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A 49-year-old male asked:

What is bipolar nos and is as serious as bipolar disorder?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Laurence Badgley
General Practice 53 years experience
Yes: I believe that "nos" appended to any diagnosis stands for "non-specified", and is a coding and billing term used to indicte that the doctor has chosen not to subcategorize the disorder, in this case a bi-polar disorder. As such, "nos" provides no insight about seriousness.
Dr. Linda Callaghan
Addiction Medicine 53 years experience
The NOS in Bipolar Disorder includes categories with bipolar features that do not meet criteria for any specific Bipolar Disorder but the clinician is unable to determine whether it is primary or due to a medical condition or substance abuse but the presentation could be just as severe as those of the primary bipolar disorders.
Feb 2, 2014
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
Bipolar Disorder NOS: Although the diagnosis of bipolar disorder not otherwise specified is often less severe then bipolar i or ii disorder (because the person didn't meet dsm criteria for either) that isn't always the case. It could occur because the person was previously diagnosed with a psychotic disorder or possibly because there is concern that substance abuse or a medical condition was causative.

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Last updated Jun 19, 2015

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