Author(s): Anurag Pandey, Mamta Tiwari Neeru Nathani, Aruna Agrawal, G.P. Dubey
In its holistic approach, Ayurveda gives prime importance to positive mental health. Anything that disturbs the balance of body and mind is known to produce a disease. Emotions are the basic feelings of human beings. All of us have felt unhappy, “down,” or discouraged at times in our lives. But when anybody feels anxious, hopeless, helpless, worthless, guilty, irritable, hurt, or restless comes under the categorization of depression. Vishada and Avasada are two conditions that are similar to depression in Ayurveda. Vishada is defined as persistent sad mood, feeling of incompetence due to apprehension of failure resulting into incapability of mind and body to function properly. Charaka quotes ‘Vishado Rogavardhananam Agrya:’ mean Vishada is the foremost factor to worsen the disease condition. This is the first principle regarding Psycho-neuro-immunology in Ayurveda. Progress in understanding the neuro-biology of depression is slow. Several promising hypothesis of depression and antidepressant action have been formulated recently. A neuro-biological understanding also requires identification of several mechanisms involved in the physio-pathogenesis of depression. Depression or other mood disorders are very serious because it starts at early age, hard to diagnose in youth/youngsters, confused with normal frequency behaviour, drug use or other psychiatric illnesses associated with high suicidal risk, treatment is started very late and requires long term follow up / treatment for long term. In the light of above facts in present article we tried to give a brief overview into patho physiology of depression and outline a comprehensive Ayurvedic approach to manage Depression and other mood disorders. It also highlights the hidden concept of Ayurvedic psychology that can be utilised in medicine for treatment of depression and promotion of mental health.