March 6, 2012

When Does The Human Experience Cease To Be An Experience And Begin To Be Something To Be Managed?

Loribeth's post "Gives a Whole New Meaning to the "2-Week Wait"  at The Road Less Travelled made me just as ticked off as the "single mother = abuser" article I read yesterday.

In a nutshell the powers that be are proposing to make changes to the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual (DSM) to amend the diagnosis of mental illness after loss.  Currently the timeline is two months of "allowable grief time" before clinical depression is diagnosed.  If this amendment is approved the "allowable grief time" will be TWO WEEKS.

Two weeks of grief and bereavement is apparently all the time one needs.  After that, if you haven't snapped out of it you're mentally ill, clinically depressed and most likely in desperate need of meds.  Ok, I admit it, the last one was a swipe a Big Pharma.  Sorry.

Shocking!  I had no idea that my grief was on such a tight schedule!  Imagine what I could have been doing in the third week after my miscarriage and my mother's death.  I could have been at Disneyland (or heavily medicated, which I suppose isn't a bad thing when one visits Disneyland).

Loribeth's post is linked to Dr. Joan's blog, who provides an in depth look at the implications of such a change.  In her words, "This change occurs against a historical DSM backdrop of salient criticism relative to the medicalization of normal human emotion, clinical hubris, cultural incompetence and insensitivity, and ethical misuse of such nosological systems."

Loss is hard enough to bear. Are we now to be forced adhere to a timeline, and if we don't do so, bury it deeply so we won't be seen as mentally ill?  


  1. I think this story has given me clinical depression.


  2. This makes me so very angry as well. I am so sorry for your loss and I hate that anyone would tell us that we need to be "over it" within two weeks. It's been exactly one month since my D&C and I am just starting to feel like I am breaking out of the fog.

    You are in my thoughts... I am glad you posted on my blog. Looking forward to following your story.

  3. There are 5 stages of grief & according to this we'd have to accomplish each stage in 2.8 days. That's absurd! The 1st week after my miscarriage was such a complete write off, I was in shock & completely numb & don't think I even started grieving until the 2nd week!