If a new suggestion is adopted to the Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder, many people who experience normal bouts of grief could be diagnosed with having a psychiatric problem, says a former Duke University psychiatrist and chairman of the D.S.M. 4: “Suppose your spouse or child died two weeks ago and now you feel sad, take less interest and pleasure in things, have little appetite or energy, can’t sleep well and don’t feel like going to work. In the proposal for the D.S.M. 5, your condition would be diagnosed as a major depressive disorder. This would be a wholesale medicalization of normal emotion, and it would result in the overdiagnosis and overtreatment of people who would do just fine if left alone to grieve with family and friends, as people always have.”
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