What used to be thought of as normal grieving, a sensitive personality or an emotional reaction to an unanticipated situation seems to become more and more routinely viewed as a “mental disorder.”
Once diagnosed, treatment often consists of nothing more than pill prescribing.
Sometimes responses to ordinary life events can be incorrectly diagnosed as mental disorders. Let’s look at a few examples…
“My husband passed away almost a year ago and I still miss him so much. There are times I feel like there’s not much purpose to my life anymore. We were married for 42 years. It’s tough to fall asleep without him at my side. And it’s tough for me to feel like cooking when I have to eat alone.”
This is a normal bereavement reaction. The proposed new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual code, however, states that these may be signs of a major depressive episode. Why? It’s as though our standard for bereavement is now quick, like everything else in our lives. Nothing to it! A piece of cake! Okay, mourn. But return to your old life in a week, a month, three months. You need more time than that? Well, perhaps you should take anti-depressants. Good for the drug companies. Not good for the bereaved individual.
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