Emil Kraepelin was born in 1856 in Germany. He is very well known for classification of mental disorders, also known as psychiatric nosology. During his time, it was widely believed that certain singular symptoms were characteristics of a specific illness. However, Kraepelin proposed and believed that the chief origin of psychiatric disease is due to biological and genetic malfunction. His theories dominated psychiatric at the start of the 20th century. Kraepelin’s research is still used in the international classification of diseases today. He was a co-discoverer of Alzheimer’s disease. He wrote a thesis on “The Place of Psychology in Psychiatry” in 1882.
Kraepelin worked to debate the pseudoscientific reasoning behind mental illness. He argued the beliefs of other scientists and refused to advocate the common theories presented by well known scientists at that time. He instead used scientific observation to find that a specific combination of symptoms were needed to identify the mental disorder. Kraepelin developed a statistical manual of psychiatric diseases way before the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) was published. His studies shaped the way mental illnesses are viewed today and also helped to understand the underlying conditions for such illnesses.