in a different way.

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Schizophrenia In The 20th Century

Swiss psychiatrist Eugene Bleuler coined the term schizophrenia in 1900, replacing the term dementia praecox. Bleuler also coined the famous four As of schizophrenia describing negative symptoms of schizophrenia, which were later changed to the 5 As.

Institutionalizing people with schizophrenia was still a common practice well into the 20th century.

Common 20th century treatments for schizophrenia included:

  • insulin coma therapy: repeatedly injecting large amounts of insulin to induce daily comas over a period of weeks
  • Metrazol shock: a potentially fatal form of shock therapy involving injections of Metrazol to trigger convulsions and coma
  • electroconvulsive therapy: stimulating or shocking the brain with electricity to induce seizures
  • surgery: including frontal lobotomy

Eugenics also played a dark role in 20th century schizophrenia treatments. At the time, schizophrenia was feared as a largely genetically inherited condition. Due to persistent stigma and misunderstanding, many people with schizophrenia were sterilized, often without consent.

The first antipsychotics, like Chlorpromazine, were developed and released in the 1950s. The availability of these and similar drugs led to widespread deinstitutionalization in the 1960s. These medications are still prescribed today and are considered typical antipsychotics.

The 1990s saw the development of more sophisticated antipsychotic medications atypical antipsychotics to treat schizophrenia.

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