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Other Forms of Bipolar Disorder

Rashmi Nemade, Ph.D. & Mark Dombeck, Ph.D., edited by Kathryn Patricelli, MA

Substance/Medication-Induced Bipolar and Related Disorder

depressed woman This condition occurs when the mood disturbance symptoms occur during or soon after taking a substance or stopping use of a substance that is capable of producing the bipolar symptoms. These symptoms can include an elevated or irritable mood, or depressed mood that may or may not occur with a loss of interest in or pleasure from activities.

The determination of the substance involved can be identified through blood or urine tests to confirm the initial diagnosis.

If hypomania or mania symptoms are appearing after use of an antidepressant medication or symptoms are ongoing, then that is an indicator of a true bipolar disorder being present.

Bipolar and Related Disorder Due to Another Medical Condition

This diagnosis is used when symptoms are produced by a medical condition (not another mental health condition). There must be evidence from a health history, physical examination or lab tests that the symptoms are directly related to another medical condition. The mood symptoms cannot be the result of another mental health condition, only a medical one. They must also be causing a lot of stress or problems with school, work, relationships with others, or daily activities

Other Specified Bipolar and Related Disorder

This category applies when symptoms cause significant distress or impairment, but do not meet the full criteria for any of the other disorders in this category. This is used when the clinician specifies the reasons that criteria are not meet (for example, not quite enough days or symptoms displayed to trigger the full diagnosis). A few examples of specifiers could include:

  • Short-duration hypomanic episodes (2-3 days) and major depressive episodes
  • Hypomanic episodes with insufficient symptoms and major depressive episodes
  • Hypomanic episode without prior major depressive episode
  • Short-duration cyclothymia (less than 24-months)

Unspecified Bipolar and Related Disorder

This diagnosis is used to describe situations where the clinician chooses not to specify the reason that the criteria for one of the other types are met or when there is not enough information available to make a more specific diagnosis.