Around 1900 the Swiss psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler developed a new interpretative model of mental illnesses: schizophrenia. He named the breaking of associative threads of thought as the core symptom of the disorder. Shortly after the publication of his "Dementia Praecox or the Groups of Schizophrenias" in 1911, the concept quickly gained popularity outside the discipline of psychiatry. His contempories noticed early on the peculiar relationship that existed between the crisis diagnosed as schizophrenia and the broader societal "crisis of modernity" around 1900. The author shows in what ways this seeming relationship between the interpretation of the disorder and society was already preconfigured in Eugen Bleuler's early writings by reconstructing and contextualising his theory of schizophrenia as developed in the years from 1890 to 1910.