THE GRIEF EXCLUSION: PATHOLOGIZING PERSONHOOD

Kate Dickins

Abstract

A recent, controversial change to the DSM-V was the removal of the grief exclusion: criteria meaning someone exhibiting symptoms of depression following a bereavement can not be diagnosed with depression. Grief is a natural reaction to loss, not an illness, yet since the removal of ‘Grief exclusion’, by definition, it now is.

This is one of several actions that, many fear, pathologized personhood. Movements including anti-psychiatry, mad-pride, and trauma-informed care advocates are pushing back against the increasingly medicalised model of mental health. This paper will consider the implications of medicalising mental health: the cost and benefit to individuals and practitioners.