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Depressive Disorder NOS (Not Otherwise Specified)

Indrajit Deshmukh May 6, 2019
People who display symptoms of depression which cannot be categorized into any of the other specified categories are diagnosed as having depressive disorder NOS. This write-up provides information on this category.
As per the Diagnosis and Statistical Manual of Mental disorders or DSM-IV, the depressive disorder NOS (Not Otherwise Specified) includes disorders with features not fitting in the category of clinical depression or major depressive disorder (MDD), dysthymic disorder, adjustment disorder with depressed mood, or with depressed mood and mixed anxiety.
The DSM fourth edition has assigned the code 311 for this disorder. To accurately diagnose this condition, the psychiatrist will have to spend several hours with the patient. He would have to evaluate the patient's symptoms and compare them to see if the symptoms are consistent with those of MDD or specific mood disorders.

Depressive Disorder (Not Otherwise Specified)

Depression of any kind can affect a person's life drastically. According to statistics, over 50% of people who commit suicide are depressed. This along with other factors like lack of interest in routine activities or activities that one was interested in earlier, has made identifying symptoms of such disorders extremely important. This category includes:
  • Minor depressive disorder is one of the types from this category. It is difficult to diagnose, as the symptoms do not last for long. However, affected individuals have two to five characteristic symptoms of MDD that last over a period of two weeks.
  • Postpsychotic depressive disorder of schizophrenia occurs in people who have just undergone a major episode of schizophrenia and are in remission. They display symptoms that are not consistent with MDD. Patients showing symptoms of depression during the residual phase of schizophrenia are diagnosed as having depressive disorder NOS.
  • It might be diagnosed in case of a major depressive episode superimposed on delusional disorder, psychotic disorder not otherwise specified, or the active phase of schizophrenia.
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder affects women in the luteal phase of their menstrual cycle and the symptoms tend to disappear after the menstruation begins. Signs of depression as a result of this disorder are prevalent sadness, insomnia, and sometimes suicide ideation. They may also experience symptoms of fatigue, mood swings, food cravings, etc.
  • In case of the recurrent brief depressive disorder, the symptoms are identical to that of MDD, but do not last for 2 weeks. The symptoms might be experienced for 2 to 4 days once a month consecutively for one year. Patients will display classic signs like lack of interest, withdrawal, sadness, etc.
  • To correctly diagnose this disorder under the code 311, it's essential to eliminate symptoms that might be due to the use of certain drugs. The diagnosis can be confirmed if the patient has the signs of depression, but it cannot be determined whether or not the symptoms are due to the use of medications or an existing medical condition.
It must be noted that people who already have bipolar disorder or MDD will not be categorized as having depressive disorder NOS. The treatment methods can range from psychotherapy, medication, coupled with support from friends and family.
Disclaimer: The information provided here is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.