OBJECTIVE: To compare the frequency of depressive symptoms in both genders among the
depressive patients at a psychiatric clinic of tertiary care hospital.
STUDY DESIGN: Cross sectional study
SETTING: Department of Psychiatry, Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Center, Karachi
DURATION: Six months (Nov-2006 to May 2007)
SUBJECTS AND METHODS: A sample of 100 new consecutive patients including both the genders
coming to the researchers consulting room was assessed for caseness of depression.
Diagnosis was made by using ICD-10 Diagnostic Criteria for Research. Diagnosed patients were
then seen for the severity of illness by rating them on Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression
RESULTS: Analysis indicated that among the psychological symptoms, feeling sad was the
most common seen in 34% of the patients. In males, compared to females, hopelessness and
lack of confidence was predominant (11.8% vs 1.5%), while high proportions of females, compared
to male patients, complaint of irritability (27.3% vs 8.8%) and feeling like crying all the
time (34.8% vs 14.7%). Among the somatic complaints headache was the most common reported
by 39% of patients, which was significantly higher in females than males (47.0 vs 23.5%).
CONCLUSION: Men and women in this study reported similar patterns and severity symptoms
of depression. No evidence that presentation of depressive symptoms differs by gender was
found. Understanding of phenomenology is a major tool to aid in early detection and diagnosis
Key words: Depression, symptoms, Hemiltom scale, phenomenology, severity.