Can Bereavement Be a Mental Illness?

Monday, May 21, 2012

From an early age we’re taught that death is an important part of life. But that knowledge can be little solace when it comes to coping with the loss of a loved one. Grief can be overwhelming, both emotionally and physically, and the grieving process can sometimes take years to work through. In cases of extreme grief, the American Psychiatric Association is putting forth a recommendation that would, for the first time, give guidelines for a diagnosis of bereavement-related depression. 

The change would appear in the DSM-5 — the APA’s diagnostic manual — which is set to come out in 2013. Journalist Jerry Adler wrote about this subject in connection with the death of his son for New York Magazine. Jerome C. Wakefield, is a professor in the School of Social Work at New York University.


Jerry Adler and Jerome C. Wakefield

Produced by:

Zachary Dinerstein and Jen Poyant

Comments [1]


Elisabeth Kubler-Ross is one of the best authors to read when you’ve gone through loss. I loved On Death & Dying and I’ve also read The Tunnel & the Light. How to Deal with Grief by Karen Colquhoun is a good read too. What I have found difficult is that people who havent gone through something big don’t understand. I have lost 2 close friends and many relatives. The one that hurt the most was losing my grandmother.

Jun. 10 2012 12:17 AM

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