General Question

talljasperman's avatar

Why was the word schizophrenia chosen to describe the mental illness?

Asked by talljasperman (18471 points ) June 9th, 2014

Why did the doctors choose such a hard word to spell? Can you suggest another acceptable word? Like “fractured mind” or some thing that is easy to spell?

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9 Answers

Mimishu1995's avatar

Maybe because it is more… elegant and technical?

gailcalled's avatar

The origins of many words used in medical terminology are rooted in Greek and Latin.

Here is a long article that discusses the sources of medical terms and gives many examples.

Schizophrenia; ORIGIN early 20th cent.: modern Latin, from Greek skhizein ‘to split’ + phrēn ‘mind.’

talljasperman's avatar

@gailcalled But split mind is confused with split personality… Maybe fractured mind is a better term. Do you have another suggestion for the label schizophrenia .

dappled_leaves's avatar

It makes more sense than assigning the word “dyslexia” for that disorder.

talljasperman's avatar

@dappled_leaves Or ass burgers. Who is naming these conditions?

gailcalled's avatar

“The word schizophrenia was coined by Eugen Bleuler in 1950, and was intended to describe the separation of function between personality, thinking, memory, and perception. He formally introduced the term on 24 April 1908 in a lecture given at a psychiatric conference in Berlin and in a publication that same year. Bleuler later expanded his new disease concept into a monograph in 1911, which was finally translated into English in 1950.” Source

Darth_Algar's avatar

@talljasperman

Asperger syndrome (not actually “Ass Burgers”, though that is a more fitting term, as many people use it as an excuse to be an ass) was named after Hans Asperger, the doctor who first realized the disorder.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@talljasperman ”@gailcalled But split mind is confused with split personality… Maybe fractured mind is a better term. Do you have another suggestion for the label schizophrenia.”

The mind and the personality are not the same thing.

Bill1939's avatar

Like many medical terms, the word schizophrenia has its origin in ancient history. It is easier to use this word than to say something like “diminished integration of mental functions.”

” Despite the origin of the term from the Greek roots skhizein (“to split”) and phrēn (“mind”), schizophrenia does not imply a ‘split personality’, or ‘multiple personality disorder’—a condition with which it is often confused in public perception. Rather, the term means a “splitting of mental functions”, reflecting the presentation of the illness.

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