The DSM moves towards officially pathologizing grief and bereavement. The practice of doing so, is, of course, not new. Lots of people already begin their journeys on psych meds as a result of a death or loss that is then medicated.
This is an important enough issue to bring up again even though NPR did a story a couple of weeks ago and I covered it then. If you’ve not read my commentary from that piece it works for this piece too. Read it here.
This is an excerpt of the piece in the New York Times today:
Good Grief – NYT OpEd today
A startling suggestion is buried in the fine print describing proposed changes for the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders — perhaps better known as the D.S.M. 5, the book that will set the new boundary between mental disorder and normality. If this suggestion is adopted, many people who experience completely normal grief could be mislabeled as having a psychiatric problem.
Suppose your spouse or child died two weeks ago and now you feel sad, take less interest and pleasure in things, have little appetite or energy, can’t sleep well and don’t feel like going to work. In the proposal for the D.S.M. 5, your condition would be diagnosed as a major depressive disorder.