The 'Dhat syndrome': a culturally determined symptom of depression?

Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1996 Sep;94(3):163-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.1996.tb09842.x.


The status of the 'Dhat syndrome' is called into question by the results of an epidemiological study of men attending general medical clinics in Lahore. The Dhat complaint was reported by 30% of men attending medical clinics, and to an equal extent by patients with 'functional' and 'organic' diagnoses. It was strongly associated with depressed mood, fatigue symptoms, and a DSM-III-R diagnosis of depression. It is argued that the Dhat complaint should be primarily regarded not as the focus of a culture-bound syndrome, but as a culturally determined symptom associated with depression.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis
  • Anxiety Disorders / epidemiology
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Medicine, Traditional*
  • Pakistan / epidemiology
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / diagnosis
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / epidemiology*
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / psychology
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Somatoform Disorders / diagnosis
  • Somatoform Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Somatoform Disorders / psychology
  • Syndrome