Temporary feelings of nervousness or worry is stressful situations are natural and appropriate. however, when anxiety becomes a general, response to many ordinary situations and causes problems in coping with normal, everyday life, it is diagnosed as a disorder. In Ayurveda anxiety disorders are due to the vitiated Vata.
anxiety disorders occur in a number of different forms. the most common is generalized anxiety disorder or persistent anxiety state, characterized by excessive and persistent anxiety that is difficult to control. another type of anxiety disorder is panic disorder, in which there are recurrent panic attacks of intense anxiety and alarming physical symptoms. these attacks occur unpredictably and usually have no obvious cause. panic attacks may also feature in generalized anxiety disorder. in another type of anxiety disorder known as phobia, severe anxiety is provoked by an irrational fear of a situation, creature, or object.
An increased susceptibility to anxiety disorder may be inherited or may be due to experiences in childhood. for example, poor bonding between a parent and child and abrupt separation of a child from a parent have been shown to play a part in some anxiety disorders. generalized anxiety disorder may develop after a stressful life event, such as the death of a close relative. however, frequently the anxiety has no particular cause. similarly, panic disorder often develops for no obvious reason.
Signs and Symptoms:
People with generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder experience both psychological and physical symptoms. however, in generalized anxiety disorder, the psychological symptoms tend to be persistent while physical symptoms are intermittent. in panic, attacks, both psychological and physical symptoms come on together suddenly and unpredictably.
symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder include:
• a sense of foreboding with no obvious reason or cause.
• being on edge and unable to relax.
• impaired concentration.
• repetitive worrying thoughts.
• disturbed sleep and sometimes nightmares.
in addition, you may have symptoms of depression, such as early waking, or a general sense of hopelessness. physical symptoms of the disorder, which occur intermittently, include:
• abdominal cramps, sometimes with diarrhea and vomiting.
• frequent urination.
• sweating, flushing and tremor.
• a feeling of something being stuck in the throat.
psychological and physical symptoms of panic attacks include the following:
• shortness of breath.
• sweating, trembling and nausea.
• dizziness and fainting.
• fear of choking or that death may be imminent.
• a sense of unreality and fears about loss of sanity.
many of these symptoms can be misinterpreted as signs of a serious physical illness, and this may increase your level of anxiety. overtime, fear of having a panic attack in public may lead you to avoid situations such as eating out in restaurants or being in crowds.
Ayurveda, which takes a comprehensive view of an individual's physical, emotional and spiritual conditions, attributes anxiety disorder symptoms to aggravated prana vata, a subsidiary of vata dosha which is associated with worry, anxiety and depression. Prana vata weakens the nervous system and triggers mental imbalance. It also weakens the neuro-hormonal system and nerve impulses. Ayurvedic treatment of anxiety disorder would involve curbing aggravated prana vata and increasing sattva guna, which envisages a stable and peaceful mind through self-realization and self-control, and appropriate changes in diet and lifestyle.
Brahmi wait: 2 to 4 tab
Tagaradi Chuna: 3 to 5 gm
Saraswatarista: 15 to 30 ml
Madananda Modak: 5 to 15 gm
Awaganda Churna: 5 to 10 gm
1. Make a tea of the following herbs:
Tagar or valerian 1 part
Musta 1 part
Steep 1/2 teaspoon of these herbs in 1 cup hot water for 5 to 10 minutes.
This tea pacifies vata and reduces anxiety. Drink it twice a day.
2. Almond milk is very good for anxiety.
Soak 10 raw (not toasted) almonds overnight in water. Peel off the skins, and put the almonds in the blender.
Add 1 cup warm milk. While blending, add a pinch of ginger and a small pinch of nutmeg and saffron.
Ayurveda also recommends yoga. The Yoga postures which increase the blood circulation on brain are more preferable, though doing every Yogasana is helpful for relaxing mind. Among the asanas, you can perform Suryanamskara, Paschimottanasana, Ushtrasana, Makarasana, Dhanurasana, Halasana, Sarvangasana, and in Pranayamas Shetali, Kapalbhati and Nadisdhodhan, followed by Yognidra for half an hour.
A full-body oil massage either by sesame oil or coconut oil helps to reduce anxiety. Use warm oil. Rub the oil all over your whole body from head to toes. This massage is generally given before the morning bath. But if you have high anxiety or insomnia, you can also do it just before going to bed.