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Psychotic Disorder: Not Otherwise Specified (NOS)

The category of psychotic disorder: not otherwise specified includes psychotic symptomatology (i.e., delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior) about which there is inadequate information to make a specific diagnosis or about which there is contradictory information, or disorders with psychotic symptoms that do not meet the criteria for any specific psychotic disorder.

Examples include:

  • Postpartum psychosis
  • Psychotic symptoms that have lasted for less than 1 month but that have not yet remitted, so that the criteria for brief psychotic disorder are not met
  • Persistent auditory hallucinations in the absence of any other features
  • Persistent nonbizarre delusions with periods of overlapping mood episodes that have been present for a substantial portion of the delusional disturbance
  • Situations in which the clinician has concluded that some type of psychotic disorder may be present, but is unable to determine whether it is primary, due to a general medical condition, or substance induced


*Note: This disorder (DSM-IV) is listed here now for historical/informational purposes. It has been revised under the name “other specified schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorder” in the updated 2013 DSM-5. See other specified schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorder criteria.

Steve Bressert, Ph.D.

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

APA Reference
Bressert, S. (2019). Psychotic Disorder: Not Otherwise Specified (NOS). Psych Central. Retrieved on November 19, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 11 Oct 2019 (Originally: 17 May 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 11 Oct 2019
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