Is the APA’s latest DSM-5 deliberation a step too far?
In a word – YES!
It would seem the American Psychiatric Associations latest move with DSM-5 is to classify bereavement as depression, or rather, more vaguely, in typical obfuscation, grief will no longer disqualify you from being diagnosed with depression.
Has it really come to this? Normal events – which sadly for most of us includes bereavement – are no longer safe from more ‘scary’ diagnoses.
You may feel I’m overreacting, but if you find yourself seriously knocked senseless with grief and one weeps a bit too much, for a bit too long, ergo you can be classed as depressed and indeed, mentally ill.
And if you are diagnosed as mentally ill by your physician it can carry all sorts long term implications, effectively disbarring you from many aspect of civil life – like say Jury Service.
So as well as coping with losing a loved one, you may just discover, months or years later, when you’ve recovered, that a new Doctor says ‘I see that you were diagnosed with depression in 2013’
Does it matter? Well yes it might if you are refused life insurance or medical insurance because of that diagnosis. A casual chat with your Doctor might have significant and negative implications for years after.
Remember that in many Western countries Doctors are paid for delivering medical solutions, so don’t be surprised to learn that the ‘medicalisation’ of social matters like bereavement is tempting in the extreme. It’s certainly in the interests of the Pharmaceutical industry to have things presented as medical problems.
Bereavement is part of life, as is feeling anxious, hopeless and feeble sometimes. Most work their way through it. There is a marked difference to full blown depression.
No bloody wonder the DSM-5 manual threatens to become thicker than the Hong Kong phone directory.
Apologies to those ‘ good Psychiatrists’ out there, and I know there are many, but what I do know too, from my followers and all my social media, is that the profession does not enjoy universal support. In fact a straw poll tells me at least 60 to 70% of those I know, have very little time for the profession.
When you look at DSM-5 its no wonder.