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Is Grief a Form of Mental Illness?

The New York Times ran a moving article about a professor whose son died from a drug overdose. There's a lot to mull over in this article, including issues of ADHD, drug use, and the nature of boys in school. But the author Ted Gup reflects on a move in American psychiatry to include some forms of grief as a form of mental illness (according to the D.S.M.).

In his article titled "Diagnosis: Human," Gup writes this moving paragraph: ‘Ours is an age in which the airwaves and media are one large drug emporium that claims to fix everything from sleep to sex. I fear that being human is itself fast becoming a condition. It's as if we are trying to contain grief, and the absolute pain of a loss like mine. We have become increasingly … uncomfortable with the messiness of our own humanity, aging and, ultimately, mortality. Challenge and hardship have become pathologized and monetized. Instead of enhancing our coping skills, we undermine them and seek shortcuts where there are none.’

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