Mental and Emotional Wellness - Part 3

By: Prof. Subhash Ranade and Prof. Norbert Lotz

General causes of all diseases –
All diseases originate in the consciousness. Pradnyaparadha or misuse of intellect – faulty intelligence, courage and memory.
Wrong contact of sense organs with their objects - Absence of analysis of any subject can lead to depression, excessive analysis can lead to anxiety and improper analysis leads to improper behavior. Time – dosha aggravation.
Withholding of physical urges and suppressing emotions.

Common causes for all psychological diseases –
Emotions are responsible for causing all psychological diseases and Ayurveda has classified common causes according to two main reasons -
Getting things which are undesired- Hatred, Anger and Depression.
Not getting things which are desired – Greed, Envy, Worry and Anxiety.

Pathogenesis flow chart of the psychological diseases –
Bhagvad Gita, the religious book of Sanatana Dharma has explained following flow chart for the pathogenesis-
Thinking of pleasure / Vishaya
Attachment of objects with sense organs / Sanga
Lust for pleasure by sensual objects / Kama
Non fulfillment of pleasure Anger/Krodha
Delusion / Sammoha
Vitiation in Recollection / Smruti vibhrama
Damage of intelligence / Buddhinasha
Destruction / Vinashyati.
Disease formation.

How to treat Emotions –
By conscious efforts all the emotions should be kept under control. One should observe negative emotions with detachment, allowing them to dissipate. For example, one is taught that when anger occurs, one should be completely aware of it, watch the feeling as it unfolds, learn the nature of the anger, then let it go, releasing.

Examination of the patient –
In order to treat the patient successfully, one must carefully examine the patient with following view points-
Understanding Mind –Body relation and counseling is very important. Requires expertise, attention and application.
The root cause is in the consciousness. To remove this methods like meditation and Yoga practices are always useful along with Ayurvedic Therapies.

Controlling sense organs –
In fact this is the key for treating all emotions. Our sense organs are constantly focused on the outside world. To focus them inwards is the best method of controlling them.
Ayurveda and Yoga (Pratyahara) have stressed the importance of this to void the diseases. Chitta vritti nirodha.
Pranayama or breathing exercises are helpful for this.

Treatment of emotional diseases -
For treating all emotional problems the best way is to increase Sattva quality in Mind. This can be effectively done by Sattavajaya Therapy or by following methods to make the mind more calm and quiet and focused.
Satvavajaya -Ayurvedic Psychotherapy - These therapies mainly aim at withdrawing sense organs from their outside world and following Sadvritta or Ethical code of conduct. These are simple rules to be observed while moving in the society and at home – speaking truth, giving honor to elders and teachers, not stealing money etc.
Daivavyapashraya /Divine or Spiritual therapy - In practice it has been observed that many emotions have connections to the bad deeds in the past. Hence some spiritual methods to reduce bad deeds in the past life, with the help of various rituals, wearing gems and colors as well as chanting of mantras and the prayer to specific deities are used.
Yuktivyapashraya/ Rational therapy - These are using appropriate foods, herbs and clinical therapies of opposite qualities to that of aggravated doshas. Use of proper food, herbs and other therapies like Pancha Karma. When emotions are too deep and strong like depression, medicated emesis or vamana is very effective. For anxiety treatment of Shirodhara is extremely useful.

Herbal Therapy –
For treatment purpose, emotions can also be classified as due to –
1. Excitement – extreme joy due to winning lottery, anger, jealousy, lust, surprise.
2. Suppression – Depression, sadness, fear, anxiety.
For treating emotions due to excitement –
Specific herbs that produce calm and quiet mind are used -
Gotu kola / Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri),
Jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi),
Yashtimadhu (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
Valerian (Valeriana wallichi),
Sarpagandha (Rauwolfia serpentina),
Manduka parni (Centella asiatica),

For treating emotions due to suppression-
herbs that have stimulating effect on mind are used -
Calamus / Vacha (Acorus calamus),
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera),
Shankhapushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis)
Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia)