Essay by emcb515University, Bachelor's November 2014

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Running head: SCHIZOPHRENIA 1

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Elizabeth Baumann

St. Francis College


Mental disorders are common across the world and in the United States. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, in a year there are an estimated 26.2 percent of Americans adults who suffer from a mental disorder. Furthermore, mental disorders are the primary cause of disability in the US. Specifically, schizophrenia affects about 2.4 million American adults in a given year. Schizophrenia is a habitual, severe, and disabling brain disorder that has affected people through history.

Schizophrenia is a psychotic disorder, which is depicted by an assortment of different symptoms. These symptoms include abnormalities in thought, action, perception, sense of self, and interpersonal relationships. Though, the most commonly known symptom is psychosis, a momentous loss of contact with reality (Butcher, 2010).

Today, most people understand that someone with schizophrenia is grappling with a serious mental illness.

This was not always the case. In earlier times, mental illnesses were not viewed as a disease. Instead, affected individuals were believed to be possessed by evil spirits, and an array of magical ceremonies was performed to cure them (Landau, 2004).

It was not until the late 1880's that mental illnesses began to be seen for what it is, an illness, and was studied scientifically (Landau, 2004). However, in 1810 was the first detailed clinical description of what we now recognize as schizophrenia by John Haslam. Famous German psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin is known best for his description of what we now know as schizophrenia. He labeled schizophrenia as an existing mental disorder, listing its symptoms and describing the course of the disease. To some degree this change of view was reflected in how the mentally ill were treated. This severe mental disorder was given...