In DSM-III, this category is called Unspecified Mental Disorder (nonpsychotic)

This is a residual category to be used when enough information is available to rule out a psychotic disorder, but further specification is not possible. In some cases, with more information, the diagnosis can be changed to a specific disorder.


In DSM-IV, this category is called Unspecified Mental Disorder (nonpsychotic)

There are several circumstances in which it may be appropriate to assign this category:

  1. for a specific mental disorder not included in the DSM-IV Classification
  2. when none of the available Not Otherwise Specified categories is appropriate, or
  3. when it is judged that a nonpsychotic mental disorder is present but there is not enough information available to diagnose one of the categories provided in this Classification.

In some cases, the diagnosis can be changed to a specific disorder after more information is obtained.


This category applies to presentations in which symptoms characteristic of a mental disorder that cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning predominate but do not meet the full criteria for any specific mental disorder. The unspecified mental disorder category is used in situations in which the clinician chooses not to specify the reason that the criteria are not met for a specific mental disorder, and includes presentations for which there is insufficient information to make a more specific diagnosis (e.g., in emergency room settings).

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