Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952668 | Print ISBN: 9781412909488 | Online ISBN: 9781412952668| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
M. DeVonne French
The diagnosis and treatment of schizophrenia is extremely complex. Schizophrenia is a disabling disease that often strikes patients in the prime of youth, between 18 and 25 years of age. Its cause is unknown, there is no available cure, and its treatment is problematic. Historically, schizophrenia was known as dementia praecox. The term dementia indicates cognitive deficits, and the term praecox relates to the disorder's early onset. Emil Kraepelin (1856–1926), who coined this term, believed it was invariably a deteriorating condition. Later, Eugene Bleuler (1857–1939) used the term schizophrenia to describe this illness, referring to a schism or discrepancy in the cognitive, emotional, and behavioral aspects of the individual. There is a common misconception that schizophrenia means dual personality; however, this is not a correct definition. Schizophrenia is more accurately defined as a problem orienting oneself to reality; sufferers experience hallucinations, both auditory and visual, and delusional thoughts. These delusions ...