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Schizophrenia: a conceptual history 

Schizophrenia: a conceptual history
Schizophrenia: a conceptual history

Nancy C. Andreasen

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date: 23 May 2022

We know that psychotic disorders have been present and publicly recognized at least since classical times because of their portrayals in literature: the madness of Medea, the frenzied behaviour in The Bacchae, or the paranoia of Othello. Perhaps the most ‘valid’ portrayal from a modern clinical perspective is the feigned madness of ‘Poor Tom’ in King Lear. However, the definition and delineation of schizophrenia as a discrete disorder is a relatively recent phenomenon. This chapter covers the founding fathers of the concept: Kraepelin and Bleuler, Schneiderian symptoms, psychosis, and the dominance of diagnostic criteria, and the concept of positive and negative symptoms, finishing with a look present and future developments.

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