I feel kind of guilty since my most recent post was last week’s Word Wednesday (insert sheepish look here). I could make up a ton of excuses about why I haven’t posted recently – I’ve been tired; I’ve been in a bad head-space; I’ve had a headache; I was abducted by crazed aliens posing as the CIA who wanted me to give up the secrets to Canada’s successful maple syrup industry, (all but one of these statements is true, can you spot the lie?) but I think I’ll just write instead.
Anyway, enough of my dawdling, on with today’s Word Wednesday. I had another Word Wednesday request this week (I’m so excited I could just pee). So, Kasey, here’s the origin and definition of the word “schizophrenia”.
I’m going to use a few resources since this is a very diverse subject. Let’s start with a straight definition from Merriam-Webster :
schizophrenia – a psychotic disorder characterized by loss of contact with the environment, by noticeable deterioration in the level of functioning in everyday life, and by disintegration of personality expressed as disorder of feeling, thought (as delusions), perception (as hallucinations), and behavior —called also dementia praecox
schiophrenia – is a mental disorder characterized by a breakdown of thought processes and by poor emotional responsiveness. It most commonly manifests itself as auditory hallucinations, paranoid or bizarre delusions, or disorganized speech and thinking, and it is accompanied by significant social or occupational dysfunction. The onset of symptoms typically occurs in young adulthood, with a global lifetime prevalence of about 0.3–0.7%. Diagnosis is based on observed behavior and the patient’s reported experiences. Genetics, early environment, neurobiology, and psychological and social processes appear to be important contributory factors; some recreational and prescription drugs appear to cause or worsen symptoms.
Word origins from Online Etymology Dictionary:
schizophrenia – 1912, from Modern Latin, literally “a splitting of the mind,” from German Schizophrenie, coined in 1910 by Swiss psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler (1857-1939), from Greek. skhizein “to split” (see shed (verb)) + phren (gen. phrenos) “diaphragm, heart, mind,” of unknown origin.
Often confused with Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerly known as multiple-personality disorder) schizophrenia is considered the most severe mental health illness/diagnosis by experts in the field. People afflicted with schizophrenia often suffer from other MHIs including, but not limited to, depression and anxiety.
There’s really no humour to found with schizophrenia or those who suffer from it. If you’re interested in watching a tremendous film depicting schizophrenia I highly recommend The Soloist featuring Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey, Jr. Foxx was brilliant in his role as a gifted cellist driven to madness by his illness who ends up living on the streets of LA. Downey plays a reporter who befriended and wrote several articles about the talented homeless man.