Major Depressive Disorder
In this fast-changing world, the stresses and strains of our daily lives have made a spacious room for mental tensions. Such mental tensions accumulate over time and take a shape of a mental illness known as a major depressive disorder. This illness can occur in the shape of anxiety, irritability, and dissatisfaction. Currently, this has become a major epidemic, affecting about 10-15% of the global population. The outcomes of such mental illness are so severe that the affected individuals cannot even perform their daily routines.
Causes of major depressive disorder
There are several factors which could singly or jointly lead to mature this illness such as stress etc.
Symptoms of major depressive disorder
The patients with the major depressive disorder tend to display: –
➢ Social isolation
➢ Feeling of worthlessness
➢ Difficulty to concentrate
➢ Sleep disturbances
Ayurvedic perspectives for depression
Allopathic medicine does not target the root cause of depression and blame the neurotransmitters. However, in Ayurveda, there is a detailed description to address such mental illnesses. In Ayurveda depression is understood as “Kaphaja Unmada” along with the thorough details of its natural treatments. Our expert Dr. Navdeep Sharma (a globally renowned Ayurvedic healer) includes the imbalances of Doshas (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha) and psychic energies (Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas) along with personality factors, environmental factors, endocrinological factors, and genetic factors as the causative agents for the existence of major depressive disorder. The daily social or professional stresses may lead to an imbalance in psychic energies and Doshas. Additionally, diminished Prana Vayu may also fail to stimulate the mind to an optimal functional state. Ayurveda offers behavioral therapies, lifestyle adjustments, nutritious diet, and herbal preparations to treat anxiety.
Ayurvedic classical medicine to mitigate depression
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is the best natural anxiety medication (rejuvenator) for centuries to get relief from depression. The noteworthy advantage of Ashwagandha is that it can be used in all form of anxiety and depressions. It is particularly helpful in tackling nervous system disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. It can significantly reduce stress by optimizing cortisol levels which cause anxiety and depression. It can also help to eliminate the aforementioned symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression. It also stabilizes the mood by reducing mood fluctuations. It reduces insomnia, more efficient than psychotherapy, and it does not have any associated side-effects/withdrawal symptoms.
“Supports healthy nervous system and adrenal health”
– Promotes vitality & strength
– Boosts energy level
– Ensures blissful sleep
– Perfect rejuvenation
– Combats the effect of stress
– Strengthen the immune system
– A resistant to psychological stress
Jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi) is a renowned brain tonic which can significantly reduce stress, anxiety, and tension by regulating biochemical reactions in the body. It particularly maintains healthy and cooling mind. Being a calming herb it also facilitates sound sleep and controls blood pressure levels naturally.
“One of the finest mind rejuvenator tonic and maintains healthy and cool mind”
– Reduces stress, anxiety, and tension
– Balances biochemical reactions of the body
– Naturally regulates the blood pressure levels
– Increases appetite
– Promotes blissful sleep
It is a subtype of the major depressive disorder. About 20% of major depressive disorder patients tend to have psychotic depression as well. The patients with psychotic depression believe, hear, see, and smell things that aren’t actually there. Hence, it is a serious mental disorder and often leads to nervous breakdown, insanity, and delusion. In general, psychotic depression refers to a major depressive episode containing psychotic features. There is a great deal of difficulty in treating psychotic depression as some of its symptoms are also related to the schizophrenia.
Causes of psychotic depression
The actual causes of psychotic depression are unclear yet, however, it is widely believed that it can be developed from a biological parent or sibling who has already experienced depression. The recent research shows that sometimes chemical imbalances in the brain can also lead to psychotic depression. Apparently, both psychological and neurological aspects can congregate to psychotic depression.
Symptoms of psychotic depression
The symptoms of psychotic depression may be displayed after several depressive episodes.
➢ Physical immobility
➢ Disturbed flow of thoughts
➢ Suicidal tendency
➢ Erratic talking
Ayurvedic aspects of psychotic depression
Ayurveda preaches the practice of Pranayama (breathing exercises) and meditation which calms the mind and soothes the soul. Thus, help in relieving symptoms of psychotic depression.
Ayurvedic herb for psychotic depression
Shankhpushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis) helps in enhancing the brain vitality and functions. It also helps in balancing memory disturbances such as short attention span, concentration impairment, language, and learning issues. It is a traditional herb that can potentially improve child’s intelligence and learning capabilities. It balances neurotransmitters in order to improve concentration in patients.
Treatment-resistant depression generally occurs in the patients with the major depressive disorder. In simple words, if the patient with the major depressive disorder does not respond to at least two of the antidepressants, the condition is termed as treatment-resistant. In allopathy, the treatment involves optimization of antidepressant’s dose, augmentation/combination therapies, and switching therapies.
Causes of treatment-resistant depression
Many patients who are categorized as treatment-resistant are sometimes misdiagnosed or inadequately treated.
Symptoms of treatment-resistant depression
The major symptoms may include atrophy in specific brain regions such as hippocampus etc. The major symptoms include:-
➢ Lack of responsiveness to the antidepressants
➢ Difficulties in concentrating
➢ Difficulties in remembering things
➢ Difficulties in making decisions
➢The severity of the episodes of major
➢ Lack of symptomatic improvement within the
first two weeks of treatment
Ayurvedic perspective to mitigate treatment-resistant depression
Our specialists have researched that the term depression has also been addressed in ancient scriptures. For instance, in Ayurveda, depression is known as “Unmada” and it is categorized under psychological disorders which have the tendency to affect the body, mind, and soul. The Ayurvedic perspective of depression also considers the levels of our consciousness. It has been projected that the imbalanced state of Anandamaya Kosha (Happy treasure) and Manomaya Kosha (Heart treasure) during stressful incidents construct a membrane around the individuals. Such membranes can potentially cause loss of the essential awareness and result in depression.
Ayurvedic medicines to mitigate treatment-resistant depression
The Ayurvedic herbs such as Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia) and Maricha (Piper nigrum) have gained immense popularity among the recent times as a rejuvenating and immune building herb that can increase strength and immunity of the body. It is also helpful in enhancing the cognitive functions of brain. The black pepper is particularly known to enhance the Pachak Agni, improves digestion, and balances emotions.
Antenatal and postnatal depression
This form of depression is often reported in women during the child-bearing stage. Globally, about 10 to 20% women have been affected by antenatal and postnatal depression. This depression evolves continuously since pregnancy and clings to the patients even after the childbirth.
Causes of antenatal and postnatal depression
Several causative factors can act as a platform for the development of this depression such as:-
➢ First-time parenting
➢ Lack of awareness
➢ Lack of social support
➢ Pregnancy-related outcomes
➢ Stressful life events
Ayurvedic perspectives for depression
Dr. Navdeep Sharma elaborates the concepts of Tridoshas viz. Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Evidently, any imbalance to these Doshas can prevail as a physical or mental disorder in the human body. According to Ayurvedic principles, depression is mostly due to Kapha Dosha. However, during childbirth, Vata Dosha may also dominate. During pregnancy, a female’s body undergoes tremendous changes and any change in the body is regulated by Vata. Hence, such changes may leave the pregnant mother with depression, insomnia, and anxiety.
Ayurvedic medicines to mitigate depression
Brahmi is the key herb to cure depression and anxiety. Gentle pouring the Brahmi oil on forehead helps to calm the mind and soothe the soul. Another Ayurvedic remedy to fight depression is to perform Shirodhara therapy as it helps in relaxing the mind and treat insomnia. Additionally, herbal concoctions, specifically designed to escalate the movement of body fluids and plasma can also be used to diminish the symptoms of depression (antenatal and postnatal)
“Counter nervous exhaustion”
– Naturally supports mental alertness
– Increases brain power
– Promotes relaxation
– Supports mental alertness and promotes relaxation