What is Mood Disorder NOS?

Mood disorder not otherwise specified is more commonly known as Mood Disorder NOS. Mood Disorder NOS is a general term for any mood disorder that isn’t included under its own term in the DSM-IV. The DSM-IV is the 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  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 all ages. There are two general groups of mood disorders. These two groups 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. An example of MD-NOS could involve experiencing minor depression at irregular intervals in time.

The 2 most common Mood Disorder NOS categories are Bipolar Disorder NOS and depressive disorder NOS. Someone diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder NOS experiences bipolar symptoms like depression and mania. But they don’t meet the requirements for any of the specific criteria for a bipolar disorder diagnosis.

Someone diagnosed with depressive disorder NOS may have major depressive disorder or dysthymia symptoms. But they don’t meet the exact requirements for either one of those disorders.

Generally, treatment for MD-NOS is like treatment for other types of mood disorders. An individual diagnosed with a MD-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.  Someone with a depressive disorder NOS may be given a combination of medication and therapy for depression symptoms. Someone with Bipolar Disorder NOS may receive a combination of treatment for symptoms of both depression and mania.

The Science of Mental Illness Infographic

The Science of Mental Illness Infographic