A mixed episode (DSM-IV) is not a disorder itself, but rather is a description of a component of a specific type of bipolar disorder.
Like most mental disorders, a mixed episode must be severe enough to cause distress or impairment in social, occupational, education or other important functioning and is not better accounted for by the physiological effects of substance use or abuse (alcohol, drugs, medications) or a general medical condition.
Note: The term “Mixed Episode” is no longer used in the updated Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). As of 2013, such episodes are considered a “specifier” of bipolar disorder. See updated “mixed features specifier” criteria here.
Psych Central. (2014). Mixed Episode Symptoms. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 20, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/disorders/mixed-episode-symptoms/
Symptom criteria summarized from:
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, fifth edition. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.
American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, fourth edition. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 11 Jun 2014
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