from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Any of a group of psychotic disorders usually characterized by withdrawal from reality, illogical patterns of thinking, delusions, and hallucinations, and accompanied in varying degrees by other emotional, behavioral, or intellectual disturbances. Schizophrenia is associated with dopamine imbalances in the brain and may have an underlying genetic cause.
- n. A situation or condition that results from the coexistence of disparate or antagonistic qualities, identities, or activities: the national schizophrenia that results from carrying out an unpopular war.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A psychiatric diagnosis denoting a persistent, often chronic, mental illness variously affecting behavior, thinking, and emotion.
- n. Any condition in which disparate or mutually exclusive activities coexist.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. any of several psychotic disorders characterized by distortions of reality and disturbances of thought and language and withdrawal from social contact
Thirty years ago, the term schizophrenia was a catchall phrase to diagnose all manner of aberrant behavior.
However, we are using the term schizophrenia colloquially so as to not muddy our political-philosophical analysis with clinical analysis, a topic on which neither authors are literate.
But back to your conscience; I know that psychiatrists used to use the term schizophrenia to describe a variety of mental conditions that didn't have any other definable title or description, so I wonder if perhaps you have been diagnosed as a sociopath in a similar way because the doctor had a bit of trouble pinpointing what was exactly the problem.
Although the meaning of this sentence is obscure, it is evident that in both examples, the term schizophrenia is used to indicate a splitting apart or splitting into two of what should be unitary.
Eugene Bleuler accepted much of Kraepelin’s thinking and, in fact, applied the term schizophrenia to the disorder to imply that a schism or splitting of the various psychic functions “was one of the most outstanding characteristics” Arieti, 1974, p. 13 of the disease.
A common sign of a schizophrenia is when the person with the mental illness starts referring to themselves as “we” or starts talking about himself or herself in the third person.
Here is the verbatim definition of schizophrenia from the Random House online dictionary - the medical definition: "a severe mental disorder characterized by some, but not necessarily all, of the following features: emotional blunting, intellectual deterioration, social isolation, disorganized speech and behavior, delusions, and hallucinations."
But, as I said, that's over-simplifying, but that schizophrenia is on display in The Incredibles, which tries to swing it both ways.
Pope pointed out that Shakespeare, Homer and other pre-19th-century writers show numerous characters suffering from other psychiatric disorders: the disjointed thinking that we call schizophrenia, or the persistent sadness that marks depression.
But studies elsewhere had similar findings, she said: a threefold increase in schizophrenia among offspring of older fathers.
Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.