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How did schizophrenia get its name?

Mark Moronell, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
A psychiatrist named Eugen Bleuler coined the term schizophrenia to describe the contrast between what a person with schizophrenia believes and what is actually real. The word schizophrenia stems from two words. The word "schizo" means split, and the word "phrene" means mind. Since a person with schizophrenia has thoughts and beliefs that differ from what is actually real, "split mind" seemed to accurately portray the symptoms of schizophrenia. Over time, people began to associate the word schizophrenia with another mental illness called multiple personality disorder. The term "split mind" may have confused people into believing that schizophrenics had multiple personalities. However, this is not true. Multiple personality disorder, which is now known in the mental health field as dissociative identity disorder, has different causes, symptoms, and treatments from schizophrenia.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.