Bipolar and Related Disorders

Bipolar and related disorders are separated from the depressive disorders in DSM-5 and placed between the chapters on schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders and depressive disorders in recognition of their place as a bridge between the two diagnostic classes in terms of symptomatology, family history, and genetics. The diagnoses included in this chapter are bipolar I disorder, bipolar II disorder, cyclothymic disorder, substance/medication-induced bipolar and related disorder, bipolar and related disorder due to another medical condition, other specified bipolar and related disorder, and unspecified bipolar and related disorder.

The bipolar I disorder criteria represent the modern understanding of the classic manic-depressive disorder or affective psychosis described in the nineteenth century, differing from that classic description only to the extent that neither psychosis nor the lifetime experience of a major depressive episode is a requirement. However, the vast majority of individuals whose symptoms meet the criteria for a fully syndromal manic episode also experience major depressive episodes during the course of their lives.

Bipolar II disorder, requiring the lifetime experience of at least one episode of major depression and at least one hypomanic episode, is no longer thought to be a “milder” condition than bipolar I disorder, largely because of the amount of time individuals with this condition spend in depression and because the instability of mood experienced by individuals with bipolar II disorder is typically accompanied by serious impairment in work and social functioning.

The diagnosis of cyclothymic disorder is given to adults who experience at least 2 years (for children, a full year) of both hypomanic and depressive periods without ever fulfilling the criteria for an episode of mania, hypomania, or major depression.

A large number of substances of abuse, some prescribed medications, and several medical conditions can be associated with manic-like phenomena. This fact is recognized in the diagnoses of substance/medication-induced bipolar and related disorder and bipolar and related disorder due to another medical condition.