January 26, 2012

Grieving is NOT depression

And the American Psychiatric Association will either be making a huge mistake or else making a huge cave-in to Big Pharma, if "normal" grieving and bereavement is counted as a diagnostic marker for depression in DSM-V.

It's bad enough that we think grief has a "normal process" that has to follow Kuebler-Ross's five stages, which are nowhere near normal in the US, let alone the rest of the world.

Something like this risks stigmatizing people, possibly for either "too much" OR "too little" grief.

It also runs the risk of further reducing counseling to a cookie-cutter mentality, and of processing people through a system faster.

"Still grieving after three months, are we? We'll, you're depressed. Here's your Lexapro prescription."

The reality is that some people get fixated on grief. However, "depression" may not be the correct diagnosis, or at least not depression without other factors. Therefore, using bereavement as a depression marker could not only cause lazy psychological counseling, but bad, wrong, counseling.

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