Queen's University

American Psychiatric Association's manual of psychiatric diseases in keeping with Freud's theories: Queen's University expert

2012-05-22

Queen’s University Languages, Literatures and Cultures professor Jill Scott is available to talk about the recent rejection of "bereavement" as a condition worthy of psychiatric treatment. Doctors overseeing changes to the American Psychiatric Association’s manual of diseases have rejected the proposal to include bereavement on the basis that millions of people would find themselves with a clinical disorder.

Dr. Scott, who studies the social dynamics of mourning, says the APA’s decision reopens a debate initially held almost a century ago: “It mirrors Freud's own conclusion in his 1917 essay ‘Mourning and Melancholia,’ in which he labels mourning a normal state and melancholia a pathological condition. What's interesting here,” says Scott, “is that almost a century later, this distinction holds. Freud's theories have ceased to have any relevance for modern psychiatry, and his views on female sexuality and homosexuality have been thoroughly discredited, but it seems he got some things right.”

To arrange an interview, please contact communication officers Michael Onesi at 613.533.6000 ext. 77513 ormichael.onesi@queensu.ca or Anne Craig at 613-533-2877 or Anne.Craig@queensu.ca at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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