This diagnosis means a person shows significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning due to psychotic symptoms that do not meet the full criteria for a schizophrenic or other-psychotic disorder diagnosis.

The psychotic symptoms are the patient’s predominant mental health problem. Their symptoms are severe enough to warrant clinical care for a schizophrenia-spectrum/psychotic disorder, although they don’t neatly fit the criteria for diagnosis with these disorders (e.g., delusional disorder, brief psychotic disorder, schizophreniform disorder, schizoaffective disorder, schizophrenia).

Thus the clinician records the diagnosis as: “other specified schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorder” followed by the specified reason (e.g., “persistent auditory hallucinations”).

This could happen if the patient presents with:

  1. Persistent auditory hallucinations in the absence of any other symptoms.
  2. Delusions with significant overlapping mood episodes: This includes persistent delusions with periods of overlapping mood episodes that are present for a substantial portion of the delusional disturbance (such that the criterion for brief mood disturbance in delusional disorder is not met).
  3. Attenuated psychosis syndrome: This syndrome is characterized by psychotic-like symptoms that are less severe and more transient (and insight is relatively maintained) than what is typically seen in full psychosis.
  4. Delusional symptoms in partner of individual with delusional disorder: In the context of a relationship, the delusional material from the dominant partner provides content for delusional belief by the individual who may not otherwise entirely meet criteria for delusional disorder.

This is a new diagnosis in the 2013 DSM-5; diagnostic code: 298.8. Compare with the old disorder from DSM-IV here.