Monday, June 2, 2014

Anxiety Neurosis and Chronic Depression - Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment

Anxiety neurosis, also known as Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), is characterized by excessive, exaggerated anxiety and worry about everyday life events, to the extent that it interferes with daily functioning, including work, school, social activities and relationships. Symptoms of GAD include excessive worry and tension, an unrealistic view of problems, restlessness, lack of sleep, concentration and energy, and frequent urination. Environmental and genetic factors, and a disturbed brain chemistry are believed to be the causative factors for this condition.

Chronic depression, also known as Dysthymia, is a less severe form of depression which lasts for a long period of time, sometimes for years together. A dysfunction of the brain neurotransmitters, major stress, chronic illness, medications, and work or relationship problems may increase the chances for chronic depression. The symptoms are the same as those for major depression but not as intense, and include the following: persistent feelings of sadness, helplessness and hopelessness; lack of sleep, appetite and energy; loss of interest and concentration; persistent somatic complaints; and thoughts of death or suicide.

Anxiety disorders can be treated by using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, in which an individual learns to recognize and change thought patterns and behaviors that lead to troublesome feelings. This condition can also be treated using Ayurvedic herbal medicines like Jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi), Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), Shankhpushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis), Sarpagandha (Raulwofia serpentina), Khurasani Ova (Hyoscyamus niger), Sutshekhar Rasa, Suvarna Sutshekhar Rasa, Kamdudha Rasa, Praval Bhasma and Mukta Bhasma.

Individuals with chronic depression usually benefit from psychotherapy, which helps affected persons to develop appropriate coping skills to deal with everyday life, and to increase compliance to medication and healthy lifestyle habits. Herbal medicines useful in this condition are: Arjuna (Terminalia arjuna), Vacha (Acorus calamus), Jyotishmati (Celastrus panniculatus), Vishwa (Zinziber officinalis), Tagar (Valeriana wallichi), Laghu Sutshekhar Rasa, Laxmi Vilas Rasa, Arogya Vardhini Rasa, and Makardhwaja Rasa.

In both the conditions, the response to medication is excellent; however, medicines need to be continued long-term in order to get good benefit and to prevent relapse. In addition, other alternatives like relaxation techniques, yogic asanas, and pranayam (controlled breathing), are also beneficial.

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