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A major mental disorder, formerly called dementia praecox, characterized by positive symptoms such as delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, grossly disorganized behaviour, or catatonia; negative symptoms such as affective flattening, alogia, or avolition; and marked deterioration in work, social relations, or self-care. Associated features include inappropriate affect, anhedonia, dysphoric mood, lack of insight (3), depersonalization, and derealization. Because of its etymology (see below), schizophrenia is often confused with multiple personality disorder or split personality (dissociative identity disorder), but the Swiss psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler (1857–1939), who coined the term, meant it to refer to the splitting up or disintegrating of the mental functions rather than the cleaving in two of the mind. On page 5 of his book Dementia praecox oder Gruppe der Schizophrenien (1911, p. 8 of the English translation Dementia Praecox or the Group of Schizophrenias, 1950), he explained: ‘I call dementia praecox “schizophrenia” because … the “splitting” of the different psychic functions is one of its most important characteristics’. See also Borna disease virus, catatonic schizophrenia, delusional disorder, disorganized schizophrenia, double bind, paranoid schizophrenia, P50, reality monitoring, reality testing, residual schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, schizophrenia scale, undifferentiated schizophrenia. Compare schizoid personality, schizophreniform disorder, schizotypal personality disorder. [From Greek schizein to split + phren mind, originally midriff, the supposed seat of the soul + -ia indicating a condition or quality]

Subjects: Psychology.

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