Part Four of Bipolar and Related Disorders

The final installment of Bipolar and Related Disorders describes Other Specified Bipolar and Related Disorder and Unspecified Bipolar and Related Disorder.  Diagnosis with one of these disorders is reserved for individuals who do not meet the full criteria for any of the Bipolar and Related Disorders, but whose symptoms cause “significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning” (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 2013).

Other Specified Bipolar and Related Disorder

The Other Specified Bipolar and Related Disorder diagnosis is applied when the diagnosing professional chooses to specify why the individual does not meet the full criterion for the disorders within this class.  This diagnosis is appropriate when the individual has the symptoms of the mood episodes but does not meet the necessary time constraints for diagnosis.

There are four specifications:  short-duration hypomanic and major depressive episodes, hypomanic episodes with insufficient symptoms and major depressive episodes, hypomanic episode without prior major depressive episode, and short-duration cyclothymia.

An individual with ‘short-duration hypomanic and major depressive episodes’ experiences symptoms of both hypomania and depression, but not simultaneously, and for less that four days.  The ‘hypomanic episodes with insufficient symptoms and major depressive episodes’ specification is used when the symptoms of both mood episodes last less than four days and their presence does not overlap.

‘Hypomanic episode without prior major depressive episode’ is given when an individual has experienced “one or more hypomanic episodes but has never met full criteria for a major depressive episode or a manic episode” (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 2013).  Finally, the specification of ‘short-duration Cyclothymia’ is given when the symptoms of Cyclothymic Disorder have been present for less than 24 months.

Unspecified Bipolar and Related Disorder

This diagnosis is applied when the diagnosing professional chooses not to specify why the individual does not meet the full criterion for the disorders within this class and/or when there is not enough information available to make a specified diagnosis.  An Unspecified Bipolar and Related Disorder diagnosis is appropriate when an individual receives mental health care in a time-limited setting such as an emergency room.

This concludes the third class of Mental Health Diagnoses!  We hope you are more knowledgeable about Bipolar and Related Disorders, that you feel inspired to share what you have learned with others, and that you will help us stop the stigma and start a conversation about mental illness and mental health!

 

Up Next!

Introduction to Depressive Disorders!

 References

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition. Arlington, VA, American Psychiatric Association, 2013. Web. [access date: 13 April 2018]. dsm.psychiatryonline.org

 

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