Winning over depression

An Ayurvedic perspective

Depression strikes millions each year, often with debilitating consequences. This psychological disorder is so common that it is sometimes referred to as the "common cold" of mental health, with nearly 10% of the population suffering from a depressive disorder at any given time. (source: National Institute of Mental Health)

People of all ages, social class and races can fall prey to depression. But depression also has a high cure rate. Effective treatments exist to help bring people's lives back under control. Yet tragically many people suffering from this illness go without diagnosis and treatment. Depression is 100 % treatable if proper psychotherapy and medicines are followed.

Depression Causes:
Despite intensive research, depression research scientists still do not know the cause or causes of depression. They do believe that that the onset of the illness is frequently caused by a combination of genetic, psychological, and environmental factors. In other words, there is no one cause of depression.

Some people are born with chemical imbalance that causes mental frustrations and often times leads to depression. Depression is inherited, but can also come from other things such as-

  • *Drug use
  • *Addiction to video games
  • *Excessive internet use
  • *Loss of a loved one
  • *Mate cheating
  • And much more.

Depression Symptoms:

  • Suicidal thoughts - Long term depression leads to suicidal thoughts
  • Low self Esteem
  • Emptiness in oneself
  • Feeling of guilt and worthlessness - this is a major Depression Symptom
  • Social withdrawal and agitation
  • Difficulty in concentration and taking decisions
  • Sleeping too less(insomnia) or too much (hypersomnia)

Treatments for Depression:
The most commonly used treatments for depression are:
- Depression medications (antidepressants)
- Psychotherapy
- A combination of the two.
There are a variety of antidepressant medications and psychotherapies for depression treatment. Some people with milder forms of depression may do well with psychotherapy alone. People with moderate to severe depression most often benefit from medication.
Most people do best with a combination treatment plan, including: Medication to gain relatively quick relief of symptoms and Psychotherapy to learn more effective ways of dealing with life's problems, including depression.

The Ayurvedic Viewpoint about Depression:

Ayurveda mentions Depression as Vishada. This is also described as "most disease aggravating factor". Although this disease is categorized under psychological diseases, it can also affect the body; hence it can lead to any physical or psychological disorder.

Depression is an illness that infiltrates your whole body. It affects the way you feel about things and situations, and you feel about yourself, the way you eat and sleep, the way your memory is working. Depression is a mental disease going along with body processes – or vice versa. Depression cannot just be blown away, you have to get treated. You need the help of specialists, and then you can start and have to start helping yourself.

Ebook - "Winning over Depression"- An Ayurvedic perspective
Prof. Dr. Subhash Ranade & Prof. Norbert Lotz, Ph. D. are two well-known specialists in the field of two theory- and practice-proven systems and methods: the Ayurvedic Medicine and the Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. Together they have successfully put their knowledge and experience together and compiled this complete and comprehensive ebook on treating depression by a combination of Ayurveda and Behaviour Therapy. The book is a scientifically based, rather compact and highly readable compilation of backgrounds, approaches and case studies.

Useful Ayurvedic Herbs in the Treatment of Depression

  • 1. Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
    Ashwagandha has the requisite properties to remove negative thoughts from the mind. The aphrodisiac properties of ashwagandha also help in improving the mind and removing depression.
  • 2.Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri)
    Brahmi is prescribed before a yogic session. The reason is that brahmi helps to relax the mind and bring it to a comfortable state. Brahmi is very popularly available in the form of oils. The oil has a cooling and soothing effect on the mind. Regular use of this oil can prevent the person from feeling depressed.
  • 3.Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
    Turmeric is effective in treating depression that is caused by the change of seasons, i.e. seasonal affective disorder.
  • 4. Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia)
    It is a rejuvenating and immune building herb that increases strength, improves immunity and enhances cognitive functions and memory, making it ideal for the mental sluggishness that accompanies some forms of depression.
  • 5. Jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi)
    Jatamansi brings a calming effect on the mind. By canalizing the energies of the mind in the right direction, jatamansi can remove the depressive thoughts.