296.89

I saw my therapist on Saturday, which always helps my overall mental state. I make payments from my health savings account periodically, and evidently the office had just changed their billing process, which meant both my doctor, and the other doctor in the office on Saturday, had to call the office manager because the machine was outsmarting them. I was privately laughing my ass off in the next room. The receipts used to be the handwritten copy-paper kind, but now it’s a fancy printout. I’d said to charge $200 towards my balance. The paper I was given back had 296.89 on it. I started to ask a question about it, when the numbers suddenly made sense.

“This is my DSM code, isn’t it?” I asked. My doctor laughed, and hadn’t noticed that the DSM code was listed so prominently.

“I’ll have to make sure to tell people what that is. If you weren’t in the field you might’ve thought we overcharged you.”

Ah, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, more commonly referred to as the DSM. We’re currently in the fourth incarnation of the DSM, so it’s called the DSM-IV. All mental illnesses are assigned a code number and the diagnostic criteria are all listed ad infinitum in this hefty tome. I have a copy of the DSM-IV somewhere, lost in a box full of books, that I used in college. Thank God for Wikipedia. I came home, sort of excited to look up this code. I knew it was in the bipolar spectrum, because all of the 296s are bipolar, and looked up the listing of 296 codes:

Bipolar – Single Manic

296 Bipolar I Disorder, Single Manic Episode, Unspecified
296.01 Bipolar I Disorder, Single Manic Episode, Mild
296.02 Bipolar I Disorder, Single Manic Episode, Moderate
296.03 Bipolar I Disorder, Single Manic Episode, Severe Without Psychotic Features
296.04 Bipolar I Disorder, Single Manic Episode, Severe With Psychotic Features
296.05 Bipolar I Disorder, Single Manic Episode, In Partial Remission
296.06 Bipolar I Disorder, Single Manic Episode, In Full Remission

Bipolar – Manic

296.4 Bipolar I Disorder, Most Recent Episode Hypomanic
296.4 Bipolar I Disorder, Most Recent Episode Manic, Unspecified
296.41 Bipolar I Disorder, Most Recent Episode Manic, Mild
296.42 Bipolar I Disorder, Most Recent Episode Manic, Moderate
296.43 Bipolar I Disorder, Most Recent Episode Manic, Severe Without Psychotic Features
296.44 Bipolar I Disorder, Most Recent Episode Manic, Severe With Psychotic Features
296.45 Bipolar I Disorder, Most Recent Episode Manic, In Partial Remission
296.46 Bipolar I Disorder, Most Recent Episode Manic, In Full Remission

Bipolar – Depressed

296.5 Bipolar I Disorder, Most Recent Episode Depressed, Unspecified
296.51 Bipolar I Disorder, Most Recent Episode Depressed, Mild
296.52 Bipolar I Disorder, Most Recent Episode Depressed, Moderate
296.53 Bipolar I Disorder, Most Recent Episode Depressed, Severe Without Psychotic Features
296.54 Bipolar I Disorder, Most Recent Episode Depressed, Severe With Psychotic Features
296.55 Bipolar I Disorder, Most Recent Episode Depressed, In Partial Remission
296.56 Bipolar I Disorder, Most Recent Episode Depressed, In Full Remission

Bipolar – Mixed

296.6 Bipolar I Disorder, Most Recent Episode Mixed, Unspecified
296.61 Bipolar I Disorder, Most Recent Episode Mixed, Mild
296.62 Bipolar I Disorder, Most Recent Episode Mixed, Moderate
296.63 Bipolar I Disorder, Most Recent Episode Mixed, Severe Without Psychotic Features
296.64 Bipolar I Disorder, Most Recent Episode Mixed, Severe With Psychotic Features
296.65 Bipolar I Disorder, Most Recent Episode Mixed, In Partial Remission
296.66 Bipolar I Disorder, Most Recent Episode Mixed, In Full Remission
296.7 Bipolar I Disorder, Most Recent Episode Unspecified
296.8 Bipolar Disorder NOS
296.89 Bipolar II Disorder
296.9 Mood Disorder NOS

(from Psych Central, emphasis mine.)

I have to say, I was a bit disappointed. There are columns of descriptors for all of the various states of Bipolar I, but Bipolar II is literally just one number, all by itself, squished between Bipolar I not otherwise specified, and Mood Disorder not otherwise specified?

What a gyp.

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