When a Child Dies: A Critical Analysis of Grief-Related Controversies in DSM-5

Kara Thieleman and Joanne Cacciatore. The fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Associationā€™s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders has incited vociferous debate among academics, clinicians, and the general public. Two contested changes are eliminating the bereavement exclusion from the major depressive disorder diagnosis and creating a new category for intense and prolonged grief called persistent complex bereavement-related disorder. This article critically analyzes research and debate regarding these two changes and considers the likely implications for bereaved parents and other traumatically bereaved groups, who may be especially vulnerable to consequences of the two proposed changes.