Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 57  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 255-261

Psychological correlates and psychiatric morbidity in patients with Dhat syndrome

Department of Psychiatry, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Sandeep Grover
Department of Psychiatry, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh - 160 012
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5545.166637

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Aim: The aim of this study was to examine psychological factors in the form of somatosensory amplification, alexithymia and hypochondriasis in patients with Dhat syndrome. Secondary aims of the study were: (1) To evaluate the influence of psychiatric comorbidity on the psychological correlates; (2) to compare the prevalence of psychological correlates in those with Dhat syndrome and in those with depression and somatoform disorders. Materials and Methods: A total of 106 subjects diagnosed with Dhat syndrome as per International Classification of Diseases-10 (ICD-10) criteria were assessed on Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), Somatosensory Amplification Scale (SSAS) and Whitely Index (WI). Psychiatric comorbidity was diagnosed as per ICD-10. Data on 50 patients with depression and 119 patients with somatoform disorder was used for comparison. Results: The age at onset of Dhat syndrome was 22.54 (standard deviation [SD] - 7.5) years, and duration of illness was 5.04 (SD - 4.2) years. Depressive disorders were diagnosed in 13.2%, anxiety disorders in 15.1%, erectile dysfunction in 14.2% and premature ejaculation in 17% of cases. The mean SSAS total score was 23.12 (SD - 7.99), mean total TAS-20 score was 63.3 (SD - 13.3) and mean WI score was 8.23 (SD - 2.7). About two third of the patients had alexithymia (n = 67; 63.2%) and hypochondriasis (n = 69; 65.1%). Comparison of the psychological correlates between those with Dhat syndrome alone (n = 59) and those with comorbid psychiatric disorder (n = 47) revealed no significant differences. Patients with only Dhat syndrome had significantly higher scores for somatosensory amplification when compared with those with somatoform disorders, but no difference was seen between those with depression and Dhat syndrome alone. Compared to patients with Dhat syndrome alone, those with depression had higher prevalence of alexithymia and hypochondriasis. Conclusion: There are differences in the prevalence of somatosensory amplification, hypochondriasis and alexithymia between those with Dhat syndrome alone and those with depression and somatoform disorders.



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