Schizophrenia and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

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Schizophrenia and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde The name schizophrenia is derived from "schizo", which means splitting of the mind (Tsuang 11), and "phrenia" which is derived from the phrenic area which is just above the kidneys where the diaphragm is located. It is a structure innervated by the phrenic nerve. The Greeks and others assumed that the phrenic area was the seat of thought or at least feelings (Berle 12). Up to the 1600s, people with psychotic disorders were sent off in "ships of fools", locked in cages, "flogged into reason", or killed. The care for the insane at this time was the responsibility of nuns and monks (Noll, xviii). In the 1700s, "mad doctors" or doctors specializing in the mentally ill. "They began to devise their own unique classification system for mental disorders. Many cases of what we would now call schizophrenia were probably classified under one or more of these early attempts to devise a more scientific method of understanding mental illness"(Noll, xix). Doctors at this time described the symptoms of schizophrenia somewhat differently (Berle, 14). In 1809, the first clinical descriptions of schizophrenia were written by J. Haslam, however, later it was found that he described a disease called hebephrenia. Some symptoms he included were: loss of memory, more prevalent in females, sensibility blunted, onset at puberty, unconnected with heredity, cyclic, no affection towards parents, inactivity, apathetic, inattention to cleanliness, etc. (Berle 4,5). There is still no unanimously accepted definition of schizophrenia, and appreciable differences exist between the narrowest and widest definition (Tsuang 13). It is a disease that includes a disturbance in cognition that renders the individual "out of touch with reality". Emotions are distorted in schizophrenia and they are typified by being socially withdrawn (Lahey 555). The characteristic symptoms start between the age of 18 and 30. Symptoms include hallucinations and/or delusions. Hallucinations can have various modes. Auditory hallucinations are the most common. These may involve hearing a voice or voices talking to each other and/or to the patient. Visual hallucinations are less common and involve the patient believing they see an object that is not present. Tactile hallucinations are the least common and involve the patient thinking that someone or something is touching them (Nienhuis). Delusions are false or irrational beliefs that are firmly held despite obvious evidence to the contrary. Most common are persecutory, grandiose, and religious delusions.

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