DSM-IV

Diagnostic Criteria

A. A distinct period of persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood, lasting throughout at least 4 days, that is clearly different from the usual nondepressed mood.

B. During the period of mood disturbance, three (or more) of the following symptoms have persisted (four if the mood is only irritable) and have been present to a significant degree:

  1. inflated self-esteem or grandiosity
  2. decreased need for sleep (e.g., feels rested after only 3 hours of sleep)
  3. more talkative than usual or pressure to keep talking
  4. flight of ideas or subjective experience that thoughts are racing
  5. distractibility (i.e., attention too easily drawn to unimportant or irrelevant external stimuli)
  6. increase in goal-directed activity (either socially, at work or school, or sexually) or psychomotor agitation
  7. excessive involvement in pleasurable activities that have a high potential for painful consequences (e.g., the person engages in unrestrained buying sprees, sexual indiscretions, or foolish business investments)

C. The episode is associated with an unequivocal change in functioning that is uncharacteristic of the person when not symptomatic.

D. The disturbance in mood and the change in functioning are observable by others.

E. The episode is not severe enough to cause marked impairment in social or occupational functioning, or to necessitate hospitalization, and there are no psychotic features.

F. The symptoms are not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication, or other treatment) or a general medical condition (e.g., hyperthyroidism).

Note: Hypomanic-like episodes that are clearly caused by somatic antidepressant treatment (e.g., medication, electroconvulsive therapy, light therapy) should not count toward a diagnosis of Bipolar II Disorder.

Differential Diagnosis

Mood Disorder Due to a General Medical Condition

A Hypomanic Episode must be distinguished from a Mood Disorder Due to a General Medical Condition. The diagnosis is Mood Disorder Due to a General Medical Condition if the mood disturbance is judged to be the direct physiological consequence of a specific general medical condition (e.g., multiple sclerosis, brain tumor, Cushing's syndrome). This determination is based on the history, laboratory findings, or physical examination. If it is judged that the hypomanic symptoms are not the direct physiological consequence of the general medical condition, then the primary Mood Disorder is recorded (e.g., Bipolar II Disorder) and the general medical condition is recorded separately (e.g., myocardial infarction).

Substance-Induced Mood Disorder

A Substance-Induced Mood Disorder is distinguished from a Hypomanic Episode by the fact that a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication, or exposure to a toxin) is judged to be etiologically related to the mood disturbance. Symptoms like those seen in a Hypomanic Episode may be precipitated by a drug of abuse (e.g., hypomanic symptoms that occur only in the context of intoxication with cocaine would be diagnosed as Cocaine-Induced Mood Disorder, With Manic Features, With Onset During Intoxication). Symptoms like those seen in a Hypomanic Episode may also be precipitated by antidepressant treatment such as medication, electroconvulsive therapy, or light therapy. Such episodes are also diagnosed as Substance-Induced Mood Disorders (e.g., Amitriptyline-Induced Mood Disorder, With Manic Features; Electroconvulsive Therapy-Induced Mood Disorder, With Manic Features).

Manic Episodes

Manic Episodes should be distinguished from Hypomanic Episodes. Although Manic Episodes and Hypomanic Episodes have identical lists of characteristic symptoms, the mood disturbance in Hypomanic Episodes is not sufficiently severe to cause marked impairment in social or occupational functioning or to require hospitalization. Some Hypomanic Episodes may evolve into full Manic Episodes.

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and a Hypomanic Episode are both characterized by excessive activity, impulsive behavior, poor judgment, and denial of problems. Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is distinguished from a Hypomanic Episode by its characteristic early onset (i.e., before age 7 years), chronic rather than episodic course, lack of relatively clear onsets and offsets, and the absence of abnormally expansive or elevated mood.

Euthymia

A Hypomanic Episode must be distinguished from euthymia, particularly in individuals who have been chronically depressed and are unaccustomed to the experience of a nondepressed mood state.

DSM-5

Diagnostic Criteria

A. A distinct period of abnormally and persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood and abnormally and persistently increased goal-directed activity or energy, lasting at least 4 consecutive days and present most of the day, nearly every day.

B. During the period of mood disturbance and increased energy or activity, three (or more) of the following symptoms (four if the mood is only irritable) are present to a significant degree and represent a noticeable change from usual behavior, and have been present to a significant degree:

  1. Inflated self-esteem or grandiosity.
  2. Decreased need for sleep (e.g., feels rested after only 3 hours of sleep).
  3. More talkative than usual or pressure to keep talking.
  4. Flight of ideas or subjective experience that thoughts are racing.
  5. Distractibility (i.e., attention too easily drawn to unimportant or irrelevant external stimuli), as reported or observed.
  6. Increase in goal-directed activity (either socially, at work or school, or sexually) or psychomotor agitation.
  7. Excessive involvement in activities that have a high potential for painful consequences (e.g., engaging in unrestrained buying sprees, sexual indiscretions, or foolish business investments).

C. The episode is associated with an unequivocal change in functioning that is uncharacteristic of the individual when not symptomatic.

D. The disturbance in mood and the change in functioning are observable by others.

E. The episode is not severe enough to cause marked impairment in social or occupational functioning or to necessitate hospitalization. If there are psychotic features, the episode is, by definition, manic.

F. The episode is not attributable to the physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication, other treatment). (Note: A full hypomanic episode that emerges during antidepressant treatment [e.g., medication, electroconvulsive therapy] but persists at a fully syndromal level beyond the physiological effect of that treatment is sufficient evidence for a hypomanic episode diagnosis. However, caution is indicated so that one or two symptoms [particularly increased irritability, edginess, or agitation following antidepressant use] are not taken as sufficient for diagnosis of a hypomanic episode, nor necessarily indicative of a bipolar diathesis).

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