Disorders of the Schizophrenic Syndrome

Disorders of the Schizophrenic Syndrome

Disorders of the Schizophrenic Syndrome

Disorders of the Schizophrenic Syndrome

Excerpt

Unlike Professor Bleuler I have had only forty years of experience with schizophrenics, if I don't count my brief exposure at the Wagner-Jauregg Clinic in Vienna as a student but start with my two years of experience as a psychiatric aide in 1938 and 1939. In 1948 I published my first book on schizophrenia, Dementia Praecox (3), which reviewed close to three thousand papers published in the preceding ten years. Ten years later I edited and contributed to my 1958 volume (4) and did so again (with Loeb) in 1968 (15). It is ten years later once again, and time to present this volume.

I would like to offer a very broad personal overview of the developments that I have had a chance to observe in these forty years, and then follow with more specific ones covering the last ten years. Much more complete coverage of the specific aspects of the schizophrenic syndrome will, of course, be provided by the authors of the subsequent chapters. What I would like to offer is a frame of reference for each of the subsequent chapters as well as some conceptual bridges between them and a few overall conclusions.

Schizophrenia Now

To start with, the current phenotype of schizophrenia—that is, what the I979 resident can observe today in most hospitals as compared with what he might have observed forty, or twenty-five, or even ten years ago—is quite different. Drug therapy and the varied aspects of community psychiatry are primarily responsible for this change. Above all, we should appreciate the interaction between these two modalities even . . .

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