A large study at Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Center, Karachi back in early 1990s (4) showed that twice as many women as men sought psychiatric care and that most of these women were between 20s and mid 40s.
Another 5-year survey (1992-1996) at the University Psychiatry Department in Karachi (Agha Khan University/Hospital) (5) showed that out of 212 patients receiving psychotherapy, 65% were women, 72% being married. The consultation stimuli were conflict with spouse and in-laws. Interestingly, 50% of these women had no psychiatric diagnosis and were labeled as 'distressed women'. 28% of women suffered from depression or anxiety, 5-7% had personality or adjustment disorders and 17% had other disorders.
The 'distressed women' were aged between 20 to 45. Most of them had a bachelor's degree and had arranged marriage relationships for 4-25 years with 2-3 kids, and the majority worked outside home (running small business, teaching or unpaid charitable community work or involved in voluntary work). Their symptoms were palpitations, headaches, choking feelings, sinking heart, hearing weakness and numb feet.
A study on stress and psychological disorders in Hindukush mountains of North West Frontier Province of Pakistan (6) showed a prevalence of depression and anxiety of 46% in women compared to 15% in men.
A study on suicidal patients (7) showed that the majority of the patients were married women. The major source of suffer was conflict with husband (80%) and conflict with in-laws (43%).
A study of parasuicide in Pakistan (8) shows that most of the subjects were young adults (mean age 27-29 years). The sample showed predominance of females (185) compared to males (129), and the proportion of married women (33%) was higher than males (18%). Housewives (55%) and students (32%) represented the two largest groups among females. Most female subjects (80%) admitted problems with spouse.
A four-year survey of psychiatric outpatients at a private clinic in Karachi (9) found that two thirds of the patients were females and 60% of these females had a mood disorder. 70% of them were victims of violence (domestic violence, assault, sexual harassment and rape) and 80% had marital or family conflicts.