“Staying Current With Bipolar”: Subthreshold BD

Posted on August 3, 2012 by


Put aside the daily grind, prop your feet up on the couch, and spend some time with “Staying Current With Bipolar,” our hand-built magazine covering the latest in the bipolar world.

This week’s focus is on subthreshold bipolar disorder, a topic that still generates much controversy.

Subthreshold bipolar is basically a conglomeration of bipolar symptoms that don’t add up to the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) definition of bipolar disorder.

Truthfully, there’s no agreed-upon definition of the disorder, so it often falls under Bipolar Disorder NOS (Not Otherwise Specified).

The DSM, under revision for a 2013 updated version and under scrutiny for much controversy, has wavered back and forth about including subthreshold bipolar.

John M. Grohol, PsyD and writer for Psychology Today’s World of Psychology blog, is opposed to the inclusion, noting,

“The problem with lowering the threshold for any disorder is that you will inevitably be saying more people have this problem — or potential problem — than actually do. The number of false positives will skyrocket.”

You can read more about his take on the issue in the paper, with the article ever-so-originally titled (ready?) “Subthreshold Bipolar Disorder”–and  about opinions that range from disbelief that the syndrome exists, to the belief that it should be included as part of bipolar disorder statistics.

Feel free to discuss in the “Discussion Corner”–subthreshold BD is a topic with a lot of questions and not enough answers.

And don’t miss special ‘guest appearances’ by bipolar blogs:

Enjoy your read.