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Severity

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Severity is a term that is used to describe how significant an event such as a mood episode has affected someone.

Severity specifiers in the DSMEdit

The DSM uses three levels of severity to describe the following mood episodes:

This specifier is not used for Hypomanic episodes, most likely because they are usually milder than each of these other episodes. The levels of severity are described by the DSM as follows:

  • Mild - Only the minimum amount of symptoms are experienced for the episode (see the description for the type of episode) and these symptoms cause only minor impairment in occupational function, social activities, or relationships with others.
  • Moderate - The symptoms are more significant that mild but not as serious as severe.
  • Severe - Several more symptoms occur beyond the basic minimum for the specific episode, and these symptoms significantly interfere with occupational function, social activities, or relationships with others. An episode is also considered severe if the person experiences delusions or hallucinations (see Psychotic features)


Mood disorders as diagnosed by the DSM edit
Mood episodes: Major depressive episode Manic episode Mixed episode Hypomanic episode

Depressive disorders: Major depressive disorder Dysthymic disorder Depressive disorder NOS (PMDD)

Bipolar disorders: Bipolar I disorder Bipolar II disorder Cyclothymic disorder Bipolar disorder NOS

Other mood disorders: Mood disorder due to a general medical condition Substance-induced mood disorder Mood disorder NOS

Episode specifiers: Severity Psychotic Remission Chronic Catatonic Melancholic Atypical Postpartum

Course specifiers: Longitudinal Seasonal (SAD) Rapid cycling

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