Alternative Treatment of Agoraphobia (Anxiety Disorder)
Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder in which the person fears being in a situation where escape is quite difficult. People generally think that agoraphobia is a condition in which a patient is scared of open spaces but it is more complex than that. People suffering from this condition are scared of even very small things like visiting shopping centres, travelling in public transport or even leaving their house. Such people when find themselves in a stressful situation then they will experience panic attacks which include symptoms like rapid heart rate, flushed face, rapid breathing and many more. In this article we will be discussing the Agoraphobia causes, symptoms, its ayurvedic relation and management.
Agoraphobia is believed to be a condition that arises due to genetic and environmental factors. Such a condition usually runs in the family, or certain emotional factors like death of someone near and dear can be the trigger factors. In the DSM-5 agoraphobia is kept under the category of phobia along with specific and social phobias. Agoraphobia can be related to other conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorder, major depressive disorder, and many more. If we talk about its relation in Ayurveda then it can easily be related to unmanda. It covers a wide range of insanity and manic disorders under it. Agoraphobia Is specifically related to bhayaja unmada. It is believed that sadhaka pitta is deemed to be predominantly responsible for mental functioning and emotions. It is seated in hridya and is responsible for mental functioning and emotions like fear (bhaya), valor (shaurya), anger (krodha), happiness (harsha), courage and buddhi (intelligence).
How does phobia manifest?
Rajas (action) and tamas (inertia) are two out of three guna of mana. These two guna causes the mind to deflect from its normal functioning and thus each and every emotion hits you hard. These two mana guna imbalances vata, pitta and kapha which result in mental disorders.
Causes of bhayaja unmanda
In ayurveda it is believed that the cause of unmada is antagonistic, defective or impure blood. It also includes causes like insult to gods, teachers and brahmins. Mental shock due to fear or any emotional trigger is also believed to be the reason for the occurrence of bhayaja unmada. (ch. Chi. 9/4)
The symptoms in this case are divided into two types, physical and cognitive symptoms.
Physical symptoms include rapid heart beating, rapid breathing, feeling a bit sick, chest pain, dysphagia that is difficulty in swallowing, diarrhea in some cases is also observed, trembling of hands and legs, feeling of being hot and sweat on forehead and face, dizziness, feeling faint and tinnitus. These are some of the signs of agoraphobia.
On the other hand cognitive symptoms include panic attack due to the fear of feeling stupid and embarresed in front of others, life threatening panic attacks, unable to escape froma space if you are feeling panic, loosing sanity and loosing control in public. Behavioural changes include avoiding going out, travelling in public transports, generally being housebound, avoiding to go far from home, irritation, usually staying alone and needing less people around etc.
In Ayurveda the diagnosis of unmada or any other psychological condition is explained under manas roga vigyan. They acharyas have told specific lakshana when a person is suffering from manas roga. These lakshana involve fear(bhaya)- a person always seems like they are afraid of something, anxiety, sadness (mana shobha), self speaking, origin of many mana bhava at once like anger, fear, jealous, regret, lust, greed, pride etc. The correct diagnosis in this situation can only be made by observing and questioning the patient. The question must not be straight, try to choose situation based questions.
Treatment of Agoraphobia
Ayurveda explains mental health as the state of well balanced and calm state of mind, being cheerful, pleasant sleep, steady mental faculties, pleasant and active state of sensory attributes, control over six dharnia vega that are kama, krodha, bhaya, lershya, shoka, lobha and moha. But if any of these is disturbed then it simply means mental health is disturbed. So for the treatment of mana vikara ayurveda explains three types of treatment that works on mana and body both.
These three types are
- Dev vyapashraya chikitsa
- Yukti vyapashraya chikitsa
- Satvavijya chikita
1. Dev vyapashraya chikitsa
Dev vyapashraya chikitsa works on controlling the mana and relaxes the mind.
2. Yukti vyapashraya chikitsa
It includes treatment, that is done by 3 ways:
- Antar bhimarjan chikitsa (treatment using internal medication)
- Bahir parimarjan chikitsa (treatment using external mind relaxing ways like shiro dhara etc.)
- Kshstra pranidhana
3. Satvavajya chikitsa
This chikitsa works by developing a pravar type of stva in patients that prevents him/her from developing any mana vikar again.
For the treatment of agoraphobia Planet Ayurveda also offers some of it’s medication that can be used as antar bhimarjan chikitsa in this case. These medications are totally herbal and do not cause any side effects. The products offered by Planet Ayurveda are as follows:
- Arjun tea
- Brahmi capsules
- Ashwagandha capsules
- Stress support capsules
1. Arjun Tea
Arjun (Termenelia chebula) is a herb that helps in maintaining and regulating physiological functioning of the heart and strengthens it anatomically. It also helps in reducing symptoms of anxiety and palpitations in manas vikara. It acts as an antioxidant and reduces the accumulation of toxins in the body that are again responsible for manas roga.
Dose: Once a day preferably in morning
2. Brahmi Capsules
Bacopa monnieri (brahmi) also helps in reducing stress and anxiety. It helps the brain to fight with the fears and lowers the blood pressure that results in palpitations. It also has antioxidant properties.
Dose: One capsule twice a day after meals.
3. Ashwagandha Capsules
The botanical name for ashwagandha is Withania somnifera. This herb has many properties and can be used for the management of many conditions. Ashwagandha capsules help in fighting stress, depressive thoughts, fills you with energy and boosts mental function.
Dose: one capsule twice a day after meals.
4. Stress support capsules
It is a powerful combination that improves memory and mental concentration. It also behaves as a stress buster and reduces drowsiness. It has three herbs: Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), tagar (Valeriana jatamansi) and brahmi (Bacopa monnieri). These herbs work in a very wonderful way and give very nice results.
Dose: one capsule twice a day after meals.
“Chittam cheetah hrdayam svantam hrnmanasam manah iti”
This stanza explains that mana is the entity through which the knowledge is obtained. This is closely related to atma and the seat of mana is hridya (heart).
In above article it is mentioned that how many vikar affects any individual and how such vikar can be managed. The products offered by Planet Ayurveda for conditions like Agoraphobia are totally herbal and are manufactured using standardized extract of different herbs. In case of any query kindly visit planetayurveda.com