Purple in the morning, blue in the afternoon, orange in the evening: a genealogical analysis of depressive disorders in the American Psychiatric Association's diagnostic and statistical manual, fifth edition

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The American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, the official guidebook to psychiatric diagnosis in America, currently exempts the recently bereaved from being diagnosed with depression unless their experiences are marked by feelings of extreme worthlessness, significant functional impairment, psychotic

The American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, the official guidebook to psychiatric diagnosis in America, currently exempts the recently bereaved from being diagnosed with depression unless their experiences are marked by feelings of extreme worthlessness, significant functional impairment, psychotic symptoms, psychomotor retardation, or suicidal ideation. Ordinary symptoms of depression, such as sleeplessness or loss of appetite, are considered healthy, functional emotional responses to the loss of a loved one. The bereavement exemption is slated for removal in the upcoming fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, functionally redefining the emotional distress of bereavement as a psychiatric disorder. This study employs genealogical analysis to expose the multiplicity of forces that shape modern psychiatry and the ways that the redefinition of depression functions strategically in the social negotiation of truth and power. Under the guise of etiological and prescriptive neutrality, the redefinition of depression promotes a deeply biological model of psychiatric disorder, a medicalized understanding of human emotion, and a pharmacological approach to the treatment of emotional distress. Through genealogical analysis, this project seeks to enable informed, meaningful ethico-political responses to these developments.