schizophrenia

noun
schizo·​phre·​nia | \ ˌskit-sə-ˈfrē-nē-ə How to pronounce schizophrenia (audio) \

Definition of schizophrenia

1 medical : a mental illness that is characterized by disturbances in thought (such as delusions), perception (such as hallucinations), and behavior (such as disorganized speech or catatonic behavior), by a loss of emotional responsiveness and extreme apathy, and by noticeable deterioration in the level of functioning in everyday life

Note: Schizophrenia often involves an inability to orient oneself with reality, a withdrawal from social interactions, and a failure to integrate thoughts with emotions so that emotional expression is inappropriate. There are several subtypes of schizophrenia, including paranoid schizophrenia and those types marked by catatonia or hebephrenia.

2 : contradictory or antagonistic qualities or attitudes both parties … have exhibited schizophrenia over the desired outcome— Elizabeth Drew

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Other Words from schizophrenia

schizophrenic \ ˌskit-​sə-​ˈfre-​nik How to pronounce schizophrenia (audio) \ adjective or noun
schizophrenically \ ˌskit-​sə-​ˈfre-​ni-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce schizophrenia (audio) \ adverb

Examples of schizophrenia in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Ashley Forehand has bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, and was recently hospitalizedher mother, Keisha Forehand, 46, told the Free Press. Kyle Davidson, Detroit Free Press, 15 June 2021 Following the killings, police arrested Chavis, who told officers he had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and schizophrenia, and charged him with two counts of murder and one count of animal cruelty. BostonGlobe.com, 12 June 2021 Her son was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia as a teenager, according to The Post and Courier. April Siese, CBS News, 18 May 2021 The new hospital, Beaumont said, will be capable of treating children, teens, seniors and patients with various distinct diagnoses, such as depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Freep.com, 16 May 2021 Sutherland suffered from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, his family said at a press briefing Friday. Meredith Deliso, ABC News, 14 May 2021 Further some people with serious illnesses such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia could have dangerous reactions to a psychedelic experience. Meredith Cohn, baltimoresun.com, 13 May 2021 Family members identified the man as Ashton Pinke and said he was known to police because of his history of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, KTVT said. Dallas News, 4 May 2021 Thurman has also been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia and is in need of mental health treatment the county cannot provide, Rotunno said. Clare Proctor, chicagotribune.com, 19 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'schizophrenia.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of schizophrenia

1909, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for schizophrenia

borrowed from German Schizophrenie, from schizo- schizo- + Greek phren-, phrḗn "midriff, seat of the passions, mind, wits" + German -ie -ia entry 1, after Hebephrenie hebephrenia, Paraphrenie "mental illness with delusional symptoms" — more at frenetic

Note: The German term was introduced by the Swiss psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler (1857-1939) in a lecture, "Die Prognose der Dementia Praecox (Schizophreniegruppe)," given at the annual meeting of the Deutsche Verein für Psychiatrie (German Union for Psychiatry) in Berlin on April 24, 1908. The text of the lecture, augmented by restorations abbreviated from the oral presentation, was published in the Allgemeine Zeitschrift für Psychiatrie und psychisch-gerichtliche Medizin, 56. Band (1908), pp. 436-64. The word is introduced in Bleuler's opening remarks: "Im Interesse der Diskussion möchte ich nochmals hervorheben, dass es sich bei dem Kräpelinschen Dementia praecox weder um eine notwendige Dementia, noch um eine notwendige Praecocitas handelt. Aus diesem Grunde und weil man von dem Ausdruck Dementia praecox keine adjektivischen und substantivischen Weiterbildungen machen kann, erlaube ich mir, hier das Wort Schizophrenie zur Bezeichnung des Kräpelinschen Begriffes zu benützen. Ich glaube nämlich, dass die Zerreissung oder Spaltung der psychischen Funktionen ein hervorragendes Symptom der ganzen Gruppe sei, und werde dies am anderen Orte begründen." ("In the interests of discussion I would like to emphasize once again that Kraepelin's dementia praecox is neither necessarily a form of dementia, nor a matter of early onset. On this basis, and because it is not possible to derive further adjectives or nouns from the expression dementia praecox, I allow myself here to employ the word schizophrenia to designate Kraepelin's concept. I believe that the tearing apart or splitting of psychic functions is a prominent symptom of the whole group, as I will substantiate elsewhere.") — The pronunciation of -z- as /ts/ presumably reflects the influence of the German source.

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Time Traveler for schizophrenia

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The first known use of schizophrenia was in 1909

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Last Updated

19 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Schizophrenia.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/schizophrenia. Accessed 19 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for schizophrenia

schizophrenia

noun
schizo·​phre·​nia | \ ˌskit-sə-ˈfrē-nē-ə How to pronounce schizophrenia (audio) \

Medical Definition of schizophrenia

: a mental illness that is characterized by disturbances in thought (as delusions), perception (as hallucinations), and behavior (as disorganized speech or catatonic behavior), by a loss of emotional responsiveness and extreme apathy, and by noticeable deterioration in the level of functioning in everyday life

Note: Schizophrenia often involves an inability to orient oneself with reality, a withdrawal from social interactions, and a failure to integrate thoughts with emotions so that emotional expression is inappropriate. There are several subtypes of schizophrenia, including paranoid schizophrenia and those types marked by catatonia or hebephrenia.

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