There is a critical lack of information on the epidemiology of mental health problems in Bangladesh. The present study aimed at assessing the prevalence and pattern of psychiatric disorders in an urban community in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and identifying associated socio-demographic factors. A total of 1145 respondents aged 18 years and above were screened for psychiatric disorders using the Self Reporting Questionnaire (SRQ), a stratified random sub-sample that were assessed by a psychiatrist. A structured questionnaire was also used to collect socio-demographic information. We found that the prevalence of psychiatric disorders was 28%. Somatoform disorders were the most common among the respondents, followed by mood, sleep, anxiety, and substance related disorders. Females and persons from the higher socio-economic classes were more likely to have a psychiatric disorder. Psychiatric morbidity is a significant and unrecognized public health problem in urban Bangladesh.