DSM-5 and Bereavement: The Loss of Normal Grief?


concerning this article should be addressed to Jesse Fox, Department of Educational and Human Sciences, University of Central Florida, PO Box 161250, Orlando, FL 32816-1250 (e-mail: jessefox@knights.ucf.edu).


The mood disorder work group has proposed to eliminate the bereavement exclusion criterion from the diagnosis of major depression in the 5th edition of the American Psychiatric Association's (2012)Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The proposal would break tradition with the long-held distinction between depression and normal bereavement. This article reviews the development of the bereavement exclusion, discusses evidence for and against the proposal, and offers some relevant implications for counselors in light of the research on depression and bereavement.