Tuesday, August 25, 2009

GARTH DANIELS - CME - "Traite' des maladies mentales" (Moral 1860)

Schizophrenia - Extending the definition of disease to a purely subjective concept, allowing doctors to diagnose serious mental illness in the absence of any pathophysiological or psychological evidence

In the second half of the ninetenth century, medical scientists discovered the aetiologies and pathophysiologies of many diseases. While it is true that a host of significant illnesses wre discovered around this time by medical investigations, something more insidious was occuring in psychiatry where Bleuler invented rather than discovered schizophrenia for the purpose of extending the definition of serious mental illness so that it could be diagnosed on a purely subjective basis: thus allowing any doctor to potentially define anyone as seriously ill. It is important to point out that the definition of disease was extended to include both scientific and pseudo scientific diagnosis. In order to fully unmderstand how psychiatry was able to extend the concept of disease to include the purely subjective, we need to revisit the events that led up to its "discovery".

In 1860 the French physician Benedict-Augustin Morel was first to describe demense precoce ( premature dementia) in his textbook, "Traite des maladies mentales" ( Morel 1860). Morel used the term to describe persons who typically showed rapid deterioration in intellectual functioning from an early age typically late teens or early adulthood.

Then the latin term of premature dementia, dementia praccox, was first articulated by Emil Kraepelin in 1898 when he addressed mthe Congress of Southwestern German Psychiatrists in Heidelberg on "The diagnosis and prognosis of Dementia praccox ( Kraeplin, 1898). In the lecture he described 36 kinds of dementia praccox.

Eugene Bleuler took the concept of dementia praccox and etymologically enhanced it by changing its name from Latin to Greek, from dementia praccox to schizophrenia ( Szaz, 1976.p11). According to Areti, Bleuler:
Accepted the fundamental nosologic concept of Kraepelin but enlarged it to a great extent, because he considered as related to dementia praccox many other conditions such as psychosis with psycho[athic personalities, alcoholic hallucinations, etc. Furthermore, he thought that the largest number of patients are never hospitalized because their symptoms are never severe enough; that is they are "latent cases" ( Arieti, 1955, p.456).
to be continued soon...in the interim copies of the entire paper may be obtained by emailing :- freegarth@gmail.com

Note: The author of this article is unknown and the writer would like to acknowledge the author. This article has been copied directly from the document of the unknown author in the hope that it may be read by all those affected or labelled as schizophrenic

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