Stephanie Pickett
May 24, 2011
Tamara Purnell

What is a mental disorder?   According to, a mental disorder is defined as a psychological or behavioral pattern generally associated with subjective distress of disability that occurs in an individual, and which is not part of normal development. As of today, there are many different types of conditions that are recognized as a mental illness.   Some of these include anxiety disorders, mood disorders, eating disorders, impulse and addiction order, and psychotic disorders.   In the psychotic disorder category, I will be discussing Schizophrenia.   I will be explaining the history of the disorder, the myths and misconceptions as well as treatments of the past, signs and symptoms, available treatments, and how it is diagnosed.
Schizophrenia is a defined as a severe mental disorder characterized by delusions, hallucinations, incoherence and physical agitation.   It has been estimated that one person in one hundred suffers from Schizophrenia, but those who suffer today are a lot luckier than those who suffered from the mental disorder in the past because of the advance in treatments.   The word schizophrenia is less than one hundred years old; however the disease was first identified as a discrete mental illness by Dr. Emile Kraepelin in 1887. (IMHRO 2009)
Schizophrenia has been traced back to the Pharaonic Egyptians ages which are as far back as 2000 B.C.   During this era, people with Schizophrenia were thought to be possessed by demons and evil spirits and could be cured by an exorcism.   Better documented records of Schizophrenia have been recorded as early as the 1700’s and it was during this time that a more detailed and accurate description of the abnormal mental behaviors such as speech, emotions and gestures were noticed.

In 1878 Emil Kraepelin was the first person to name this disease as “Dementia Praecox” meaning early dementia and divided it into...