Los Angeles / Orange County Libraries

Is the Pain From Grief “Normal?” Changes in DSM 5

This morning's Morning Edition on NPR had a story highlighting a new controversy coming out of the DSM 5 revisions.  This controversy focusses on the proposed removal of the "bereavement exception" from a diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder.  Under DSM-IV, patients showing depressive symptoms which may have been caused by the loss of a loved one are not diagnosed or treated as depressed unless the symptoms continue for several months after the loss.  The proposed change for DSM 5 would allow patients to be diagnosed and treated if the symptoms last longer than 2 weeks.  Some people oppose the change and argue that grief is normal and may be beneficial.  They are concerned about the "overmedicalizing" of our experiences.

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