dhat syndrome

Dhat Syndrome in Dictionary

The Dhat syndrome is associated with the notion of vitality loss in ejaculation. Those affected mostly come from the Indian subcontinent and suffer from dhat neurosis for cultural reasons. Cognitive behavioral therapy is available for treatment.

What is dhat syndrome?

According to abbreviationfinder.org, the neuroses form a group of purely nervous diseases with functional impairments. Since Freud, the neuroses have been described as mild mental illnesses and thus differentiated from the more severe psychoses. In modern psychology, neuroses only play a subordinate role.

According to the learning theory concept, most neuroses are now referred to as learned mismatches. The triggering environmental factors are now better known as stressors. According to ICD-10, Dhat syndrome is a neurotic disorder. The ancient Indian Sanskrit term “Dhatu” literally means something like “elixir of life”. The elixir of life is considered to be the man’s semen in various cultures.

Dhat syndrome is therefore linked to the belief that ejaculation would lose part of one’s own life energy. This fearful notion of ejaculation leads the patient to try to hold back the ejaculation and thus ensure a long life and good health. Some patients also fear involuntary ejaculation or loss of semen in the urine. The neurosis was first described in 1960 and came from Narendra Wig.


Dhat syndrome is cultural. As a rule, those affected come from areas of the Indian subcontinent. Regular sexual activity or masturbation was viewed by ancient and Asian ascetics as an unnecessary loss of energy. The same was true of the Catholic Church. The fact that the syndrome mainly affects India and Nepal nowadays is due to the Hindu belief in the vital energy in the seminal fluid.

It is believed that it takes 40 drops of blood to form one drop of bone marrow. After all, 40 drops of bone marrow correspond to a single drop of semen. The fear of weakness in the event of semen loss results from these connections. Against the background of the tantric practices, the dhat syndrome has a different justification. However, fear remains a key word in this context as well.

Trying to preserve your own life in the long run is doomed to failure. With this knowledge, fear of one’s own death arises again and again, which the patients try to compensate and ultimately try to deny. These cultural backgrounds correspond to the typical stressors of the syndrome and cause the learned maladjustment.

Symptoms, ailments & signs

Patients with Dhat syndrome suffer from a mixed bag of symptoms. In addition to psychological symptoms, physical symptoms usually also occur. On the psychological side, the syndrome manifests itself mainly in anxiety up to depression and physical weakness or easy exhaustion.

The weakness is psychosomatic in the context of the syndrome and is based on the firm belief that life force is lost with the semen. In addition, many patients suffer from poor appetite, palpitations, and strong feelings of guilt. Because of the psychological pressure, it is not only often rejected ejaculation that occurs, but above all premature ejaculation.

Impotence can also occur for psychosomatic reasons. The feelings of guilt and fear have a negative impact on the air quality of those affected. The patients practically deprive themselves of the excitability so as not to lose any semen. Subjectively, those affected often describe spermatorrhea. This means the feeling of losing semen while urinating.


The diagnosis of dhat syndrome is made by a psychologist or psychotherapist. The clinical criteria according to ICD-10 provide the guideline in this context. A cultural background must be documented as part of the diagnosis. In some cases, the syndrome is not diagnosed until impotence occurs.

As a rule, those affected do not first turn to a psychologist with the problem, but assume a physical cause. If no proof can be provided of such, a psychosomatic basis is obvious. The prognosis is relatively favorable for patients with Dhat syndrome.


Although dhat syndrome is primarily a mental illness, it can also lead to physical limitations and complications. Usually the patient suffers from severe exhaustion and anxiety. The patient experiences a general tiredness and a general feeling of weakness.

Thinking that the loss of semen can negatively impact consciousness can also lead to disruptions in social contacts. As a rule, it also leads to severe depression and decreased self-esteem. Dhat syndrome also has a negative impact on sex life.

Holding back the ejaculation leads to cavalier pain and often also to premature ejaculation. This can have a negative effect on the relationship with the partner. In many cases, the person concerned makes every effort to avoid becoming aroused.

Treatment is usually carried out by a psychologist accompanied by medication. It does not lead to any further complications, although it is not always successful. It often takes a long time before the patient realizes that he has Dhat syndrome. As a rule, behavior therapy can combat the syndrome, so that everyday life can return to normal.

When should you go to the doctor?

Dhat syndrome is considered a neurosis. If the person concerned is convinced that part of their life energy is lost during ejaculation, but does not suffer mentally or physically, no treatment is necessary. However, as soon as symptoms appear that impair quality of life, therapy should be considered. The first signs of impairment of wellbeing caused by dhat syndrome are feelings of fear, mild depression, physical weakness or permanent exhaustion.

As soon as such side effects manifest themselves, the person affected should take countermeasures. Otherwise, there is a risk that the neurosis will worsen. In severe cases, the patients suffer from loss of appetite, regularly recurring strong palpitations or palpitations, and sexual disorders such as impotence or premature ejaculation. Strong feelings of guilt and the resulting severe depression are also possible. At this point at the latest, the person affected should get professional help.

The family doctor is suitable as the first point of contact. This can also treat the primarily physical side effects. The neurosis should also be treated causally. This is usually done using cognitive behavioral therapy. In most cases, the attending physician can recommend a suitably trained psychotherapist to the patient, who should be consulted as soon as possible.

Treatment & Therapy

The correct classification and resolution of the cause is required to treat Dhat syndrome. Drug therapies with antidepressants do not resolve the cause, but only combat the symptoms. So the dhat syndrome cannot be cured in this way. The prospects for a cure exist in cognitive behavioral therapy. The therapist starts with the patient’s perception.

The fear of sperm loss is ideally replaced by a normal feeling of pleasure in a cognitive way. Cognition consists of perceiving, recognizing, apprehending, judging and reasoning. In therapy, patients must become aware of their own attitudes, evaluations and convictions in order to be able to question them in a targeted manner. The first step in cognitive therapy is to raise awareness of relevant cognitions.

In the second step, the cognitions are questioned and checked for appropriateness. Irrational attitudes are corrected before the corrections are incorporated into behavior. The patients learn to consciously control their perception process for ejaculation.

Through cognitive behavioral therapy, the patient changes his perception of reality. This automatically changes reality itself, which enables behavioral changes. It is difficult to treat patients with a strong religious background.

Outlook & forecast

Dhat syndrome usually has no effect on the health of the person concerned. It is an exclusively psychological complaint that can be treated with therapy. In many cases, those affected can treat dhat syndrome themselves, which can also lead to self-healing.

If no treatment takes place, the syndrome leads to depression and other psychological upsets. Many patients feel weak, tired and lose their zest for life, so that the quality of life is significantly reduced. Premature ejaculation occurs during sexual intercourse. However, the syndrome has no health effects, although it can also lead to tension with the partner.

The syndrome is treated through psychotherapy. It is not generally possible to predict whether the symptoms will be cured or relieved. The success of the treatment also depends heavily on the exact cause of the syndrome. In some cases, patients are dependent on medication. Therapy can also last for several years until healing occurs. Dhat syndrome does not have a negative impact on the life expectancy of the patient.


Dhat syndrome can be prevented by consciously dealing with one’s own cognition. However, since this is a culturally determined phenomenon, prevention can hardly be implemented in the relevant cultural circles. All people grow up with the ideas of their culture. However, as soon as these ideas develop into a fearful topic, a psychologist should be called in.


As a rule, the possibilities or measures of follow-up care for dhat syndrome prove to be very difficult or sometimes very limited. Since this is a very special mental illness, it must first and foremost be treated by a professional doctor so that there are no further complications and complaints.

After successful treatment, it should also be determined what cause the Dhat syndrome had in the person concerned, so that the syndrome cannot recur. No general predictions can be made about the further course of the disease. In most cases, Dhat syndrome is treated with the help of psychotherapy.

The person concerned should visit them regularly. It is also important that friends and family are informed about dhat syndrome and deal with the disease. No general prediction can be made about the duration of treatment for dhat syndrome. However, this disease does not change the life expectancy of the patient. In some cases, contact with other people affected can also be useful to alleviate the symptoms.

You can do that yourself

In cultures in which Dhat syndrome occurs frequently, especially in India, Nepal and China, not only is the loss of vital energy associated with ejaculation, but it is also pointed out that the woman gives this life energy back to the man during a clitoral orgasm. So it’s not about the man being weakened, but about the balance between ying and yang, i.e. between the female and male life principle.

So it helps a man who is plagued by this syndrome a lot not only to deal with his cultural background, but also to thoroughly question his attitude towards women. In doing so, not only his partner, but also regular visits to self-help groups for those also affected by dhat syndrome, can be an important support.

However, since it is a psychologically complex syndrome that is often associated with depression and strong anxiety, there are clear limits to self-help in everyday life. Under no circumstances can this replace behavioral or talk therapy by a trained sex therapist who should also have thoroughly dealt with the cultural background of this disease.

dhat syndrome