Depression (manic-depressive illness) is a mood disorder, which means that the symptoms are disturbances or abnormalities of mood. Major depression is a more common illness, the symptoms of which are mainly those of low mood. Bipolar disorder involves episodes of both serious mania and depression. The person’s mood swings from excessively high and irritable, to sad and hopeless, and then back again, with periods of normal mood in between. Different from normal mood states of happiness and sadness, symptoms of manic-depressive illness can be severe and life threatening. In fact, for those afflicted with the illness, it is extremely distressing and disruptive.
Causes of DepressionBipolar disorder manifests due to imbalance of the physical doshas vata, pitta, and kapha and the mental properties satva, rajas and tamas.
Symptoms of Depression
- Mood swings
Treatment of DepressionAyurvedic herbs used for bipolar disorder are adaptogenic in nature. They are equally valuable for mania or depression. The intent is not to force the brain out of a depressive or a manic episode by providing herbal uppers or downers but to balance the doshas and to normalize the production of neurotransmitters.
Diet & Lifestyle of Depression
- Fresh fruits, fruit juices, vegetables (raw or cooked or boiled), vegetable juices, sprouts, nuts, dry fruits, honey, milk, ghee, fresh butter, and buttermilk are the best to increase sattva and enrich the mind. Try to cut down, or if possible stop, the use of black tea, coffee, white flour products, chocolates, white sugar products, deep fried foods, hot spices, meat, fish, and eggs.
- Breathing exercises: Mind has a very close relation with breathing. A person has short and shallow breathing when anxious or stressed and has deep breathing when relaxed and happy. Next time you become stressed, watch your breathing. Try to slow it down. Take a relaxed position and breathe deep using the abdomen muscles. Let the diaphragm expand while breathing in, and contract while breathing out. This will immediately relax you. Exercise, meditation, relaxation techniques and Yoga postures are also recommended.