A mental health illness known as generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) is characterised by excessive worry or stress about a variety of life facets, including work, family, health, or everyday occurrences. GAD-related anxiety can have a major negative influence on a person’s daily functioning and general well-being and is frequently difficult to manage.
Although GAD symptoms might differ from person to person, they frequently include:
excessive, unmanageable anxiety over a variety of life issues.
feeling restless or tense.
fatigue and attention deficit disorder.
tension in the muscles.
Having problems getting asleep, staying asleep, or having restless and uncomfortable sleep are all examples of sleep disturbances.
physical signs such as headaches, nausea, or other inexplicable aches and pains.
It is not quite clear what causes GAD exactly. It is most likely a result of a complex interaction of genetic, environmental, and psychological variables. Risk factors and potential causes include:
Disorders of anxiety run in the family.
abuse history, either sexual or physical.
illnesses with a long course.
misuse of drugs or withdrawal.
imbalance of some brain neurotransmitters, including norepinephrine and serotonin.
such as being extremely sensitive or a perfectionist, are personality qualities.
Genetic, environmental, and neurobiological variables interact in complicated ways to cause the pathophysiology of GAD. The development and maintenance of GAD are thought to be influenced by anomalies in the brain circuits responsible for controlling fear and anxiety. The control of anxiety is also hypothesised to be influenced by neurotransmitters like serotonin, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), and norepinephrine.
Mental health experts frequently take into account the following factors when diagnosing GAD:
excessive tension and worry that persisted for at least a year on average.
difficulty in restraining one’s worries.
the existence of three or more symptoms of anxiety.
It must be extremely distressing or difficult to go about daily tasks due to the concern and anxiety.
For a precise diagnosis, a complete assessment by a mental health specialist, like a psychiatrist or psychologist, is required.
Psychotherapy, medicines, and dietary changes are frequently used in the treatment of GAD. The principal strategies comprise:
Behavioural cognitive treatment (CBT): This type of therapy assists patients in recognising and altering unfavourable thought and behaviour patterns linked to anxiety.
Medication: Benzodiazepines and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which are antidepressants, may be administered to treat anxiety symptoms.
Techniques for unwinding The symptoms of anxiety can be controlled with the aid of practises such progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing, and meditation.
Changes in lifestyle can be useful, including regular exercise, sound sleep practises, abstaining from excess caffeine or alcohol, and stress-reduction tactics.
Many people with GAD can significantly reduce their symptoms with the right care and can live happy, fulfilled lives. The prognosis can change from person to person, though. Better outcomes frequently result from early intervention and a thorough treatment strategy.
GAD can cause a number of problems, such as depression or other mood disorders, if untreated or inadequately controlled.
addiction to drugs or alcohol.
enduring discomfort or other physical health issues.
hampered social interactions and challenges in work or in school.
increased chance of developing new phobias or anxiety conditions.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder in Ayurveda
The Indian traditional medical system known as Ayurveda refers to anxiety illness as “Chittodvega.” The phrase “chittodvega” refers to an imbalance or disturbance of the mind (Chitta) that causes symptoms of anxiety, restlessness, and unease. Ayurveda asserts that chittodvega is brought on by either a buildup of poisons (ama) or an imbalance of the doshas (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha).
The term “nidana” describes the underlying causes or aetiology of a disease or illness. The nidana can be categorised into two groups when used to chittodvega (anxiety):
A. Ahara Nidana: This includes dietary elements that may increase anxiety, such as a high coffee intake, a diet high in spicy or heavy meals, inconsistent eating patterns, or inadequate nourishment.
Vihara Nidana, or lifestyle-related issues, includes things like severe mental or physical exertion, sleep deprivation, an unsuitable daily schedule, and emotional difficulties.
Poorvaroopana refers to the prodromal or premonitory symptoms that appear before a disease manifests. Poorvaroopana in the case of Chittodvega may include signs like agitation, impatience, palpitations, excessive anxiety, trouble concentrating, disturbed sleep, or a sense of overwhelm.
The pathophysiology of a disease or its course is conceptualised in Ayurveda as samprapti. The doshas (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha) are out of balance, according to Ayurveda, which causes the Vata dosha to become worsened. Anxiety and other associated symptoms are brought on by the nervous system’s reaction to the exacerbated Vata.
The various lakshanas that can appear on a bodily, mental, or emotional level are described in great detail in Ayurvedic writings. Modifications to physical processes, sensations, emotions, and mental states are examples of this. Lakshanas frequently linked to doshic imbalances include the following:
Vata Imbalance Dry skin, constipation, anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, joint discomfort, tremors, irregular appetite, and a wide range of symptoms are all signs of lakshana.
Pitta imbalance excessive sweating, impatience, wrath, rashes, acidity, burning sensations, inflammation, acidity, excessive hunger, excessive thirst, and yellow discolouration.
Unbalanced Kapha Weight gain, dullness, sluggish digestion, attachment, excessive sleep, and depression are all symptoms of lakshanas. They also include heaviness, lethargy, congestion, increased mucus production, and weight gain.
Prognosis in Ayurveda refers to an evaluation of a patient’s health and the anticipated progression and outcome of their illness. The process entails taking note of the signs and symptoms, assessing the patient’s constitution (prakriti), gauging the strength of the digestive fire (agni), gauging the balance of the body’s doshas (vata, pitta, and kapha), and taking into account a number of other elements, including the patient’s age, vitality, and general health. The prognosis and relevant treatment options are determined by Ayurvedic practitioners using this information.
Ayurvedic internal treatment, also known as “Aushadha Chikitsa,” addresses the underlying causes of disease by recommending dietary changes, altering one’s lifestyle, and using other internal therapies. According to taste (rasa), potency (virya), post-digestive effect (vipaka), and specific activities on the doshas, tissues, and channels, medications are categorised in Ayurvedic scriptures. To restore the damaged doshas’ equilibrium and advance general health and wellbeing, herbal mixtures are suggested. Internal Ayurvedic treatments are intended to promote the body’s natural healing processes while restoring harmony and balance.
In Ayurveda, external treatments, sometimes referred to as “Bahya Chikitsa” or “Panchakarma,” involve using a variety of therapeutic methods on the body. Among these remedies are:
Abhyanga: A full-body massage that nourishes the tissues, boosts circulation, and encourages relaxation.
Swedana: An herbal steam therapy that helps to clear toxins, open channels, and lessen pain and stiffness.
Shirodhara: Constant application of heated herbal oil to the forehead, which helps to clear the mind, reduce stress, and relax the mind.
Pinda Sweda: The application of heated herbal poultices to particular body parts, which aids in reducing swelling, discomfort, and stiffness.
Nasya: The administration of medicinal oils or herbal powders through the nose route to clear sinus congestion, enhance breathing, and cure specific ailments involving the head.
Basti: To remove toxins from the body and cleanse the colon, use an enema therapy with herbal decoctions or oils.
Commonly used medicine
Ashwagandha, also known as Withania somnifera, is a well-known plant for its soothing and adaptogenic effects. It fosters mental health and lowers anxiety and stress.
Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri): Brahmi is a plant that promotes mental health and eases anxiety and tension. It helps to clear the mind and promotes mental clarity.
Jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi): Jatamansi has a relaxing impact on the nervous system and the mind. Relaxation is encouraged and anxiety is lessened as a result.
The plant shankhapushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis) has been used for centuries to boost memory, encourage mental tranquilly, and lessen tension.
Vacha (Acorus calamus) is a herb that enhances focus, memory, and general mental performance. Additionally, it helps to lower anxiety and restlessness.
Tagara, also known as Valeriana wallichii, is a sedative plant that helps relax the mind, lessen anxiety, and encourage sound sleep.
Himalaya Herbal Healthcare Ltd
Balanced Meals: Make sure that the macronutrients—carbohydrates, proteins, and good fats—are balanced in your meals. Your diet should contain a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and plant-based lipids.
The omega-3 fatty acids Include foods high in omega-3 fatty acids like fatty fish (mackerel, salmon), walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseeds in your diet. It has been demonstrated that omega-3 fatty acids can stabilise mood.
Reduce Stimulants: Reduce or stop using stimulants like caffeine because they might make anxiety symptoms worse. Choose decaffeinated or herbal teas instead.
Water is essential for maintaining hydration throughout the day. Restlessness and irritability are symptoms of dehydration.
Shavasana (Corpse Pose): With your arms by your sides and your palms facing up, lie flat on your back. Eyes closed, concentrate on taking long, steady breaths. Release all of the stress from your body, from head to toe. Hold this position for five to ten minutes while being mindful and letting go of any worrying thoughts.
Child’s Pose, or Balasana Bring your big toes together and sit back on your heels while knelt on the ground. Your torso should be bent forward, with your forehead touching the ground. Arms can be spread out in front of you or relaxed next to your body. Deep breathing can help you relax and give up while you focus on your lower back. Spend one to three minutes in this position, concentrating on deep breathing and relaxing your muscles.
Nadi Shodhana Pranayama (Alternate Nostril Breathing): Straighten your spine and relax your shoulders while you sit in a comfortable position. Take a big breath in through your left nostril while covering your right nose with your right thumb. Use your ring finger to cover your left nostril, open your right nose, and then exhale via your right nostril. Follow this rhythm, switching nostrils with each inhalation and exhalation. This exercise promotes mental equilibrium and reduces anxiety.
The Food and Drug Administration, United States has not evaluated these statements. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please consult your GP before the intake.
Please consult Dr. Rajesh Nair here-
Dr. Rajesh Nair, the co-founder and chief consultant of Ayurvedaforall.Com, is a graduate of prestigious Vaidyaratnam Ayurveda College (affiliated with the University of Calicut), Kerala, India. Additionally, he holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Yoga Therapy from Annamalai University.
Dr. Nair offers consultation at two busy clinics in and around Haripad, Alleppey, Kerala, the southern state famous worldwide for authentic ayurvedic treatment and physicians. While offering consultation on all aspects of ayurvedic treatments Dr. Nair has a special interest in Panchkarma, Yoga, and Massage.
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