Short Communication

Archives of Women's Mental Health

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 67-69

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

DSM-V: modifying the postpartum-onset specifier to include hypomania

  • Verinder SharmaAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, University of Western OntarioDepartment of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Western OntarioPerinatal Clinic, St. Joseph’s Health Care Email author 
  • , Vivien K. BurtAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, Geffen School of Medicine at UCLAWomen’s Life Center, Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA


By failing to include it under the rubric of the postpartum-onset specifier, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)-IV-TR has ignored the clinical reality that childbirth is a potent trigger of hypomania. Given the serious and occasionally tragic consequences of misdiagnosis of bipolar II depression as unipolar depression in the postpartum period, it is argued that DSM-V should consider modifying the postpartum-onset specifier to include episodes of hypomania.


Hypomania Childbirth Classification Bipolar disorder