Monday, October 31, 2011

What is the Word?

I don’t have many experiences that are worth talking about. Most of my time was spent from the age of fourteen “hanging out” with older teenagers and adults of various walks of life, not all so good. Drinking drugging, destruction, and trying to forget what I had done, was all that was necessary for. I didn’t count on my mental abilities becoming wasted nor did I count on the cessation of learning or the need to support myself. Everybody I knew would help me, so I believed, yet I found out the hard way that even dreams can be hallucinations while trying to survive.
Schizophrenia is a dirty word in the real world. People tend to shy away, mostly very quickly at the mere mention of it. If you’re dirty and disheveled, watching people with crossed eyes, talking or shouting at no one in particular, or just sitting in a corner without reacting to the world, you may considered possibly schizophrenic. What is Schizophrenia, how did the word come to being?
“It is said the word or term schizophrenia is less than 100 years old, though it was defined as a mental illness in the late 19th century. There are written records though which suggest schizophrenia can be traced into ancient Egypt before Christ. Depression and dementia were described as symptoms having come from the blood, the heart, fecal matter, poisons of various sorts or even demons are thought even today to attribute the existence of schizophrenia.
“Many people were considered abnormal either because of mental illness, mental retardation or physical deformities or abnormalities, and all were treated the same.” The term dementia praecox is a term which was used in the 19th century to distinguish any psychotic disorder or manic depression. It was thought to be a disease of the brain in the form of dementia. The term schizophrenia came into use in the very early 20th century. It was during this time that schizophrenia did not always lead to mental deterioration and could occur late or early in a person life.
The word schizophrenia comes from the Greek, “schizo” meaning split and “phrene” meaning mind. The idea was to define a split personality or multiple personalities of which even today the general public still misunderstands. There are five types of schizophrenia given in the DSM-IV. Evidence that schizophrenia is a biological disease has grown in the last 20 years and because of dynamic brain imaging we are being shown today what goes on in the brain of anyone suffering from schizophrenia.”

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