DSM 5 Depression Criteria and Types (A comprehensive guide)

In this brief guide, we will discuss all the DSM 5 depression subtypes and the criteria for all of them.

DSM 5 Depression Types

The DSM 5 defines the following types of Depression:

  • Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder
  • Major depressive disorder (including major depressive episode)
  • Persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia), 
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
  • Substance/medication induced depressive disorder
  • Depressive disorder due to another medical condition
  • Unspecified Depressive Disorder

The DSM 5 depression criteria specifies the symptoms, exclusions and time periods for all the subtypes, and to be concise only the main ones are described below.

The key difference between the ICD and DSM 5 Depressive disorders is that the Premenstrual syndrome has not been recognized separately in the ICD 10 (Although it is present in the ICD 11), and Substance use induced depression is also not coded under depression and is not a separate category under the substance chapter.

There are several depression tests available online but these are rarely clinical tests and their results should not be relied upon,

Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder

The DSM 5 criteria for Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder is given as follows:

  1. “Severe recurrent temper outbursts manifested verbally (e.g., verbal rages) and/or behaviorally (e.g., physical aggression toward people or property) that are grossly out of proportion in intensity or duration to the situation or provocation.
  2.  The temper outbursts are inconsistent with developmental level.
  3.  The temper outbursts occur, on average, three or more times per week.
  4.  The mood between temper outbursts is persistently irritable or angry most of the day, nearly every day, and is observable by others (e.g., parents, teachers, peers).
  5.  Criteria A—D have been present for 12 or more months. Throughout that time, the individual has not had a period lasting 3 or more consecutive months without all the symptoms in Criteria A—D.
  6.  Criteria A and D are present in at least two of three settings (i.e., at home, at school, with peers) and are severe in at least one of these.
  7.  The diagnosis should not be made for the first time before age 6 years or after age 18 years.
  8.  By history or observation, the age at onset of Criteria A—E is before 10 years.
  9. There has never been a distinct period lasting more than 1 day during which the full symptom criteria, except duration, for a manic or hypomanic episode have been met. Note: Developmentally appropriate mood elevation, such as occurs in the context of a highly positive event or its anticipation, should not be considered as a symptom of mania or hypomania.
  10.  The behaviors do not occur exclusively during an episode of major depressive disorder and are not better explained by another mental disorder (e.g., autism spectrum disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, separation anxiety disorder, persistent depressive disorder [dysthymia]).

Note: This diagnosis cannot coexist with oppositional defiant disorder, intermittent explosive disorder, or bipolar disorder, though it can coexist with others, including major depressive disorder, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, conduct disorder, and substance use disorders. Individuals whose symptoms meet criteria for both disruptive mood dysregulation disorder and oppositional defiant disorder should only be given the diagnosis of disruptive mood dysregulation disorder. If an individual has ever experienced a manic or hypomanic episode, the diagnosis of disruptive mood dysregulation disorder should not be assigned.”

Major depressive disorder (including major depressive episode)

  1. “Five (or more) of the following symptoms have been present during the same 2week period and represent a change from previous functioning; at least one of the symptoms is either (1) depressed mood or (2) loss of interest or pleasure.
  1. Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day, as indicated by either subjective reports (e.g., feels sad, empty, hopeless) or observation made by others (e.g., appears tearful). (Note: In children and adolescents, it can be an irritable mood.)
  2. Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day (as indicated by either subjective account or observation).
  3. Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain (e.g., a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month), or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day. (Note: In children, consider failure to make expected weight gain.)
  4. Insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day.
  5. Psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day (observable by others, not merely subjective feelings of restlessness or being slowed down).
  6. Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day.
  7. Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt (which may be delusional) nearly every day (not merely self reproach or guilt about being sick).
  8. Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day (either by subjective account or as observed by others).
  9. Recurrent thoughts of death (not just fear of dying), recurrent suicidal ideation with out a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide.

B. The symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

C. The episode is not attributable to the physiological effects of a substance or to another medical condition.

Note: Criteria A—C represent a major depressive episode.

D. The occurrence of the major depressive episode is not better explained by schizoaffective disorder, schizophrenia, schizophreniform disorder, delusional disorder, or other specified and unspecified schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders.

E. There has never been a manic episode or a hypomanic episode.”

Persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia)

  1. “Depressed mood for most of the day, for more days than not, as indicated by either subjective account or observation by others, for at least 2 years.

Note: In children and adolescents, mood can be irritable and duration must be at least 1 year.

  1.  Presence, while depressed, of two (or more) of the following:
  1. Poor appetite or overeating.
  2. Insomnia or hypersomnia.
  3. Low energy or fatigue.
  4. Low self-esteem.
  5. Poor concentration or difficulty making decisions.
  6. Feelings of hopelessness.

C. During the 2year period (1 year for children or adolescents) of the disturbance, the individual has never been without the symptoms in Criteria A and B for more than 2 months at a time.

D. Criteria for a major depressive disorder may be continuously present for 2 years.

E. There has never been a manic episode or a hypomanic episode, and criteria have never been met for cyclothymic disorder.

F. The disturbance is not better explained by a persistent schizoaffective disorder, schizophrenia, delusional disorder, or other specified or unspecified schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders.

G. The symptoms are not attributable to the physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication) or another medical condition (e.g. hypothyroidism).

H. The symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.”

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder

A. “In the majority of menstrual cycles, at least five symptoms must be present in the final week before the onset of menses, start to improve within a few days after the onset of menses, and become minimal or absent in the week post menses.

B. One (or more) of the following symptoms must be present:

  1. Marked affective lability (e.g., mood swings; feeling suddenly sad or tearful, or increased sensitivity to rejection)
  2. Marked irritability or anger or increased interpersonal conflicts.
  3. Marked depressed mood, feelings of hopelessness, or self-deprecating thoughts.
  4. Marked anxiety, tension, and/or feelings of being keyed up or on edge.

C. One (or more) of the following symptoms must additionally be present, to reach a total of five symptoms when combined with symptoms from Criterion B above.

  1. Decreased interest in usual activities (e.g., work, school, friends, hobbies).
  2. Subjective difficulty in concentration.
  3. Lethargy, easy fatigability, or marked lack of energy.
  4. Marked change in appetite; overeating; or specific food cravings.
  5. Hypersomnia or insomnia.
  6. A sense of being overwhelmed or out of control.
  7. Physical symptoms such as breast tenderness or swelling, joint or muscle pain, a sensation of “bloating,” or weight gain.

Note: The symptoms in Criteria A—C must have been met for most menstrual cycles that occurred in the preceding year.

D. The symptoms are associated with clinically significant distress or interference with work, school, usual social activities, or relationships with others (e.g., avoidance of social activities; decreased productivity and efficiency at work, school, or home).

E. The disturbance is not merely an exacerbation of the symptoms of another disorder, such as major depressive disorder, panic disorder, persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia), or a personality disorder (although it may co occur with any of these disorders).

F. Criterion A should be confirmed by prospective daily ratings during at least two symptomatic cycles. (Note: The diagnosis may be made provisionally prior to this confirmation.)

G. The symptoms are not attributable to the physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication, other treatment) or another medical condition (e.g., hyperthyroidism).”

Substance/medication induced depressive disorder

  1. “A prominent and persistent disturbance in mood that predominates in the clinical picture and is characterized by depressed mood or markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities.
  2.  There is evidence from the history, physical examination, or laboratory findings of both (1) and (2):
  1. The symptoms in Criterion A developed during or soon after substance intoxication or withdrawal or after exposure to a medication.
  2. The involved substance/medication is capable of producing the symptoms in Criterion A.
  1.  The disturbance is not better explained by a depressive disorder that is not substance/ medication induced. Such evidence of an independent depressive disorder could include the following:

The symptoms preceded the onset of the substance/medication use; the symptoms persist for a substantial period of time (e.g., about 1 month) after the cessation of acute withdrawal or severe intoxication; or there is other evidence suggesting the existence of an independent non substance/medication induced depressive disorder (e.g., a history of recurrent non substance/medication related episodes).

  1.  The disturbance does not occur exclusively during the course of a delirium.
  2.  The disturbance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning”.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we discussed all the DSM 5 depression subtypes and the criteria for all of them.

The DSM 5 is an extensive and comprehensive handbook that can give clinicians a great deal of information regarding any disorder and their prevalence and other related information, which means that it makes for a very important addition into any library.

If you have any questions or comments about the DSM 5 depression types we have discussed here, please feel free to reach out to us.

Frequently Asked Questions: DSM 5 Depression

What is the DSM 5 definition of depression?

The DSM 5 definition of Depression is that the individual must be experiencing five or more symptoms during the same 2-week period and at least one of the symptoms should be either (1) depressed mood or (2) loss of interest or pleasure. Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day.

What are the new depressive disorder diagnoses in DSM 5?

The new depressive disorder diagnoses in DSM 5 are New Disorders are disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).

What are the mood disorders in DSM 5?

The Mood Disorders in DSM 5 are the following:

Bipolar I Disorder. 
Bipolar II Disorder. Cyclothymic Disorder.
Major Depressive Disorder.
Persistent Depressive Disorder (Dysthymia) 
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder.

Citations

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM 5)

Divya is currently a Clinical Psychology Trainee in a Master of Philosophy program and holds a Master’s in clinical psychology. She has a special interest in Personality studies and disorders, having researched the subject before, and Neuropsychology; with an additional interest being Mood disorders. She likes to write about Psychiatric issues, having worked in multiple specialty setups during her time as a clinical psychology student, and in her free time she likes to cook and read.