A brief history about schizophrenia
This disease could be more modern than we think, schizophrenia could be a disease after 1800s, that is, it could be a recent 19th century ailment. The first clue is that throughout that century there was a great increase in income in the mental institutions of Western countries, in the United States about 30 people were admitted in 1820. In 1870 this figure had risen to 180, and the number of patients per institution had also increased from 50 to 470.
In Germany, the number of patients increased from 1 in 5300 during 1852 to 1 in 500 during 1911. Many insane asylums were built in the presence of this increased demand. The author "Edward Shorter" in his book "History of Psychiatry" says that there were two reasons for this, the first being that the State could take care of people who were previously cared for by their families, the second being that there was a real increase in mental illness.
Alcohol abuse also increased, with many patients admitted to these institutions with alcohol-related illnesses such as psychosis or delirium tremens, in fact, the 19th century being referred to as the golden age of drunks. In England, for example, per capita alcohol consumption increased by 60% between 1801 and 1901.
This moment took place in other western nations, the industrial revolution brought about improvements in the standard of living and a lowering of the cost of alcohol production, i.e. people had more money and alcohol was cheaper. The first d escriptions of what we now recognize as schizophrenia appeared in 1809, describing young people who showed psychosis and a deterioration of their mental faculties.
Mental illnesses increased in Africa with the arrival of westerners, the same happened in New Guinea, where a rise in the number of cases was corroborated, coinciding with this arrival, although the infectious hypothesis caused by parasites such as toxoplasma isn't rejected at present either.
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