Depression ICD-10 is a World Health Organization medical classification for conditions that fall into the mental, behavioral and neurodevelopmental disorders space. Many conditions from mild to severe depression, seasonal affective disorder, and postpartum depression, among others, fall into this category – all with their individual Depression ICD-10 designations. Diagnosis is determined by the inclusion and severity of numerous symptoms based on the Diagnostic, and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders fifth edition.
Depression is often used in everyday speech to describe feelings of sadness or melancholy. While feeling sad is often a primary symptom of depressive disorders, the clinical features are much more complicated and their expression is much more severe. Depressive disorders can negatively impact careers, relationships, and even your willingness to live.
Besides anxiety disorders, depressive disorders are the most common in the world. It is estimated that 9.5 percent of American adults will have a depressive disorder each year.
The following are the most well-known depressive disorders as found in the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10th Revision (Depression ICD-10).
F32 Depressive Episode
When someone describes depression, they are most likely referring to a depressive episode.
An estimated 21 million adults in the United States have had at least one depressive episode. That is 8.4 percent of the adult American population. The prevalence of a depressive episode is much higher among females (10.5 percent) when compared to males (6.2 percent).
Depression ICD-10 codes:
Severe depression w/o psychotic symptoms
Severe depression with psychotic symptoms
Recurrent Depressive Disorder, Mild
Recurrent Depressive Disorder, Moderate
Recurrent Depressive Disorder, Severe without psychotic symptoms
Recurrent Depressive Disorder, Severe with psychotic symptoms
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Dysthymia or Persistent Depressive Disorder
Depression ICD-10 Criteria and Symptoms
In the ICD-10, a depressive episode involves 10 symptoms. The first three are key symptoms. At least one of these symptoms must be present most of the time for at least two weeks:
- Persistent sadness or low mood
- Loss of interest or pleasure
- Fatigue or low energy
The next seven symptoms will determine the severity of the episode and the exact Depression ICD-10 code:
- Disturbed sleep
- Poor concentration or indecisiveness
- Low self-confidence
- Poor or increased appetite
- Suicidal thoughts or acts
- Agitation or slowing of movements
- Guilt or self-blame
The above seven symptoms should be present for a month or more for most of every day.
F32.0 Mild Depression
Mild depression is the presence of two or three symptoms
F32.1 Moderate Depression
Moderate depression is four to six symptoms
F32.2 Severe Depression Without Psychotic Symptoms
Severe depression is seven or more symptoms
F32.3 Severe Depression With Psychotic Symptoms
Same as F32.2 with the presence of psychotic symptoms, such as delusions and/or hallucinations.
A lot of mental health disorders have depressive symptoms. It is easy to mistake them for a depressive episode if you don’t pay close attention. For example, bipolar disorder is made up of a depressive episode paired with a manic episode but they often occur months apart. If the client is currently feeling depressed, it can be easily misdiagnosed as only a depressive episode. In this case, it is critical to examine the client’s personal and family history. It is essential for clinicians to get the full picture of their clients for accurate diagnosis.
F33 Recurrent Depressive Disorder
As the name suggests, recurrent depressive disorder is a depressive episode that happens more than once. The recurrence of a depressive episode is approximately 35 percent after 15 years.
There are not many restrictions for a recurrence. The first episode may occur at any age and happen again at any time. It may initially be diagnosed as a depressive episode but must be changed to recurrent if it happens more than once.
The severity of the disorder is based on the most recent occurrence. For instance, if the current depressive episode is moderate, then it will be diagnosed as F33.1, recurrent depressive disorder, current episode moderate. This is true even if past episodes were more or less severe. Similar to a single depressive episode, other severity codes include F33.0, recurrent depressive disorder, current episode mild, and F33.2, recurrent depressive disorder, current episode severe without psychotic symptoms. F33.3 is severe with psychotic symptoms.
F34.1 Dysthymia (Persistent Depressive Disorder)
Dysthymia is now categorized as a persistent depressive disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-5 (DSM-5) and is slightly less severe than a depressive disorder but is usually longer lasting. An estimated 1.5 percent of American adults had persistent depressive disorder in the past year and 2.5 percent will experience it at some time in their lives.
- Depressed mood for most of the day every day for at least 2 years
- Three of the following symptoms:
- Loss of interest or pleasure in enjoyable activities
- Fatigue or low energy
- Disturbed sleep
- Poor concentration or indecisiveness
- Low self-confidence or self-esteem
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Social withdrawal
- Less talkative than before
- Pessimistic about the future or ruminating about the past
- Inability to cope with routine responsibilities
Dysthymia may be confused with a recurring mild depressive episode but— unlike the DSM-5—the depression ICD-10 designates that dysthymia doesn’t reach the severity level of a mild depressive episode. Additionally, you can have periods of non-depressed mood but they can only rarely last more than a few weeks for an accurate dysthymia diagnosis
Diagnostic note: In the Diagnostic, and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders fifth edition (DSM-5) dysthymia and chronic major depressive disorder have been consolidated into one disorder but that is not the case in the depression ICD-10 and the upcoming ICD-11.
F53.0 Postpartum Depression
Postpartum depression (PPD) is a recent addition to the ICD-10. It affects approximately 10–15 % of mothers yearly. Depressive symptoms last more than 6 months for 25–50 percent of those affected.
Criteria and PPD symptoms
- The symptoms of postpartum depression are the same criteria as for a depressive episode except.
- Onset of symptoms occurs up to 4 weeks after delivery of a baby.
It should be noted that this diagnosis is a work in progress and many people believe that PPD is more complicated than a depressive episode that happens in the month after childbirth. Mothers (and some fathers) report issues such as a lack of infant attachment and feeling disconnected from their partner, but these are not included in the formal diagnosis of postpartum depression in the current depression ICD-10 or DSM-5.
It is important to distinguish PPD from the “baby blues”. Up to 70 percent of all new mothers experience the “baby blues,” but the features are not as severe or long-lasting. Symptoms may include: crying for no apparent reason, irritability, and anxiety. These indicators usually clear up within a week or two post-pregnancy without treatment.
What is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?
Often discussed as the “winter blues”, SAD gets a lot of attention, especially in cold weather. It is estimated that 5 percent of Americans experience seasonal depression each year. It is identified in the DSM-5 as a major depressive disorder with seasonal patterns. The depression ICD-10, however, does not have its own category for SAD. Instead, it is often diagnosed under F33.9, major depressive disorder, recurrent, unspecified.
Depression ICD-10 codes are one of the most frequently used diagnostic codes in the mental health space but can be easily misdiagnosed. Practice software that helps clinicians easily find Depression ICD-10 codes and transfer them to paperwork is a big advantage. TheraPlatform provides a painless lookup of depression ICD-10 codes and will auto-populate them to the relevant documentation, billing, and claims. It makes diagnosing mental disorders, such as depression, a much simpler task.
More Resources for Mental Health Providers in Private Practice
- Anxiety ICD-10
- Psychotherapy CPT codes
- 90847 CPT code and 90846 CPT code
- Mental health credentialing with insurance companies
- Evidence-based practices for mental health
- Insurance billing 101 for therapists in private practice