Mood disorder not otherwise specified, or more commonly known as Mood Disorder NOS, is basically a general term for any mood disorder that isn’t included under its own term in the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). Diagnostic codes from the DSM-IV are usually made use of to diagnose mood disorders.
So if an individual has mood related symptoms but doesn’t show all of the criteria for any specific kind of mood disorder, they might be diagnosed with Mood Disorder NOS or one of the more specific NOS diagnoses.
Mood disorders are mental disorders distinguished by mood disturbances that can affect children, adolescents and adults. There are two general groups of mood disorders, which are based on whether the individual has ever experienced a manic or hypomanic episode. Within these two groups are more specific disorders.
An adolescent or an adult can be affected by a Mood Disorder NOS. One example of a Mood Disorder NOS could involve experiencing minor depression often at different intervals for example once a month or once every three days.
The 2 most common Mood Disorder NOS categories are Bipolar Disorder NOS and depressive disorder NOS. An individual may be diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder NOS if they experience bipolar symptoms like depression and mania, but don’t meet the requirements for any of the specific criteria for a bipolar disorder diagnosis. An individual may have a depressive disorder NOS diagnosis if they have depressive disorder symptoms like major depressive disorder or dysthymia, but don’t meet the exact requirements for either one of those disorders.
Generally, treatment for Mood Disorder NOS is similar to treatment for other types of mood disorders. An individual diagnosed with a Mood Disorder NOS may receive medications, therapy, or usually a combination of both. The type of medication or therapy will more than likely depend on the predominant symptoms. For instance, an individual having a depressive disorder NOS diagnosis may be given a combination of medication and therapy intended to treat depression symptoms. An individual diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder NOS may receive a combination of therapy and medications designed to treat the symptoms of both depression and mania.
Infographic by: Best Masters in Psychology