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Personality Disorder NOS?


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You pretty much summed it up yourself - you don't fit the criteria for any one personality disorder. You could have symptoms from a few different disorders, or you may be closer to one but not fit the whole criteria. Without knowing you and because I'm just a random person on an Internet website, I really can't tell you what way you lean. I'd ask your therapist what made her draw that conclusion. If you don't know what it is, how can you work on it, you know?

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Hi there -

I think one of the reasons it's very hard to find info is because this condition, and all of the NOS conditions in general, is even more nebulous and variable than the other mental illnesses.

As you know, there are a bunch of personality disorders with various names. Each one has a list of criteria associated with it, and you need a certain number to be diagnosed.

Here are some examples of things that would qualify as PD NOS:

1) The doctor thinks that you have some sort of PD, but doesn't know which one yet, and wants to get to know you better before diagnosing you with one or the other. Or, the doctor thinks you have a PD, but you have another disorder going on, and the doctor feels that they won't be able to figure out what's going on with the PD until your other symptoms are under control.

2) You have some of the symptoms of a particular personality disorder, but not enough for a diagnosis. Or, you have symptoms of several personality disorders, but not enough symptoms of any specific personality disorder.

3) You have one of the personality disorders discussed in the appendix to the DSM, but not officially in the DSM as yet (the two currently in there are depressive and passive-aggressive). This will probably change when the new DSM comes out.

These are just some examples. Unfortunately, this means that PD NOS is even harder to research than one of the named PDs. The best way to find out what it means for you is to ask your doctor to tell you why they made the diagnosis and discuss more fully exactly what traits and symptoms are leading to this diagnosis.

Tryp

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I've also had a PD-NOS diagnosis. Unfortunately it's kind of meaningless in and of itself, so you should ask your therapist why she has diagnosed you with PD-NOS. It may mean that you have symptoms of a specific personality disorder that are clearly causing you distress, but that you do not meet the full criteria for that personality disorder; it may also mean that you have symptoms from two or more personality disorders (without meeting full criteria for any of them, probably). Sometimes it is used to diagnose someone with a personality disorder that was listed in the DSM III but is no longer listed in DSM IV (the depressive, sadistic, self-defeating or passive-agressive personality disorders). My own PD-NOS diagnosis comes with the additional remarks that I have many cluster C traits (avoidant, especially), but also some Borderline personality traits. Your tdoc should at least be able to tell you what cluster she thinks you're mostly in (cluster A (eccentric), cluster B (dramatic or erratic) or cluster C (anxious)) -- he/she's really the person to ask, because PD-NOS doesn't have any specific definition beyond the very broad one: a pattern of personality traits that impair your functioning.

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