How the DSM-5 has come to grief

How the DSM-5 has come to grief
Courtesy Matthew Johnstone, I Had a Black Dog.

(Medical Xpress)—Widespread confusion about what constitutes grief, 'normaI' depression and clinical depression risks being exacerbated under the American Psychiatry Association's newest classification system, professor of psychiatry Gordon Parker warns.

"The or DSM-5 is about to be published and there has been increasing public and professional concern about the DSM-5 system 'pathologising' normal human states," says Scientia Professor Gordon Parker, from UNSW's School of Psychiatry.

Particularly controversial is the DSM-5 proposal that grief be included as a , a development that could lead to "unhappy" people being treated with antidepressants or , says Professor Parker, the founding executive director of the Black Dog Institute.

Professor Parker has published a provocative challenge to the DSM model – titled 'Opening Pandora's box: how DSM-5 has come to grief' in the journal Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica.

The paper considers how grief and clinical depression can and should be differentiated, before outlining flaws to the theoretical papers generated by the DSM deliberations.

Professor Parker suggests that rather than drawing grief into the diagnostic category, attention instead should be on existing depressive conditions (especially reactive depressive disorders) that currently lie outside the categorisation.


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Apr 04, 2013
DMS-5 is mostly nonsense. If you believe what is printed there, 90% of us have a psychiatric syndrome.

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