Innovations in Psychiatry and What They Mean For You

The latest revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) – the first since 2013 – was released, offering new considerations for a swiftly evolving world, including finally recognizing prolonged grief disorder.

The revision also integrates considerations for the impact of racism and discrimination on mental health disorders and clarifies the language related to gender identity.

“Desired gender” is now “experienced gender.” “Gender-affirming medical procedure” replaces “cross-sex medical procedure.” They have also put words and criteria to a new disorder: prolonged grief disorder.

While some are happy that the new disorder will allow medical access to the long-suffering, critics of the announcement claim that a diagnosis of prolonged grief could have a destabilizing effect.

Innovations in Psychiatry: What Does it Mean for You and Your Loved Ones?

“Individuals who meet the criteria for prolonged grief disorder experience something dramatically different from the grief normally experienced by anyone who loses a loved one,” says the APA.

They continue, “People whose symptoms meet the criteria for prolonged grief disorder need and deserve to get appropriate care.”

What are the Risks of Classifying Grief as a Disorder?

“Grieving people told by doctors that they have mental illnesses when they are actually emerging, slowly but naturally, from their losses” could result in false positives, reports the New York Times.

What Do the Critics Have to Say?