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.

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3 Responses to “Is the APA’s latest DSM-5 deliberation a step too far?”

  1. On February 23, 2013 at 5:55 am carol smith responded with... #

    Oh, no Kit. You are so very correct in what you have said about bereavement being classified as depression, thus the person who is going through the loss of a loved one is now considered mentally ill. That just took the humanity and natural response to loss out of what is normal but now is considered “mentally ill.” So, if a mother loses a child in any way and she falls into a deep depression and seeks treatment for it, is she going to be classified as “mentally ill” now? We all know how hard it is to accept that label health “professionals” put on us so very quickly. I don’t care how much education these professionals have. From psychiatrists to psychologists to plain folk that know exactly what ails us. If that psychiatrist or psychologist or that concerned “friend” doesn’t have this illness, then they truly will never understand what it’s like for us. This is why I respect Kaye Jameson Redfield so completely. She is a doctor and she is a manic depressive with a long, long, scary history. That’s the person I want to know about and I have read everything she has published because it is my experience too. How can I explain to any one person what this illness is like when you are expected to perform up to high standards every single day? How do I explain to any administrator past or present what mania is like when it doesn’t go away for four straight months? I don’t even know if they believe me at all and I sure do not want to have to explain any psychotic break with reality I have had because as soon as that word PSYCHOSIS is bandied about, I now am almost certain to be capable – in their eyes – of murder, criminal activity, scary behavior where, at any time, I could possibly beat one of them to death and this is just not the truth but I am not out to argue my point or fight this battle or prove one more thing. I am tired of fighting people now. When I fight I get angry and then I stay angry and I have been angry almost my entire life and it has ruined so much of it. I just don’t want to be angry anymore over what people think or say about me or my family.

    • On February 24, 2013 at 3:54 pm admin responded with... #

      Hi Carol
      I’ve been following your comments on Linkedin too. I can see how passionate you are about this and I’m pleased I can help give you a voice. Keep those thoughts coming!!

      Best wishes Kit


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