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Dissociative Disorder: Not Otherwise Specified (NOS)

A dissociate disorder NOS (not otherwise specified) is a disorder that includes a dissociative symptom (i.e., a disruption in the usually integrated functions of consciousness, memory, identity, or perception of the environment) that does not meet the criteria for any specific dissociative disorder. “Not otherwise specified” disorders are those that don’t fit into any existing diagnostic categories and are generally rare.

Examples include:

  • Clinical presentations similar to dissociative identity disorder that fail to meet full criteria for this disorder. Examples include presentations in which a) there are not two or more distinct personality states, or b) amnesia for important personal information does not occur.
  • Derealization unaccompanied by depersonalization in adults.
  • States of dissociation that occur in individuals who have been subjected to periods of prolonged and intense coercive persuasion (e.g., brainwashing, thought reform, or indoctrination while captive).
  • Dissociative trance disorder: single or episodic disturbances in the state of consciousness, identity, or memory that are indigenous to particular locations and cultures. Dissociative trance involves narrowing of awareness of immediate surroundings or stereotyped behaviors or movements that are experienced as being beyond one’s control. Possession trance involves replacement of the customary sense of personal identity by a new identity, attributed to the influence of a spirit, power, deity, or other person, and associated with stereotyped “involuntary” movements or amnesia. Examples include amok (Indonesia), bebainan (Indonesia), latah (Malaysia), pibloktoq (Arctic), ataque de nervios (Latin America), and possession (India). The dissociative or trance disorder is not a normal part of a broadly accepted collective cultural or religious practice. (See p. 727 for suggested research criteria.)
  • Loss of consciousness, stupor, or coma not attributable to a general medical condition.
  • Ganser syndrome: the giving of approximate answers to questions (e.g., “2 plus 2 equals 5”) when not associated with dissociative amnesia or dissociative fugue.

 

Note: this disorder is no longer recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (2013) and exists here now for informational and historical purposes. See the updated categories, other specified/unspecified dissociative disorders.

Dissociative Disorder: Not Otherwise Specified (NOS)

Steve Bressert, Ph.D.

Steve Bressert, Ph.D. is an author and professional in clinical practice. He has been writing about psychology and mental health issues since 1998.

APA Reference
Bressert, S. (2018). Dissociative Disorder: Not Otherwise Specified (NOS). Psych Central. Retrieved on May 21, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/disorders/dissociative-disorder-not-otherwise-specified-nos/

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 4 Feb 2018
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 4 Feb 2018
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.