Anxiety that occurs occasionally is normal in everyone’s life, But if one is worrying persistently, intensively & excessively, with regards to the daily happenings. People also experience fear & episodes of some intense anxious feelings or terror that will be at a high peak for some hours, a panic attack. This panic feeling may last up to a long period & may be fatal sometimes. It may be beyond the person’s control & may interfere with the daily activities. It is best recommended to prevent these types of terror feelings or tactfully avoid such situations that trigger panic attacks. It can start from childhood & continue to adulthood also.
Anxiety disorders can be of different types, like social anxiety, social phobias, separation anxiety disorders. More than 1 type of anxiety disorder exists in persons.
Traumatic events, life experiences, & inherited traits are the main factors. There are some medical causes too. Heart diseases, thyroid problems, substance abuse, irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes & some rare tumors.
- Feeling agitated, panic
- Increased heart rate
- Increased breathing with Tremors
- Feeling tired
- Difficulty to focus
- Gastro issues
- Agoraphobia- panic arising due to any places or situations, the individual feel trapped, embarrassed or fearful & mostly try to avoid them
- Illness associated
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Panic disorder or attacks- sudden episodes of terror or fear that produce palpitations, shortness of breath &chest pain.
- Selective mutism- this is the difficulty to speak in school crowds, it may affect the school performances
- Separation anxiety disorder
- Social phobias
Anxiety in Ayurveda is described as Chittodvega, characterized by physiological & psychological components. It is categorized as nanatmaja disease of vata dosha, as vata is the controller of mental functions. Management approaches are very diverse according to Ayurveda. It is caused due to the imbalance in the manasika doshas, rajas & tamas. Satwavajaya chikitsa or psycho behavioral therapy is also specifically advocated.
Use of comfort & nourishing foods that bring happiness to the mind
Follow a good code of conduct that gives you good mental strength
Yoga & meditation
Quit alcohol & smoking
Reduce the intake of tea, soft drinks, coffee, or any other beverages
Ayurvedic treatment for Anxiety
The major line of treatment is the avoidance of the causes, if there is a situation that creates stress or panic, it is recommended to avoid it. Also, if there is an underlying disease, treatment has to be done to cure the disease.
Panchakarma therapy of purification therapies has to be done along with Samana therapy.
- Abhyanga– External oil therapy is advised to improve circulation.
- Snehapana – Internal oleation with Maha kalyanaka ghritha, for 3 or 7 days
- Shirovasti, shirobhyanga with Chandanadi thailam
- Shirodhara with buttermilk or Himasagara thailam for 7 days.
- Takra Dhara for 7 days
- Shiro Pichu with ksheerabala thailam
- Nasya, nasal medication with ksheera bala or Brahmi swarasam, Shiro lepa, covering the scalp with herbal paste especially Brahmi kalka.
Potent Single drugs
There are enormous single herbs utilized in many ways for the treatment of anxiety. Most of them are very strong & used in different ways with regards to the intensity of the disease & the strength of the patient.
Ashwagandha- Withania somnifera administered with ghrita or sugar 3 to 5 gm for 10 to 12 days, Jatamansi- Nardostachys jatamansi upto 1 gram with milk, after food, Mandookaparni- Centella asiatica upto 2 gram, with water for 10 days.
Some of the major formulations used in ayurvedic treatment anxiety in pimple saudagar, pcmc Mahakalyanaka ghritham, saraswatharishtam, Chandanadi thaila, himasagarathaila, ksheerabala thaila, manasamithra vataka, kalyanaka ghritha, sarpangandhadhi Vati, the tablets are to be taken with warm water or milk accordingly. Arishtas is to be consumed after the meals. Regular follow-up is necessary to assess the improvement & adjust the dosage accordingly.
Yoga & other relaxation techniques
Shavasana is a relaxing posture that gives the body & mind a full rejuvenation. Mandukasana, Bhujangasana, & Chakrasana are found to be very beneficial.
Meditation can be done daily sitting in a comfortable & peaceful environment
It is best advised depending upon the patient’s condition.
Music therapy, good company of friends, traveling to peaceful destinations, say no stress, quit smoking, alcoholism & drug abuse.