It’s been heating up now for the past few weeks as a charge led mainly by professionals. And it has caught the eye of the mainstream media. I’m talking about the revision process for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-5 (DSM-5), the reference manual mental health professionals and researchers use to treat patients and design reliable research studies examining mental illness.
The latest upset? The fact that the new DSM-5 suggests that depression could co-occur with grief. Critics see the changes as suggesting the DSM is trying to “medicalize” normal grieving. Anyone who experiences grief after a tragic or significant loss will now be at risk for receiving — heaven forbid — mental health treatment and a diagnosis.
We’ve covered this ground here on more than one occasion, but it appears time to talk about whether depression can occur at the same time as grief or not. My first reaction was — grief is grief, depression is depression, and the two never really co-occur. But a few years ago, I read a piece here on World of Psychology by Dr. Ron Pies which completely changed my perspective.