Psychiatric co-morbidities in patients of dhat syndrome: A cross-sectional study in a tertiary care centre

Santosh Kumar, Harsh Rathi, C. S. Sharma, Vidhata Dixit, Tejinder Singh


Dhat syndrome is a culture-bound syndrome characterised by inappropriate and excessive distress of losing semen from one’s body and thereby leading to multiple vague psychological and somatic symptoms. It is presumed that several of these symptoms could possibly be of other co-morbid psychiatric disorders. The aim of this study was to assess these co-morbidities with the help of a comprehensive diagnostic tool. Utilizing the purposive sampling technique, a total of 100 patients of Dhat syndrome who fulfilled the inclusion and exclusion criteria of this study were enrolled. They were administered Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI) to assess co-morbid psychiatric disorders. Overall, 37% of the patients had co-morbidity of at least one psychiatric disorder. Out of these 37 patients with psychiatric co-morbidity, major depression was the most common diagnosis (43.2%) followed by generalized anxiety disorder (16.2%), obsessive compulsive disorder (10.8%), panic disorder (5.4%), alcohol dependence (8.1%), alcohol abuse (5.4%), other substance abuse (5.4%), other substance dependence(2.7%), and social anxiety disorder (2.7%). We concluded that a co-morbidity of various psychiatric disorders is common in patients of Dhat syndrome and it is not only important to consider Dhat syndrome as a distinct psychiatric entity but also to address various psychiatric conditions co-morbid with it for the sake of overall better outcome.

Keywords: Dhat syndrome, Co-morbidity, Psychiatric disorders

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