Ayurvedic Approach to Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety Disorders affect about 40 million American adults age 18 years and older in a given year causing them to be filled with fearfulness and uncertainty. It is one of the most prevalent mental health problems in the UK and elsewhere, yet it is still under-reported, under-diagnosed and under-treated. Unlike the relatively mild, brief anxiety caused by a stressful event, anxiety disorders last at least 6 months and can get worse if they are not treated. Prevalence estimates of anxiety disorders are generally higher in developed countries than in developing countries. Effective therapies for anxiety disorders are available, and research is uncovering new treatments that can help most people with anxiety disorders lead productive, fulfilling lives. Anti-depressants, barbiturates are the drugs of choices in such conditions, but are known to have certain limitations. In addition, some non-medical approaches like psychotherapy etc. are also in practice. Ayurveda advocates blending Satvavajaya (psychotherapeutic procedures) along with specified therapeutic procedures like Shirodhara and certain medicinal plants known as Medhya Rasayana like Brahmi, Vacha, Jatamamsi, Amalaki, Ashwagandha, Jyotishmati, Yashtimadhu, Triphala etc. in the treatment of minor psychiatric ailments like anixiety states. According to Ayurveda understanding, these procedures increase the qualities of Sattva and decreases Tamas and Rajas by correcting the function of Buddhi (intellect) thus helps in controlling sense organs. Ayurveda follows a number of principles that can be used successfully to control the condition. This is a big ray of hope and can play a crucial role in restricting the pathology and improving quality of life of the individuals. There are number of evidences of the positive effect of these non invasive and safe Ayurveda approaches.