Somatoform disorders are commonly known as Somatic Symptom Disorder. It is considered in psychiatric disorders and involves physical and mental illness. Somatoform disorders include different types of disorders such as somatization disorder, undifferentiated somatoform disorder, conversion disorder, pain disorder, hypochondriasis, and body dysmorphic disorder. The symptoms are unexplained and found in early patients. If the patient has a somatic disorder and experiences physical and mental distress the treatment can cure the symptoms and improve the quality of life of the patient.
In Ayurvedic terms, the Vata Kapha dosha and tamas guna are responsible for the somatoform disorder. The symptoms involve one or more organs or body systems such as Pain, Neurogenic problems, and Gastrointestinal complaints. Somatoform disorders occur in 0.2 – 2 % of women and less than 0.2 % of men.
The Cause of somatoform disorder is unknown but some risk factors are there which cause somatoform disorder. The risk factors are follows as
- Genetic and biological factor
- Emotional stress
- Childhood trauma
- Childhood illness
- Mental health condition
Somatoform disorder with the following symptoms
- Pain in any part of the body or the whole body
- Shortness of breath
- Abdominal pain
- Altered bowel habits
- Digestive problems
- Abnormal movements such as tremors and seizures
- Hearing loss
- Loss of sensation in the body
- Somatic symptom disorder (SSD):- also known as somatization disorder. The disorder occurs between 18-30 years of life. More women than men are affected. The cause is not known but affects the person’s day to day life activities. The diagnosis is difficult as there is no physical cause for the symptoms. Some Somatic symptoms are diagnosed when the person has excessive thoughts, behaviour, and feelings relating to physical symptoms without a medical condition such as pain, weakness, and shortness of breath.
- Conversion disorder:- Also known as functional neurological symptom disorder. it occurs between the ages of 18 to 30 years. It is a condition where a person has symptoms that suggest serious neurological diseases such as brain or nerve diseases. For example total loss of vision (severe sight impairment), deafness, weakness, numbness, or paralysis of arms and legs. Symptoms appear for a few weeks but in some cases, it appears for a longer time.
- Pain disorder:- It is a condition where a patient has persistent pain but not attributed to a physical disorder. Due to pain patients experience stress and discomfort. It is due to psychological factors. The severity and duration of psychological factors will affect the severity and duration of pain.
- Hypochondriasis:- Also known as anxiety illness disorder. People think a normal symptom is a sign of a serious disease. For example -they believe that a common headache is a sign of a brain tumor, and a normal skin rash is a sign of skin cancer. Normal body sensations such as tummy rumbling may be thought of as a symptom of serious illness. The disorder is similar to somatization disorder but in this condition, people may accept that the symptoms are minor but fear they are caused by serious disease.
- Body dysmorphic disorder:- It is a condition where a person spends a lot of time worried and concerned about their appearance. A person spends most of the time thinking of minor or imagined defects in the body. The patient frequently examines their appearance in a mirror, consistently compares their appearance with others, and avoids social photos and communication.
- History of many physical complaints – Any drug or alcohol abuse, stress.
- Physical examination – Pain, sleepiness, and fatigue that cause distress and have a negative impact on daily functioning.
- Psychological examination – To talk about symptoms, fears, concerns, stressful situations, relationship problems, and family history.
- Psychotherapy:- It includes cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or Trauma therapy
- Medication:- Antidepressant medication
- Relaxation therapy- It includes deep breathing techniques, meditation, massage, and music therapy.
AYURVEDA ASPECT FOR SOMATOFORM DISORDERS
In Ayurvedic aspects, Somatoform disorders come under Manovikaras. Due to an increase in vata kapha dosha (sharirik dosha) and rajas guna (mansik dosha) mental illness will occur.As Acharya Charak explained in Dashavidha pariksha and tells about the bala (strength ) of a person in which Avara sattva people are commonly affected with somatoform disorder. Some symptoms are seen such as Anidra ( insomnia) due to vata dosha, Murcha due to Pitta dosha, tandra, and nidra (sleep) due to Kapha dosha.
Causes of somatoform disorder according to Ayurveda
- Mithya aahar ( improper diet )
- Mithya vihara ( improper activities)
- Ratri Jagran ( inability to sleep at night )
- Manashika hetu ( psychological stress )
In Ayurveda, Manovikaras are treated as follows
- Daivavyapasraya chikitsa ( A Spritiual therapy ):- It includes Mantra, Mani , Aushadhi, Bali, Homa, Upahara, Upavasa, Niyama
- Yuktivyapasraya chikitsa ( A Logical therapy):- Administration of medicine such as nasya, Shirolepa, and as well as diet.
- Satwavajaya chikitsa ( A Psychotherapy ):- It is an Adravyabhoota chikitsa.
Other treatment strategies
- Medhya Dravayas:- A group of brain tonics that help improve memory and keep the mind in a state of balance. For example- Mandukparni, Yasthimadhu, Guduchi, Shankhapusphi.
- Chittodvega chikitsa:- Refers to a set of anxiety disorder
- Unmada(Insanity) /Apasmara(Epilepsy) chikitsa
- Atatvabhinivesha chikitsa:- It means lack of judgment and loss of discrimination between which is good or which is bad.
HERBAL REMEDIES FOR SOMATOFORM DISORDER BY PLANET AYURVEDA
Planet Ayurveda is an ISO-certified company. It deals with the manufacturing of different ayurvedic products which are available in the form of tablets, syrup, capsules, and decoctions. Planet Ayurveda products are totally herbal and free from any type of adulterant. The preparations prepared by Planet Ayurveda are potent and used in various conditions. The formulations offered by Planet Ayurveda for somatoform disorder are follows as
- Boswellia curcumin capsules
- Neurogenie capsules
- Phyllanthus niruri capsules
- Kalyanaka ghrit
1. Boswellia curcumin capsules
Boswellia curcumin is a useful ayurvedic capsule that contains curcumin (Curcuma longa) and shallaki ( Boswellia serrata). Curcumin boosts the brain and nervous system as curcumin regenerates and protects the cells of the nervous system, uplifting mood and improving brain health. Both herbs have analgesic properties. As patients suffer from anxiety and stress that causes recurrent headaches so for that Boswellia curcumin helps the patient.
Dosage:- 1 capsule twice daily, after meals with plain water
2. Neurogenie capsules
Neurogenie capsules are pure extraction of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) and Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri). Ashwagandha and Brahmi provide relief from stress, and anxiety and are useful in enhancing memory and instantly giving memory alertness. Ashwagandha is useful in managing anxiety attacks, stress, and post-traumatic disorder. They calm the nervous system and increase the physical and mental performance of the patient.
Dosage:- 2 capsules twice daily, after meals with plain water
3. Phyllanthus niruri capsules
It is an Ayurvedic formulation that contains a pure form of Bhumiamla (Phyllanthus niruri). To prevent gastrointestinal symptoms and hepatic damage these capsules are given in somatoform disorder. As capsules are anti-fungal or anti-viral they prevent the body from infections.
Dosage:– 1 capsule twice daily, after meals with plain water
4. Kalyanaka ghrit
Kalyanka ghrit contains Badi elaichi ( Ammonium subulatum), Hariaki (Terminalia chebula), Vishala (Rakta indravaruni), Devadaru (Cedrus deodara), Bhibhitaki (Terminalia bellirica), Elavaluka (Prunus avium), Amalaki (Emblica officinalis) and Ghrita ( cow ghee) and many other herbs. It balances vata and pitta dosha. It boosts memory and mental health and relieves stress so it is useful in somatoform disorder. It is also useful in convulsions, tremors, psychosis, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Dosage:– 1 tsp twice with milk (warm)
Saraswatarisht is a great medicine that contains Vidarikand (Pueraria tuberosa), Harad (Terminalia chebula), Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus), Vidarikand (Pueraria tuberosa), and many other herbs. It is helpful in acute anxiety, partial loss of memory, fatigue, and depression. As the vitiated vata dosha is responsible for the behavior of the patient it pacifies the vata dosha and helps in relieving symptoms.
Dosage:– 2 tsp twice daily
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Symptoms of the somatoform disorder cannot be ignored because it affects the physical and mental health of the patient and decreases the quality of life of the patient. The exact cause is unknown but some risk factors are there that cause somatoform disorder. In Ayurveda, there is no direct correlation of the somatoform disorder, but as Acharya Charak mentioned Avara satva patients are commonly affected by this disorder. In the ayurveda aspect Satwavajaya chikitsa, Daivavyapasraya chikitsa, and Medhya Dravayas can be effective and in modern cognitive behavioral therapy, psychotherapy can be given.