Is Grief A Mental Disorder?
Many of you will be aware of the debate currently raging over the inclusion of grief as a mental disorder in the new diagnostic manual for psychiatry. If the proposed inclusion goes ahead, being sad for two weeks after bereavement will meet the criteria for a psychiatric diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder.
A recent editorial in the Lancet comments that "“Medicalising grief, so that treatment is legitimised routinely with antidepressants, for example, is not only dangerously simplistic, but also flawed. The evidence base for treating recently bereaved people with standard antidepressant regimens is absent.”
I will grieve for my son for the rest of my life. Periods of intense and prolonged sadness, tears, inability to sleep or eat, feelings of worthlessness and thoughts of suicide are part of my life now. They are the natural aftermath of losing a cherished only child to a lonely, violent, unnecessary death. And losing the dreams and hope I had for the future.
I'm not mentally disordered. I don't need antidepressants which cause suicide along with a raft of other adverse effects. Grief is normal following a death. Its the legacy of love.
We who are bereaved by suicide need to be a voice against this. Would love your views on our poll on the subject.