Other Specified Bipolar and Related Disorder

Other Specified Bipolar and Related Disorder is a category of DSM-5 diagnoses that applies to individuals who have symptoms characteristic of a bipolar and related disorder (e.g. - bipolar I, bipolar II, cyclothymic disorder) but do not meet the full criteria for any of them. “Other Specified” diagnoses are not limited to these disorders and are used throughout the DSM-5 to capture presentations where individuals have significant clinical impairment but do not meet standard criteria.[1]

  • A lifetime history of 1 or more major depressive episodes in individuals whose presentation has never met full criteria for a manic or hypomanic episode but who have experienced 2 or more episodes of short-duration hypomania that meet the full symptomatic criteria for a hypomanic episode but that only last for 2 to 3 days.
  • The episodes of hypomanic symptoms do not overlap in time with the major depressive episodes, so the disturbance does not meet criteria for major depressive episode, with mixed features.
  • A lifetime history of 1 or more major depressive episodes in individuals whose presentation has never met full criteria for a manic or hypomanic episode but who have experienced 1 or more episodes of hypomania that do not meet full symptomatic criteria (i.e. - at least 4 consecutive days of elevated mood and 1 or 2 of the other symptoms of a hypomanic episode, or irritable mood and 2 or 3 of the other symptoms of a hypomanic episode).
  • The episodes of hypomanic symptoms do not overlap in time with the major depressive episodes, so the disturbance does not meet criteria for major depressive episode, with mixed features.
  • 1 or more hypomanic episodes in an individual whose presentation has never met full criteria for a major depressive episode or a manic episode.
  • If this occurs in an individual with an established diagnosis of persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia), both diagnoses can be concurrently applied during the periods when the full criteria for a hypomanic episode are met.
  • Multiple episodes of hypomanic symptoms that do not meet criteria for a hypomanic episode and multiple episodes of depressive symptoms that do not meet criteria for a major depressive episode that persist over a period of less than 24 months (less than 12 months for children or adolescents) in an individual whose presentation has never met full criteria for a major depressive, manic, or hypomanic episode and does not meet criteria for any psychotic disorder.
  • During the course of the disorder, the hypomanic or depressive symptoms are present for more days than not, the individual has not been without symptoms for more than 2 months at a time, and the symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment.
1) American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA.