Schizophrenia is a chronic mental disorder in which the patient experiences complete breakdown in relationship between his thoughts, emotions and behavior. It is characterized by hallucinations and delusion. Psychic stress and strain are primarily responsible for causing this disease which is again aggravated by irregular food intake and constipation. In this disease the patient is usually unable to sleep, talks and acts incoherently and often becomes violent.
- Genetic and social factors
- Stress during pregnancy
- Imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain
- Prenatal viral infections
- Childhood abuse
- Enlarged brain ventricles
- Thought disorders
- Odd and irritational statements
- Strange suspiciousness
- Extreme reaction to criticism
- Excessive sleep or insomnia
- Difficulty to concentrate
- Abnormal motor behavior
- Incoherent speech
- Disorganized behavior
- Emotional flatness
- Neglecting basic personal hygiene
- Suicidal thoughts and behavior
AYURVEDIC VIEW AND TREATMENT ACCORDING TO CHANDIGARH AYURVED CENTRE
According to Ayurveda, schizophrenia is compared with unmada. Lack of mental discipline, indulgence in negative thoughts and activities, negative emotions like hatred, anger etc cause imbalance in satva, raja and tama which then leads to this condition. It is also believed that the vitiated doshas evade the brains of the persons with less satva or whose mind is under rajsik and tamsik influences. These doshas then block the channels of mind or manovahi srotas and nerve impulses. As a result, the functioning of mind and intelligence get affected. Due to this the patient fails to differentiate between real and virtual, correct and incorrect.
Five types of unmada are described in ancient ayurvedic texts:-
- Vataj Unmada
- Pittaja Unmada
- Kaphaja Unmada
- Sannipattik Unmada
- Agantuja Unmada
Line of treatment in this condition is:-
- Rejuvenating and strengthening the nervous system
- Detoxify and clear the blockage in the channels of the brain
- Strengthen the heart
- Maintaining good lifestyle, food habits and discipline
Panchakarma therapies recommended in schizophrenics are:-
- Shiro Abhyanga
- Anuvasana Vasti
- Niruha Vasti
Single herbs that are useful in this condition are:-
Ayurvedic medicines that can be prescribed in this condition are:-
- Brahmi Vati
- Ashwagandha Churna
- Vacha Churna
- Tagaradi Churna
- Vata Kulantak Rasa
- Manas Mitra Vati
- Brahmi ghrit
- Panchagavya Ghrit
- Brahma Rasayana
DIET AND LIFESTYLE
- Include anti-oxidant rich foods like strawberries, blueberries, lemons, oranges, amla, spinach and carrots in your diet.
- Regular exercise is good for maintaining the physical as well as mental health in people suffering from schizophrenia.
- Avoid fried foods, junk foods, baked and processed food stuffs.
- Have milk, ghee and butter in sufficiently large quantities.
- Maintain regular food timings.
- Take meals with peaceful mind and in calm atmosphere. Avoid watching television during meals.
- Eat fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables.
- Avoid tea, coffee and other caffeinated products.
- Avoid smoking and alcohol.
- Get up early and have sufficient sleep. Do not keep awake late at night.
- Yoga, meditation and pranayam should be practiced.
- Prayers, reading spiritual texts, reading good literature, listening to thought provoking lectures, hearing mantras and music help to improve the mental strength.
- Social support helps in combating stress and keeping mental strength in challenging situations.
- Take one glass of hot water and add one teaspoon cardamom powder to it. Mix well and leave it for ten minutes. Sieve the mixture and drink it lukewarm.
- Add two teaspoons of licorice powder in 200 ml of water. Boil the water till it reduces to half. Strain the mixture and consume the water when lukewarm empty stomach in the early morning.
- Add one teaspoon of dried chamomile flowers to one cup of hot water. Cover and allow it to steep for five minutes. Strain the solution and drink it daily. Chamomile has soothing and calming properties. It promotes restful sleep and hence is useful for the people suffering from schizophrenia.
- Steep a few basil leaves in hot water for about five minutes. Strain and sweeten the same with honey. Drink this basil tea twice a day. Basil leaves have excellent antioxidant properties and promote functioning of the brain.