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Eliminating Depression the natural way: Ayurvedic wisdom shows howDepression is often seen as a complex disorder. Doctors suggest it normally takes four to six weeks for a clinical treatment to show initial results. Researchers are still trying to work out the clinical pathology of depression. Most drugs available in the market are based on lightening the mood by improving serotonin levels. Psychotherapy is popular and helps but is not an exact science either. Our understanding about the human mind is evolving. When asked, what can Ayurveda offer in this field, the author pointed to the relevant sections in the book as follows:
Ayurveda has a wealth of traditional wisdom to offer in this realm. The following table shows how various mental characteristics are influenced when key markers in Ayurveda known as doshas are in balance or out of balance.
How doshas influence your state of mind? (Taken from chapter 4)
Clear and alert mind, enthusiastic, energetic, vivacious, imaginative, expressive, bubbly, cheerful, ability to act quickly
VATA (Out of Balance)
Anxiety, emptiness, futile worries, living in world of fantasies, fears from imaginary or unfounded dangers, over exertion, chronic fatigue, insomnia, tremors, seizures, spasms, unpredictable moods
Enterprising, joyous, confident, brave, sharp intellect, good power of concentration, orderliness, healthy ambition, articulate speech
PITTA (Out of Balance)
Short temper, irritable, impatient, over-demanding, obsession with perfection, sarcastic, over-critical, sadness, indecisiveness, emotional disturbance
Calm, self-contained, higher stamina, steady energy, tranquil and relaxed manners, steady actions, affectionate, tolerant, forgiving, better ability to handle crisis, methodical
KAPHA (Out of Balance)
Heaviness or dullness, thick headedness, slowness, over-attachment, lethargic, lazy, oversleep, inertia
Vata, Pitta and Kapha are nothing else but ancient Ayurvedic principles to denote movement, metabolism and structure respectively. Achieve the right balance of these three and you see the natural way working in your favour. You start with managing your inner universe as the author asserts you can do by following Section II of the book with a special focus on chapter 7.
Once you have done enough as in section II to bring your inner universe in balance, you can build on these fundamentals as in section IV. That is to understand and practise how to manage the outer universe. This includes understanding basic pillars or prime objectives of life in principle. The book beautifully describes how to manage interpersonal relations and how to make the most out them without letting yourself fall prey to the often-compulsive nature of modern day relationships. Later chapters describe how to handle stress and fatigue from repetitive jobs, imperfect living and working conditions and environmental factors.
Then what is in section III? The author described as follows, " I like my readers to understand key markers of Ayurveda. They don't need to remember anything by heart but it would be useful to understand how Ayurveda sees depression. You can break up the complex disorder of depression in a number of smaller disorders by categorising your particular symptoms and following the recommendations about correcting them. For example, Sadhaka Pitta is type of Pitta (metabolic principle) that relates to registering, processing and interpreting emotions. There are other markers like Prana Vata and Tarpaka Kapha that may play a key role in a typical case of depression. In fact, Ayurveda describes fifteen sub-markers known as sub-doshas. Each dosha of Vata, Pitta and Kapha is divided in five sub-doshas. It is relatively easy to relate given symptoms of depression in individual cases to the corresponding sub-doshas. Ayurveda has used these markers for thousands of years. It has also accumulated a wealth of practical wisdom as to how to correct occasionally or frequently occurring