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Revision to DSM 5 will likely include depression resulting from grief

The New York Times reported last week that the Fifth Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) published by the American Psychiatric Association will likely include a sub-classification of depression resulting from the loss of a loved one.  The DSM 5, the first revision since 1994, will be controversial in this regard as practicing Psychiatrists disagree about whether normal grieving ("bereavement") should be classified as depression.

The current DSM did not include bereavement as a form of depression.  Under the current criteria, a patient must display five of the nine symptoms of depression for more than two weeks in order to be diagnosed with that condition.  The symptoms include, for example, sleeping problems, feelings of worthlessness, inability to concentrate.  Research suggests that 8 to 10 million people lose a loved one each year and that between one-third and one-half would qualify as "depressed" under these criteria for more than one month.

Other controversies arising out of the new DSM include a re-classification of autism that would significantly reduce the number of persons diagnosed, and the promulgation of a new classification "attenuated psychosis syndrome" which some treaters believe is a thinly-veiled attempt by Big Pharma to sell more drugs.

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