I ran across the following article in the New York Times this morning: Grief Could Join List of Disorders. In my quick glance at the article (and the link it provides to a study by Jerome C. Wakefield and Michael B. First), the controversy seems to be over whether or not to remove the bereavement exclusion (BE) in the fifth revision of the DSMV. If removed, grief could be treated as a disorder. In his co-authored study with First, Wakefield argues that the BE should be left in. I like what Wakefield writes (as cited in the NY Times article):
“An estimated 8 to 10 million people lose a loved one every year, and something like a third to a half of them suffer depressive symptoms for up to month afterward,” said Dr. Wakefield, author of “The Loss of Sadness.” “This would pathologize them for behavior previously thought to be normal.”
I must admit, I haven’t done much reading or research on Psychology/psychiatry and the DSMV or on (social) scientific studies of grief. Since I’m curious, maybe I should. I wonder, how do the studies discuss the experiences of grief that linger or reoccur even years after a loss? What are the dangers (such as pathologization) of understanding this to be a disorder? What are the benefits of treating it as disorder?
Here’s what I want to put BESIDE/S this study/article/issue:
1. Judith Butler and her theorizations of grief and critiques of the DSMV in Undoing Gender (particularly, ch 1: Beside Oneself and ch 4: Undiagnosing Gender)
2. My posts tagged with “grief” on this blog