Bleuler, Eugen

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Bleuler, Eugen

Eugen Bleuler (oi´gən bloi´ lər), 1857–1939, Swiss psychiatrist. He taught (1898–1927) at the Univ. of Zürich, serving concurrently as director of Zürich's Burghölzi Asylum. Bleuler is well-known for his introduction (1908) of the term schizophrenia, formerly known as dementia praecox, and for his studies with schizophrenic patients. He concluded that the disease was not one of dementia, a condition involving organic deterioration of the brain, but one that consisted of a disharmonious state of mind in which contradictory tendencies exist together. His work was significant in its suggestion that psychological disturbances could be at the root of psychosis, and for his unprecedented belief that such patients were not incurable. A follower of Sigmund Freud and associate of Carl Jung, Bleuler was a long time member of Freud's Vienna Psychoanalytic Society. His son, Manfred Bleuler, conducted important follow-up studies in the Burghölzi hospital made famous by his father, and summarized these in The Schizophrenic Disorders (1978).

See E. Bleuler Dementia Praecox (1911, tr. 1950).

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