Birthplace: Zollikon, Switzerland
Location of death: Zollikon, Switzerland
Cause of death: unspecified
Race or Ethnicity: White
Executive summary: Coined term schizophrenia
Extremely prominent Swiss psychiatrist and psychologist who originated the term schizophrenia and the concept of autism. Bleuler was an enthusiast of the theories of both Max Wundt and Sigmund Freud, and he was one of the first psychiatrists to apply psychoanalytical methods in his research. As director of the Burghölzli Mental Hospital in Zürich, he was a great influence on Carl Jung who served as an assistant there in the early 1900s. Based on his extensive work with mental patients, Bleuler believed that schizophrenia, which had earlier been known as dementia praecox, was not actually the result of physical deterioration of the brain as had previously been believed. Rather, he asserted, the condition arose from a "disharmonious" state of the mind -- that is from the existence within the psyche of contradictory tendencies. Bleuler did not believe however that schizophrenia could be cured.
Bleuler taught at the University of Zürich from 1898-1927 and was a member of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society. His son, Manfred Bleuler, continued the work on schizophrenia at Burghölzi, eventually publishing a summary entitled The Schizophrenic Disorders (1978).
Son: Manfred Bleuler
Medical School: University of Bern
Professor: Psychiatry, University of Zürich
Author of books:
Lehrbuch der Psychiatrie (1916, psychiatry)
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