About Depressive Disorder NOS 311

Depressive Disorder NOS 311

Although we simply use the term “Depression” in order to express despair or helplessness however in medical dictionary the word represent a specific state of psychological illness. Depending on symptoms and extent of illness, depressive disorder has several forms such as Dysthymic disorder (long term mild depression), Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder and Postpartum depression (applicable for women only), Psychotic disorder, Adjustment disorder with depressed mood or adjustment disorder with mixed anxiety and depressed mood etc. In accordance of Depressive Disorder Coding and Diagnostic Criteria – each forms of depression has specific code and criteria. For example; Dysthymic Disorder is coded as 300.4 with specified criteria. In this coding system; code 311 represents refers a specific form of depression (not identical with other forms) which is known as Depressive Disorder NOS or Depressive Disorder NOS 311.

Criteria of Depressive Disorder NOS 311

Depressive Disorder NOS” does not include major or long term depression but minor depression such as unpleasant (not necessarily irrational or pathological) feeling such as discouragement, helplessness, and sadness, low self-esteem, social withdrawal and somatic symptoms such as eating and sleep disturbance. Clinical depressions are not included in this criteria. Depression caused by central nervous system depressant such as alcohol, bereavement or depression occurred during the use of therapeutic medication such as anti-psychosis disorders are not considered as Depressive Disorder NOS either.

Types of Depression under code 311

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder: This depression is nothing but the sever form of premenstrual syndrome happens to every adult fertile women after ovulation. Emotional changes during this physical state is ignorable for most women however, in some cases women may suffer deep sadness along with intense tension or anxiety, panic attack, rapid and sever mood fluctuation, chronic fatigue etc. Such cases may considered as Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder.

Minor Depressive Disorder: Depression that involves episodes of mood disorder that happens more than one time but fewer than five times and lasts at least two week is considered as Minor Depressive Disorder.

Recurrent Brief Depressive Disorders: Brief episodes of depression that occurs at least once a month but lasts only for two days up to two weeks. Depression occurs due to menstrual cycle or depression that does not have the record of continuous periodic repetition for at least twelve months is not considered as recurrent brief depressive disorder.

A MDD or Major Delusional Disorder: A kind of Psychotic disorder or the active phase of Schizophrenia. There are situations when depression disorder is identified but cannot be determined or categorized clinically whether it is primary or not are considered under code 311 as well.

How to identify

Detecting Depressive Disorder NOS may prove difficult for many cases since such disorder can manifest in many different ways. However, there are common symptoms such as headache, fatigue, disturbances in appetite, withdrawal from society, sexual inactivity, insomnia or hypersomnia, suicide tendencies or excessive thought of death, poor concentration or memory lapses – may prove helpful to identify problem preliminarily.


Although psychotic treatment such as behavior modulation therapy and effective counseling sessions are the best ways to treat this kind of Depressive Disorders however in severe cases treatment involves antidepressant medications. Despite being highly effective, the main problem with antidepressants is many side effects. Moreover in case of long time use, antidepressant drugs may cause dependency and rebound depression.

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