Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia

People are sometimes susceptible to mental disorders when faced with aggravating factors such as grief, fear, excessive worry etc. When mental unrest becomes severe, a person ceases to be able to function normally in everyday life. This leads to nervous exhaustion and breakdown or serious disorders such as insanity, delusion, psychosis, schizophrenia and bi-polar disease.

The name schizophrenia means ‘split mind’. The disease is marked by considerable disturbances in thoughts (as if person has two minds) which affect perceptual, social and emotional processes. The patient is almost detached from the real world and lives in his own imaginary world. The disease usually arises in the first half of life and its beginning may be sudden or gradual. Schizophrenia is usually compared with the disease Atatwabhinivesh described n some Ayurvedic texts.

Causes

No specific cause of schizophrenia has been detected so far though genetic and social factors seem to play causative role in many cases. Imbalance in neurotransmiters in brain is suspected to be behind the disease. Many schizophrenics have enlarged brain ventricles which suggests degeneration as a possible cause.

In Ayurveda, imbalance in psychich energies (Sattva, Raja, Tama) supported by imbalance of physical energies (vata, pitta, kapha) are believed to cause various mental disorders. This applies to schizophrenia as well. Lack of mental discipline, indulgence in negative thoughts and activities and negative emotions like hatred, anger etc are known to cause imbalance in psychich enegies (namely sattva, raja and tama) which in turn leads to diseases like schizophrenia.

Symptoms

  • Depression
  • Deterioration of personal hygiene
  • Odd or irrational statements
  • Unnecessary hostility
  • Strange suspiciousness
  • Extreme reaction to criticism
  • Excessive sleep or insomnia
  • Forgetfulness and difficulty to concentrate

Consultation on Call

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Ayurvedic View

Charak has said that the vitiated doshas evade the brains of the persons whose mind is under rajasik and tamasik influences and block channels of mind and nerve impulses. Because of this, the functioning of mind and intelligence gets affected. The person fails to differentiate between, what is real and what is virtual and thus becomes victim of atatwabhinivesh. To combat mental disorders like atatwabhinivesh, specific herbal formulae are prescribed which detoxify and clear any blockages that may be present in the subtle channels of the brain as well as rejuvenating and strengthening the mind.

Diet & Lifestyle Advice

  • Quite a few schizophrenic patients give history of bad life style, improper food habits, lack of discipline in personal life and unsocial attitude. So maintaining good life style, food habits and discipline acquire lot of significance when it comes to psychiatric disordes like schizophrenia.
  • Getting up early enough in morning, avoiding to keep awake at night, doing physical exercises, playing games etc do good to mind.
  • Eating fresh food, vegetables, seasonal fruits and avoiding non-veg, fast food and liquor, maintaining regular food timings, taking meals with peacefull mind and avoiding hot discussions, watching TV during meals are advantageous for mental health.
  • Making prayers, reading spiritual texts, reading good literature, listening to thought provoking lectures, hearing mantras and music also help to improve mental strength.
  • Yoga, Pranayam & Meditation are well known for helping in mental problems.
  • Social support helps in combatting stress and keeping mental strenght in challenging situations.