Bleuler

Bleuler

[bloi-luhr]
Bleuler, Eugen, 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).

(born April 30, 1857, Zollikon, Switz.—died July 15, 1939, Zollikon) Swiss psychiatrist. He is best known for his studies of schizophrenia and for introducing (1908) the term for the disorder previously called dementia praecox. Bleuler argued (against accepted wisdom) that schizophrenia was more than one disease, was not always incurable, and did not always progress to full dementia. He described the basic symptoms—disordered mental associations and splitting or fragmentation of the personality—but believed that many cases were not apparent. He insisted that psychosis did not need to result from organic brain damage and could have psychological causes instead. His Textbook of Psychiatry (1916) became a standard text.

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(born April 30, 1857, Zollikon, Switz.—died July 15, 1939, Zollikon) Swiss psychiatrist. He is best known for his studies of schizophrenia and for introducing (1908) the term for the disorder previously called dementia praecox. Bleuler argued (against accepted wisdom) that schizophrenia was more than one disease, was not always incurable, and did not always progress to full dementia. He described the basic symptoms—disordered mental associations and splitting or fragmentation of the personality—but believed that many cases were not apparent. He insisted that psychosis did not need to result from organic brain damage and could have psychological causes instead. His Textbook of Psychiatry (1916) became a standard text.

Learn more about Bleuler, Eugen with a free trial on Britannica.com.

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