Depression


Overview

A mental health disorder characterised by persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities, causing significant impairment in daily life. It can occur at any age from childhood to late life and if left untreated, can be fatal. Depression can, in turn, lead to more stress and dysfunction and worsen the affected person’s life situation and depression itself.

There are interrelationships between depression and physical health. For example, cardiovascular disease can lead to depression and vice versa

Symptoms

Mental-

  1. Irritability
  2. Mood swings
  3. Feeling isolated
  4. Crying more than usual
  5. Difficulty concentrating.
  6. Impaired memory
  7. Frustration
  8. Agitation
  9. Slow thinking
  10. Feeling worthless
  11. Anxiety
  12. Slow speech

Physical-

  1. Excess sleep
  2. Daytime sleepiness
  3. Restlessness
  4. Headache
  5. Loss of appetite
  6. Slow body movement
  7. Back pain
  8. Fatigue/Tiredness/ Lack of energy/Feeling of weakness
  9. Weight loss
  10. Weight gain
  11. Difficulty falling asleep at night
  12. Sleep disturbances
  13. Increased cravings for food

Thoughts-

  1. Feeling guilty/Self blaming
  2. Feeling of hopelessness
  3. Lack of decision
  4. Feeling of sadness
  5. Loss of interest in hobbies and activities
  6. Angry outburst
  7. Social withdrawal
  8. Changes in personality.

Causes

Exact cause is unknown.

Predisposing causes

  1. Hormonal changes
  2. People who have gone through adverse life events (unemployment, bereavement, psychological trauma) 
  3. Inherited traits - Family history
  4. Changes in neurotransmitters - neurotransmitters are the brain functioning chemicals.
  5. Certain medications
  6. Stress
  7. Serious health problems
  8. Substance abuse like drugs, alcohol, smoking

Vishada and Avasada are the two conditions in Ayurveda , which are similar to depression.  It is the foremost factor to worsen the condition of any disease. According to Ayurveda, three physical humors or doshas (vata, pitta and kapha) as well as three mental humors (satva, rajas and tamas) constitute the body and mind. Prominence or imbalance of the first two humors  (i.e. raja & tama) are the cause of several psychological disorders, while satva is the natural state of stable mind. Mental imbalances or Manasvikruti, are caused by three bodily humors (vata, pitta and kapha) and two mental humors (rajas & tamas).

Treatment

Treatment protocol aims at:

  1. Relief from all depression related symptoms.
  2. Preventing and reducing the complication of depression by calming down the nervous system
  3. Rejuvenating the whole body and preventing further attack

The first line of treatment should always be avoiding the causative factors. If the problem persists then consider the following treatment protocol.

  • Mental and physical symptoms - Changes in the brain have an effect on many of the body's systems. For example, abnormal functioning of brain messengers (neurotransmitters) such as serotonin can alter your pain threshold. People with depression often report digestion problems, inflammation. Depression changes the brain’s response to stress by suppressing activity in the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and adrenal glands. Jatamansi, Mauktik bhasma, Mandukaparni, Manasamitra vati and Brahmi will help to manage all stress, calm down the nervous system, improve learning and ease depression
  • Sleep deprivation and other symptoms will result in Weight loss, loss of sleep and Fatigue. Ashwagandha, Shatavari, Suvarana makshika will help manage stress, boost brain function and strengthen the body.

(The above mentioned Ayurvedic drugs are Herbs and Herbomineral preparations)

Other therapies - Virecana (Purgation), Abhyanga (body massage), Padabhyanga (foot massage), shiroabhyanga (head massage) with medicated oils, Shirodhara (Pouring medicated liquids/milk/ water/oils on head, Pichu (application of cotton soaked with medicated oil over head, Takra dhara (Pouring medicated buttermilk all over body). Yoga , Meditation, Counselling.

Herbs

Jatamansi, Mauktik bhasma, Mandukaparni, Manasamitra vati , Brahmi,  Ashwagandha, Shatavari, Suvarana makshika.


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