Dhat Syndrome in Indian Culture

Dhat syndrome is the fear of semen loss from the body, and can cause severe anxiety and hypochondria. They fear nocturnal emissions, and think that the loss of semen in a sin. They believe that semen is the elixir of life, both physically and mentally, so any loss of it is seen as a bad thing. They did a study of this disorder and found that it is seen mostly in lower socioeconomic classes, and they believe that once people are given a better education they won’t believe in it as much.

Biologically this is not really a problem, because with the proper education we know that the release of semen is not harmful and is not a bad thing. Culturally this is what the people believe and it is socially accepted as a real disorder. As they stated in the article once people are more well educated the amount of cases will probably decrease. They associate the loss of semen to many things such as diabetes, excessive venery, and they also believe that the semen will mix with urine. Individually people who have Dhat syndrome are said to think about sex too often have too many sexual preoccupations.

While about thirty percent of people believe that this will pass and should not be treated, but about twenty six percent of people thought it should be treated. Treatment mostly includes alternative medicine such as Ayurvedic, homeopathic, or allopathic. They also believe that people who suffer from this disorder should be persuaded by friends and family to not masturbate, not think about females, and should stay away from bad company. They should also avoid hot foods and spices, and avoid anything that may cause masturbation. Foods that would have a cool effect were recommended. These were things such as almonds and buttermilk.

Source:

Dhat Syndrome: A Culture-Bound Sex Neurosis of the Orient

http://www.springerlink.com.proxy1.cl.msu.edu/content/p58n410147611202/fulltext.pdf

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