Life changes such as divorce, the birth of a baby, losing a job or the death of loved one can and do leave people feeling depress so can worrying about financial problems or illness. At times you may feel empty and depressed for no apparent reason. Some depression is normal and is a part of almost every person's life.
SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION
Continuous feeling of sadness or blankness, feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, guilt and worthlessness, loss of interest in pleasurable activities, including sex, fatigue, sleep disturbances, loss of energy or enthusiasm, difficulty in concentrating or making decision, ongoing physical symptoms such as headaches or digestive disorders, that don't respond to conventional treatment, crying and fearfulness, poor appetite with weight loss, overeating and weight gain.
According to Ayurveda, depression may by caused by an imbalance in either vaata or kapha dosha. The kapha type of depression is usually of a less serious nature. This is typical in the winter months when the weather is cold and there is less sunshine. We tend to go out less and are not very active during this season. The lack of activity coupled with the weather will increase the qualities of kapha dosha, due to which the person might become slower, duller, less sensitive to his/her environment, and have a tendency to sleep for longer periods.
- Making sure that you exercise on a regular basis, eat lighter foods, avoid heavy foods such as cheese and meat and increase vegetables in your diet. This will assist you in balancing your kapha dosha. Ayurvedic herbs like guggulu, turmeric, and trikatu (pippali, maricha and sutho) may be beneficial for this type of seasonal affective disorders.
- When the depression is caused by an imbalance of vaata, it may become more serious in nature. That too, if praana vaata is aggravated it can lead to depression, anxiety, overactive mind and a feeling of stress and tension.
- Many people acquire a praana vaata imbalance due to their lifestyle. A regular schedule is the best to balance vaata- early to rise, eating at regular times, regular exercise, regular meditation and yoga. The daily meditation, praanaayaama and yoga should be included in your health regime.
- Try to substitute a positive thought for every negative thought that pops into your mind. Associate with congenial people, not negative people. To focus your attention away from yourself, do something to help someone else. Ayurveda advocates oil massage (abhanga) and sirodhaara (warm medicated oils or liquids are streamed on the forehead) to bring down the aggravated vaata dosha. These therapies profoundly relax the nervous system.
- There are several Ayurvedic herbs, which assist in lessening the state of depression, which include jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi) and brahmi (Bacopa monnieri). These herbs also calm your mind so that you feel more ease when you do your meditation and yoga. Preparations such as brahmi vati, brahmi ghritam, saarasvataarishta contain brahmi as main ingredient. Smriti Sagar Ras 125 to 250 mg and Jyotismati tel 10 to 20 drops can also be used.
Consult your Ayurvedic physician before using them.