Ayurvedic management of common mental illnesses

The present mankind has always tried to attain peace and happiness through all means. There are so many external and internal stressors which let us to arrive into acute and chronic mental stress. These disorders can affect persons of any age, race, sex, religion, or income. Mental illnesses are the result of a personal weakness, lack of character, or poor upbringing. Mental illness is a physical condition just like asthma or arthritis. It is also like telling a person who has an amputated leg to run across the room. But a person who has mental health issue has a “broken brain”. Mental illness is caused by bad parenting. Because of the fact that most diagnosed individuals come from supportive homes. The mentally ill are violent and dangerous. People with a mental disorder are not smart. Common mental Illnesses in our community are Depression, Mania, Schizophrenia. Depression: It is a medical issue that affects a persons mood to be down, blue and fed up. In Ayurveda it is called as Avasad or Vishad. The other symptoms are Fatigue or loss of energy, Thoughts of death or suicide, including suicide attempts, Feeling guilty, hopeless or worthless, difficulty in concentrating, remembering or making decisions. Persistent sad, anxious or empty mood, Sleeping too much or too little; odd time of waking, Reduced or increased appetite which results in weight gain or loss, Irritability or restlessness. There is no single cause of depression. But here are some factors that may contribute to it’s development:-Psychological,Biological, Environment. Mania: It is part of a condition called bipolar disorder, also known as manic- depression.Bipolar disorder usually causes a person’s mood to alternate between symptoms of depression and mania, a heightened energetic state. In Ayurveda it is called as Vatik Unmad. The neurotransmitters: Norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin are the causes of mania and depression. During a manic episode, patients with bipolar disorder have a significantly higher Norepinephrine and epinephrine levels than a depressed or euthymic (normal mood) person.

Schizophrenia: It is a chronic and severe brain disorder. It is a disease that makes it difficult for a person to tell the difference between real and unreal experiences, to think logically, to have appropriate emotional responses to others, aspects of memory and to act appropriately in social situations. In Ayurveda it is called as pittaj unmad The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified schizophrenia as one of the ten most debilitating diseases affecting all human beings. There are two kind of symptoms in this disease i.e Positive Symptoms and negative symptoms. Positive symptoms are characterized by abnormal thoughts, perceptions, language and behavior. Delusions: False beliefs/thoughts win no basis in reality. Hallucinations: Disturbances of sensory perception (hearing, seeing or feeling things not there).
Disorganized Thinking and Speech: Jumping from topic to topic, responding to questions with unrelated answers or speaking incorrectly.
Disorganized Behavior: Problems in performing directed daily activities.
Catatonic Behavior: Lowered environmental awareness, unresponsiveness, rigid posture, resistance to movement or instructions and inappropriate postures. Negative symptoms are characterized by restrictions in range and intensity of emotional expression, communication, body language and interest in normal activities. Blunted (or flat)
Affect: Decreased emotional expressiveness, unresponsive immobile facial appearance, reduced eye contact and body language.
Alogia: Reduced speech. Responses are detached and speech is not fluid.
Avolition: Lacking motivation, spontaneity, initiative. Sitting for lengthy periods or ceasing to participate in work or daily activities.
Anhedonia: Lacking Pleasure or interest in activities that were once enjoyable.
Attention Deficit: Difficulty in concentrating. There is no one cause to this complex and puzzling illness, but it is believed that some combination of genetic, biological (virus, bacteria, or an infection) and environmental factors play a major role. There is currently no reliable way to predict whether a person will develop the disease. Use a firm and calm approach when communicating. Lower your voice Down, or you will lose privilege.”Remain neutral; avoid power struggles and don’t cast judgments. Firmly redirect energy into more appropriate and constructive behavior. Do not yell or sound threatening, the goal is to try to keep anxiety down in a patient. Be sensitive to their feelings, and validate those feelings.
Treatment of Depression: Rasonkalka + tilataila, Satavari + dugdha, Vrahmi + dugdha, Valavaca + madhu. Mukta pisti, Manikya bhasma and Akik pisti are also very helpful. The Ayurvedic massage therapy have proved to boost the level of Serotonin in the body. The Vasti,Shirodhara have a wide role in treating such diseases.
Mania: Sveta avalgujadi rasayana, Svetavaca, Vacasatapaka rasayana, Mrinal rasayana, Bilvamula rasayana, Svarnabhasmadi yoga, Nilakamala kashaya,Vasataila rasayana, Yavadi rasayana.
Schizophrenia: Rasasindura, Svarnamakhsika, Vatsanabha have amazing role as single drug. Tadarasa with madhu, Bhuta bhariav rasa, Srkhandadi churna orally. Silajita lepa and Lasuna taila for lepa are very effective for treatment of Schizophrenia.
Madhukasaradi nasya maricadi and saindhavadi nasya. Sarsapa taila, Lakhsadi and Candanadi taila as nasya and abhyanga is also very effective.
Trusan varti (trikatu, vaca, sirisa, karanja) Maheswar dhupa may be used.
M. D., Ph. D. (Ayu), (Scholar), Lecturer (Basic Principles), Tebia College, New Delhi. 99886-83798, drkdmahapatra@gmail.com.