Another step along the road towards medicalizing all problems: Grief now a mental illness

By that standard, the much-respected Queen Victoria was as nutty as a fruitcake

A PUSH to classify grief as a psychological disorder has been criticised by experts as "disease-mongering". Prolonged grief disorder (PGD) will be included in the next edition of the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the psychiatrists' bible used to diagnose mental problems.

Bereavement, a normal part of life, has been excluded from previous editions of the manual, but Australian Medical Association spokesman and psychiatrist Tom Stanley says there is significant evidence of PGD. "Occasionally, normal grief will become pathological and, in many cases, it will precipitate severe depression," Dr Stanley said.

Prolonged grief disorder was originally identified by US psychiatrists, but counsellor Mal McKissock, of Sydney's Bereavement Centre, said: "It's nothing more than disease-mongering. "My colleagues in the US get reimbursed only if there's a real sickness, so they created one."

Mr McKissock is concerned about the growing number of patients he sees who have been medicated with anti-depressants. "I'd venture that 50 per cent of the people I see are on anti-depressants - and that includes children, which is outrageous," he said.

"People think they have a disease. They think they're depressed, but they are sad, passionately sad, and it's a natural process."

Former Australian of the Year and campaigner for mental health Professor Pat McGorry said there was a distinction between normal grief and prolonged grief that could lead to severe depression.


1 comment:

  1. I am always heartened to hear grief described as a process, as in "Police have released the body so the family can begin the grieving process". There's probably some sort of flow chart which will help you navigate your grief disorder. Maybe you can even fast-track it?


All comments containing Chinese characters will not be published as I do not understand them