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Prolonged Grief Disorder and Crazy Grieving People

May 8th, 2012 by BOB FIDDAMAN

The proposals for Prolonged Grief Disorder [PGD] to be included as a mental disorder in the DSM come under fire from Maria Bradshaw in a quite brilliant piece of work on Bob Whitaker's Mad in America [MIA] website.

Bradshaw is a regular columnist on MIA, her latest offering is nothing short of brilliant.

She eloquently dissects the criteria for PGD and shows how utterly absurd this new proposal is, she does so with a touch of sarcasm that will have the pro-pill pushers shouting their defences from the corners they scurry to when people oppose their madness.

Prolonged Grief Disorder is the latest mental disorder from the wacky white-coated brigade who, it seems, have nothing better to do than to target something quite normal...and make it abnormal.

The criteria, pooled together by the DSM authors, state the blindingly obvious emotions one goes through when losing a loved one, things such as:

  • Persistent yearning/longing for the deceased. In young children, yearning may be expressed in play and behavior, including separation-reunion behavior with caregivers.
  • Intense sorrow and emotional pain in response to the death.
  • Preoccupation with the deceased.
  • Preoccupation with the circumstances of the death. In children, this preoccupation with the deceased may be expressed through the themes of play and behavior and may extend to preoccupation with possible death of others close to them.

Bradshaw turns the tables on the DSM and offers her own criteria for its authors. It's a post laced with sarcasm yet full of logic.

I've met many parents, partners and siblings, each of whom have had to deal with the sudden death of a loved one. Had I have known that they had a mental disorder I could have quite easily recommended a course of antidepressants and been on my way.

Those endless nights of Skype calls, emails, dining at black tie events have, it appears, all been in vain.

I must remember in future to bring a box of antidepressants with me to offer to the next person who wishes to talk about their dead child, husband, wife, mom, dad or brother or sister.

Psychiatry have covered all bases here for I would surely be deemed as having a lack of empathy if I ignored these grieving people [see the DSM for the various disorders that include lack of empathy]

I'm not a psychiatrist or psychologist but, for me at least, allowing the bereaved to talk... and cry is part of a healing process, it's offering a shoulder to cry on and is something that has been around since the dawning of time.

For a bunch of lunatics to even suggest that grief is abnormal borders on insanity. There can be no time limit put on such an emotion.

What a dilemma we face if this madness is allowed through.

Patient: Doctor, I lost my child, cried for a few months but now I'm over it, I don't grieve for them anymore.

Doctor: Hmm, you have what is known as empathy deficit disorder, although it's not yet in the DSM there are many mental disorders that highlight this trait.  Here, take these antidepressants.


Patient: Doctor, I lost my child and cannot stop thinking about them. It's been six months now and I am suffering terrible grief.

Doctor: Hmm, you have what is known as prolonged grief disorder. Here, take these antidepressants.

Maria Bradshaw's post is a must read.

**Declaration of interests

I have spent many evenings in person, on Skype and on the telephone with Maria Bradshaw. She cried when talking about her dead child.




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