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Parental alienation from child custody disputes not in

St. Charles residents may know how difficult it is to go through a divorce with children. Some child custody agreements do not go as smoothly as planned, and some parents try to cause problems in their child's relationship with the other parent. This is called "parental alienation." Despite significant efforts by some, the American Psychiatric Association has decided that this term will not be included in its latest catalog of mental diseases.

Parental alienation refers to one parent poisoning the child's relationship with the other parent. The phenomenon, often caused by bitter divorces and child custody disputes, will not be listed in the upcoming edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, also known as the DSM-5.

Many people and groups believe that parental alienation is a serious mental disorder. They say that classifying it as a mental disorder would result in better outcomes in family courts and treatment for children struggling with the effects of their relationships with their parents. However, the APA maintains that it is not a disorder within one person. It is a relationship problem, and relationship problems are not necessarily mental disorders.

Nearly half of all marriages today end in divorce. A lot of these divorces involve children, many who are too young to understand the reasoning behind the divorce. Many parents argue over child custody rights to seek revenge against the other parent, not necessarily because they have the best interests of the child in mind. This can cause emotional damage to a young child, something that all parents will want to avoid to ensure the best outcome for everyone.

Source: Huffington Post, "Parental Alienation Not A Mental Disorder, American Psychiatric Association Says," David Crary, Sept. 21, 2012

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Joseph J. Porzenski
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