Personality Disorder Not Otherwise Specified

Woman with Personality Disorder

Defining Personality Disorder Not Otherwise Specified

Personality Disorder not otherwise specified (PDNOS) is defined as a disorder comprising of symptoms of many personality disorders. People with PDNOS may display characteristics of one specific personality disorder, but not enough to be fully diagnosed with that disorder. A person is said to suffer from PDNOS when the individual presents symptoms of one or many disorders demarcated in the DSM, but not enough symptoms that would go under the criteria for a specific disorder. PDNOS is when all the indications fall into the general personality disorder criteria. Some specific personality disorders are Schizoid, Schizotypal, Antisocial, Histrionic, Narcissistic, Dependent, Borderline, etc.

Sign and Symptoms of PDNOS

  • Display of inflexible and persistent behaviors in all kinds of situations
  • Abnormal behavior pattern is repetitive
  • Frequent mental episodes
  • Displaying boorish actions
  • Displaying extreme pleasure or sadness

Causes and Risk Factors

There are many reasons for PDNOS, which can differ based on the disorder traits, the person, and the situations causing them. There may be hereditary characteristics that may have caused these different symptoms of disorders. Also the reasons may or may not include specific occurrences of disturbance or exploitation. It is difficult to blame one person or reason. The reasons for PDNOS are a complex mix of reasons. Some of the risk factors for PDNOS are:

  • Family history and genetic influence
  • Child abuse or trauma
  • Ill-treatment from parents
  • Social pressures
  • Emotional stress
  • Job related stress
  • Domestic violence or divorce

With PDNOS there is a risk of depression, isolation, and suffering. And subsequently PDNOS leads to several setbacks. People with PDNOS are perceived as aggressive, manipulative, and hostile. This also affects their interpersonal relationships. But there are numerous other dangers correlated with PDNOS disorder like:

  • Feeling of vulnerability
  • Loss of relationships as a result of abuse
  • Rejection or aggression
  • Thoughts of suicide


The most beneficial way to receive treatment for PDNOS is to visit a rehabilitation center that deals with symptoms of a broad range of personality disorders. There are various methods of treatment available to manage the varying symptoms of PDNOS. Professionals may make use of psychoanalysis, family therapy, cognitive group therapy and Milieu therapy to treat PDNOS. The most important aspect of this treatment is to have an empathetic kind of therapist-patient relationship in which the therapist is understanding of the many different symptoms.


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