A recent press release from the American Psychiatric Association announced the addition of a new disorder to the Diagnostic Statistical Manual, Fifth Edition: Prolonged Grief Disorder. While the condition is officially added to the Manual that is widely used as the industry standard for diagnosing mental illness, the disorder is not included in any current release of the DSM-5 until March of next year, when the Text Revision is released.
Prolonged Grief Disorder may cause an individual “intense longings for the deceased or preoccupation with thoughts of the deceased, or in children and adolescents, with the circumstances around the death. These grief reactions occur most of the day, nearly every day for at least a month. The individual experiences clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning”, according to the American Psychiatric Association’s public statement.
The Association continued to clarify the necessity of adding Prolonged Grief Disorder to the DSM-5 by writing, “After studies dating back several decades suggested that many people were experiencing persistent difficulties associated with bereavement that are substantially prolonged beyond culturally normed expectations, and a two-year process of review and public comment, APA’s Board of Trustees and Assembly approved it last fall for inclusion in the DSM.”
Dr. Paul Abbelbaum, President Emeritus of the American Psychiatric Association, also announced the Text Revision and the addition of Prolonged Grief Disorder to the DSM-5 yesterday on Twitter which has already begun receiving negative push back. Dr. Randy Paterson, a licensed clinical psychologist in Vancouver, Canada, said in a reply tweet to Abbelbaum’s announcement on Twitter, “Do any of us still care about the DSM? It seems to have lost its way years ago and has declining relevance in the mental health world. The attempt to diagnose absolutely everyone has made it part of the problem, not part of the solution.”
Do any of us still care about the DSM? It seems to have lost its way years ago and has declining relevance in the mental health world. The attempt to diagnose absolutely everyone has made it part of the problem, not part of the solution.
— Randy Paterson (@DrRandyPaterson) September 30, 2021