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Substance-Induced Mood Disorder

Depression may be caused or precipitated by the use or abuse of substances such as drugs, alcohol, medications, or exposure to toxins. A mental health professional or physician must determine whether the mood disorder occurs as a result of the substance or just happens to occur at the same time by coincidence. If it develops as a result of the use of or exposure to the substance then this diagnosis may be appropriate. To make a diagnosis of a substance-induced mood disorder, the disturbance can only occur while a person is intoxicated, going through withdrawal, or within four weeks of either.

Diagnosis of Substance-Induced Mood Disorder

Summarized from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders- Fourth Edition, Text Revision

A. A person has significant disturbance in mood that includes either (or both):
  1. Depressed mood or significantly reduced level of interest or pleasure in most or all activities.
  2. Mood that is euphoric, heightened, or irritable.

B. The person's symptoms develop during (or within four weeks of) intoxication or withdrawal, or are caused by medication use.

C. Another disorder does not better explain the mood disturbance.

D. The mood condition is not present only when a person is delerious.

E. The symptoms are a cause of great distress or difficulty in functioning at home, work, or other important areas.

Possible specifiers used to describe the mood:
With Depressive Features: A person has depressed mood, but his/her symptoms are not enough to meet criteria for a major depressive episode.
With Manic Features: A person's symptoms are primarily euphoric, heightened, or irritable.
With Mixed Features: A person has symptoms that are both depressive and manic and neither are dominant.
With Onset During Intoxication: The symptoms develop while the person is intoxicated.
With Onset During Withdrawal: The symptoms develop while the person is in withdrawal.


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