Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and sometimes you may feel as if life isn't worth living.
- Feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness
- Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over small matters
- Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities, such as sex, hobbies or sports
- Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much
- Tiredness and lack of energy, so even small tasks take extra effort
- Changes in appetite — often reduced appetite and weight loss, but increased cravings for food and weight gain in some people
- Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
- Frequent or recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts or suicide
- Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches
Depression is correlated as Vishada roga in ayurveda.Imbalance in psychic energies (sattva, rajas, tamas) supported by imbalance of physical energies (vata, pitta, kapha) are believed to cause various mental disorders. Prana vayu is responsible for proper functioning of the mind. Weakened ojas disturbs the prana vayu which then fails to stimulate the mind. On the other hand sadness, despair, and lack of interest in life indicate heightened rajasik and tamasik influences. Lack of mental discipline, indulgence in negative thoughts and activities and negative emotions, such as hatred, anger, etc. are known to cause imbalance in psychic energies which in turn leads to diseases like depression.
The treatment protocol has different stages including cleansing, pacifying and rejuvenation. Along with this a combination of meditation physiotherapy will help for the healing Mind-body connections
External therapy such as abhyanga, snehanam, Thalam, sirovasthy, dhoomapanam etc.
Panchakarma therapy such as Vamanam, Virechanam, Nasyam etc.
Duration of stay
For an intense treatment at least 1 month is required.
As Depression may require long-term treatment, patients feel better with the treatment, psychological counseling or both.
- Quite a few patients of depression give history of bad life style, improper food habits, addictions, lack of discipline in personal life and unsocial attitude. So maintaining good life style, food habits and discipline acquire lot of significance when it comes to psychiatric disorders such as depression.
- Getting up early enough in morning, avoiding late nights, doing physical exercises, playing games and outdoor activities help to keep the mind in a positive state.
- Eating fresh foods, vegetables, seasonal fruits and avoiding alcohol, non-vegetarian and fast foods, and maintaining regular food timings is good for mental health.
- Take meals in a relaxed mental state and atmosphere. Avoid other activities while eating.
- Making prayers, reading spiritual texts, reading good literature, listening to thought provoking lectures, hearing mantras and music also help to improve mental strength.
- Yoga, Pranayama and meditation are well known for enhancing mental and spiritual strength.
- One must also look at their social support system and make an effort to improve social ties to enjoy a positive mental state.
Simple Home Remedies
- Boil 1 tablepoon rose petal in 1 cup of water for 2 minutes, let it cool. Add 1/2 teaspoon of rock candy(Mishri) to it and drink twice a day to uplift your mood.
- Take one teaspoon of asparagus powder with half a teaspoon of honey twice a day along with warm milk, it works as a great brain tonic.
- Take one teaspoon of ashwagandha powder with a spoon of pure ghee. It is very effective in depression.
- Boil celery seeds, green cardamom powder, cinnamon powder and rose petals in equal amount in a glassful of water for 20-30 minutes. Strain it and add ½ teaspoonful powder of rock candy, let it cool down and drink lukewarm twice a day.
- Have 1 teaspoon of licorice root powder with water in an empty stomach in the morning. This is mentioned as a medhya rasayana ( a mind rejuvenator) in Ayurveda.