On May 25, the World Health Organization (WHO) included “parental alienation” as a “caregiver-child relationship problem” in ICD-11, the International Classification of Diseases 11th Revision. ICD-11 comes into effect on Jan. 1, 2022.
This new term is described on the WHO website as: “Substantial and sustained dissatisfaction within a caregiver-child relationship associated with significant disturbance in functioning.” While that sounds nebulous, parental alienation is generally understood to mean that one parent negatively influences the child(ren), resulting in the child(ren) fearing or rejecting the other parent. Basically, the ICD-11 is recognizing that brainwashing the child(ren) against the other parent and/or keeping the child(ren) from the other parent amounts to abuse, which leads to significant mental health issues for the child(ren) in question. To me, as a child of divorce, I completely support the inclusion of parental alienation in ICD-11.