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The depression has become a common but serious mood disorder in modern times. The persistent depressive disorder or dysthymia is a condition where a patient complaints about the depressive mood for more than 2 years. The perinatal depression is observed in some women after giving birth, women with perinatal depression experience full-blown major depression during pregnancy or after delivery (postpartum depression). The condition of perinatal depression makes it very difficult for new mothers to complete daily care activities. The psychotic depression is accompanied with severe depression and some form of psychosis. This condition has symptoms of delusions of guilt, poverty or illness.

Ayurvedic Description Of Depression:

In Ayurveda, the condition of depression is compared with ‘Vishaad’; which is mostly a Kapha predominant condition. The two other humors, i.e. Vata and Pitta also go out of balance by the exposure of their aggravating factors. If there is an imbalance of ‘Vata’, there will be dominant symptoms like anxiety, fear, mental instability and insomnia. The imbalance of ‘Pitta’leads to anger, aggressiveness, suicidal thoughts and irritability while the imbalance of ‘Kapha’, may lead to lethargy, lack of interest in daily activities.


 

Signs & Symptoms

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  • Irritability
  • Hhopelessness
  • Persistent sadness
  • Feeling of guilt
  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Low on spirit
  • Decreased energy
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts
  • Unknown body aches
  • Low appetite
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating

Causes and Risk Factors

Personality traits

Certain personality traits such as on low self-esteem, being too dependent, self-critical or pessimistic, admire to stay alone for too long are some of the traits found in people having depression.

Traumatic events

Traumatic or stressful events, such as physical or sexual abuse, the death or loss of a loved one, a difficult relationship or some financial problems can put people more at risk of having depression. Any trauma in the childhood can put children more at the risk of depression in their youth.

Family history

The patients with depression usually have the family history of depression or blood relatives with a history of bipolar disorder, alcoholism or some history of suicidal episode in the family.

Medical condition

The history of some chronic illness like cancer, chronic pain, heart disease also put patients at the risk of depression, it usually happens more in elderly patients.

Addictions

The abuse of alcohol, narcotics, and habit of other illegal drugs like marijuana, cocaine also has been found to cause depression.

Self Care Tips

  • It is advisable to keep a track of one’s pattern of thoughts, write them down, it can help to figure out which thoughts make one feel sad.
  • Develop the habits of reading, running and relaxing, reading self-help books have been found to help individuals inovercoming the negative thoughts, running releases the hormone adrenaline in body that helps in reviving body energy and combat depression, do take some time out of fixed schedule and spend time in relaxing.
  • Don’t create any guilt because of some old deeds; it is okay to be okay.
  • Eat healthy food and stay active as it can make a difference to the energy levels while stimulating endorphins that help one to feel better.
  • Find out the things that make you happy and take time out to do them.
  • Developing new skills can lift the mood easily.
  • Stay closer to the nature, the researches suggest that staying in contact with pets, plants, gardens, and parks etc. can reduce stress and uplift the mood swiftly.
  • Talking to a family member or friend who is a good listener can help to express oneself. This can also help in getting an outsiders’ opinion on the thoughts.
  • It can be really helpful to talk to people who have gone through similar experiences, learn from their experience and take inspiration from successful stories to combat depression.
  • Set small goals, prioritize them in achievable order and don’t burden the brain with too much of work, maintain a healthy balance in personal and professional life.
  • Develop a healthy sleep routine; sleep has a huge effect on the physical and emotional health.
  • Go to bed with calm mind and stretch the body before sleeping.
  • Exercise regularly and maintain a balanced diet. For working people who cannot maintain a regular schedule of gym and exercise, it is good to go for brisk walk or dance at home.

The Ayurvedic treatment of depression involves thorough understanding of the patients’ unique constitution (Prakarti) and state of imbalance or Vikriti of doshas. AAS Ayurveda takes both the physical and mental planes into consideration while designing the treatment protocol of the patients.

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