Which Ayurvedic medicine is best for depression

Depression from an Ayurvedic point of view

It all started with great stress from which Mr. W., who works in a responsible position, suffered. Deadline pressure, too few employees, demanding boss, family life suffered. Mr W. reacted with insomnia, later dizziness and the growing feeling that everything was becoming too much. The doctor's diagnosis: depression. Mr W. comes to Ayurvedic psychological therapy because the strong psychotropic drugs are of no use, as he says. At that time he has been taking the medication for six months and now has the desire to be able to live without it. His wife and the doctor persuaded him to seek psychological treatment.

How do you recognize depression?

Depression is a serious mental disorder that must be checked and treated by a specialist (psychiatrist). Nevertheless and in addition, Ayurvedic psychology can provide valuable support.

It is not uncommon for patients to be treated by the doctor with only antidepressants, which lighten the mood and thereby give the impression that the depression has been overcome. First of all, antidepressants often cause side effects, and secondly, there is a risk that after stopping the medication, the depression will creep in again - possibly in a different form.

The purpose of the accompanying psychological intervention, especially Ayurvedic psychology, is to make progress with the patient so that - in consultation with the attending physician - he can sneak off the medication and regain a good quality of life without it.
In cases of minor depression, moods or when coping with sad situations, Ayurvedic psychology can provide promising support to help you find your way out of these states more quickly and easily. Here, too, the principle applies: Prevention is the best therapy!

What is Depression?

Depression, called "dukha" (sadness) in Ayurveda, is a state of persistent mental depression.

Psychopathologically, depression is counted among the mood disorders. We distinguish the depressive episode from the recurring depressive disorder and the chronic illness. The causes of depression can be exogenous (reactive = caused by a stressful event), neurotic (developmental or behavioral; for example, exhaustion depression) or endogenous (caused from within). In addition, there is a special form of endogenous depression, the "organic depression", which is triggered by a physical malfunction (such as thyroid dysfunction) and the bipolar affective disorder (formerly "manic-depressive illness"), in which dejection is exaggerated and euphoric Alternate mood.

Depression is the most common mental illness in Central Europe. Their number is steadily increasing. In Germany it is estimated that around four million people are affected by depression and that more than ten million have been treated for depression once up to the age of 65. The number of unreported cases is probably higher because many depression are not recognized as such.

From an Ayurvedic-psychological point of view, depression often arises due to today's human being's loss of contact with himself. Human beings are constantly drawn to external stimuli and strive for success, worldly pleasures and thus "forgets" what the true satisfaction of human life is. Loss of value contributes its part to depression, since without real values ​​the meaning of existence is called into question.
The basic mood in depression is a lack of energy and dejection that no longer allows for joy. Understandably, the question arises very quickly whether life still makes sense when everything is so difficult for you.

How can depression develop from an Ayurvedic point of view?

According to Ayurveda, depression can arise from Vata disorders. Nevertheless, the depression can have a Vata, Pitta or Kapha character and, depending on this, each depression is treated slightly differently.
From an Ayurvedic-psychological point of view, depression can arise from a Dosha disorder, it can be karmic, triggered by certain events, result from neurotic entanglements or arise from exhaustion.

How does Ayurvedic psychology deal with depression?

Prevention is an important aspect. Because many people tend to be depressed or upset, not infrequently seasonally. Knowing about one's own depressive tendencies could help someone to behave prophylactically.

The prevention seen from Ayurveda:

  • Regular physical activity and sport, if possible in the fresh air, if possible in daylight (3x per week at least 40 minutes). Good is what is fun. Yoga exercises are wonderful.
  • Regular, sufficient, satiated diet
  • Sleep regularly, but not too long and not during the day (guideline: 6 - a maximum of 8 hours)
  • Solving conflicts and problems with a forward-looking approach and not just analyzing them (with help if necessary)

Ayurvedic psychological support

Depression primarily takes place in the psychological area of ​​a person, so from an Ayurvedic point of view, professional Ayurvedic psychological counseling must be used so that a lasting improvement in the depressive state can be achieved. Conversations are conducted with a basic therapeutic attitude of authenticity, empathy and appreciation.

  • Acceptance of the tamasic (energy paralyzing) state with the aim of regaining "power" (rajas).
  • Thoughts of suicide are to be taken seriously.

The following methods are used in psychological Ayurveda therapy:

1. The psychological conversation

Psychological conversation is primarily about learning how exactly the person is feeling. How does the body react? What symptoms and feelings? How often? How strong? On what occasions? What bothers you the most?
The professional counseling person must not talk the client out of feelings or appease them. If something is bad for the person in question, that's bad! An Ayurvedic-psychological motto is: "Give the client what he needs!"

  • Vata needs structure, order, regularity, decision support and a lot of positive emotional support.
  • In addition to understanding the aggressive impulses, Pitta must experience calm in the course of the conversation. The conversation should primarily be about the client himself and not about other people or external things.
  • Kapha should be challenged and precisely describe the sensations. Like Vata, Kapha also needs decision support, but with some additional pressure to make a decision and to have to “move”.

The psychological conversation has the following goals:

  • Promote the person's self-exploratory ability
  • To make the person feel like they are allowed to be who they are
  • To get closer to the "Buddhi" (discovering the "secret" wisdom that the client has and has not heard enough so far)
  • To strengthen the client in his positive aspects and successes (show joy over the smallest successes)

2. Spiritual methods

In contrast to Western psychology, the accompanying, important measures to the pure counseling discussion are, over time, the spiritual methods such as meditation, mantra work and body dialogue. In cases of agitated depression, restlessness and aggression, the use of singing bowls can also bring a lot of calming and harmonization.

Back to the case study:

The therapy with Mr. W. lasted around 30 hours over a period of one year and included many of the measures mentioned above. The greatest obstacle that stood in the way of a faster recovery was the initial tamasic state, which could only be overcome with great effort and with a lot of patience. In the second half of the year - in consultation with the attending physician - the medication could gradually be tapered off.
Today, Mr. W. lives without medication, is doing 50 percent of his work again and comes once a month for supportive coaching. The goal is for Mr. W. to be able to work full-time again in six months.


Volume 37 - Panchakarma

Panchakarma, the royal cure of Ayurveda! If it also promises beneficial effects, it is a challenge for the personality. Whether in your home country or at the origin of the Indian way of life, our latest edition will tell you!