Grief may soon become a medical disorder

Amarillo, TX - Grieving the loss of a loved one may become a medical disorder.

The American Psychiatric Association is considering changes to their manual of mental disorders, making grief a disorder.

Some say adding grief, after the loss of a loved one, as a disorder could increase the number of people treated for it and even add unnecessary treatments.

Medical professionals say bereavement can look like depression, but it is best for a doctor to have an accurate reflection of the person's history and health before diagnosing them with a more long term illness.

"It is usually short lived and the symptoms aren't as severe as major depression. Right now major depression at least in the DSM-4 is diagnosed by having five of nine symptoms for a least two weeks that are negatively impacting someone's life," said Doctor James Rush.

Some of those signs include sleeping problems, feelings of worthlessness, loss of concentration and appetite.

However, a local therapist we spoke with says although these symptoms can be seen in those who are grieving, often times major depression will also include thoughts of suicide.