What is Hysteria and its Causes, Treatment by Ayurveda
Maintenance of mental health is the toughest thing to do these days. No matter how financially, emotionally stable you are, just one blow of an unlikely situation and one can start acting as weird as you have never imagined . People these days are too masked, they hide the pain instead of sharing leading them towards many types of psychological disturbances. Mental health is really important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence even through adulthood. This article is also about a very common yet rarely diagnosed mental condition known as hysteria.
Now let’s get to know all about hysteria!!!
History of Hysteria
The word hysteria is derived from greek language hystera which means uterus. The oldest record of hysteria belongs to 1900 B.C at that time the Egyptians observed some behavioral abnormalities in adult women. They attributed these abnormalities as the result of a wandering uterus. The ancient Greeks accepted the explanation of ancient Egyptians for hysteria and included their definition of hysteria that it is the inability to bear children or failure to marry. Ancient Romans stated it as an abnormality in the womb and discarded the theory of wandering uterus. Romans credited hysteria as a condition or disease of the womb or disruption in reproduction that is miscarriage, menopause etc. These all are the western beliefs about hysteria.
But if we discuss hysteria in terms of Ayurveda then, our ancient texts explain that it is a kind of manovikara.
Hysteria in Ayurveda
As mentioned earlier the hysteria is kept under manovikara (which are collectively called as mental disorders). Ayurveda aims at preservation and promotion of health, and prevention and cure of diseases through the concepts of positive physical and mental health. Ayurveda has also recognized the individuality of manas (psyche) and sarera (body). It also explains their inseparable and interdependent relationship in a living body.
The Following Descriptions Available in the Ayurvedic Classics are Bear Proof to this Statement:
- While defining Ayu it is said that ‘life is the combined state of body, senses, mind and soul. Stating further it is mentioned that expectant parents are advised to contemplate on the physique, complexion and mental traits they wish to have in their child, in support of their desire
- Ayurveda texts indicate the influence of manas even at the embryonic stage. It is also said that the foetus grows steadily with the help of the reproductive element, the five proto elements namely prithvi, ap, teja, vayu and akash, the subtle mind and sap of food taken by mother.
- A statement that states manifestation of manas occurs during the fifth month of pregnancy in the foetal body. This explains the coexistence nature of mind and body.
The above statements suggest that there is a strong relation between mana and body. In the same way there is a strong relation between hysteria and mana.
As now we have understood the correlation between mind and body from the angle of Ayurveda. Now let us understand the concept of mind according to classical texts of Ayurveda.
Manah Swaroopa (Concept of Mind)
In the support of mana acharya charak has mentioned that the entity which is responsible for thinking is known as manas. Manas is said to be inherited from previous birth and evolved from the combination of vaikarika and tejasa ahankara. The manah is achetena or inactive by itself but gets cetana or activeness from atma (soul). It is called dravya or substance. Although beyond sensory perceptions, it is called so since it has got both action and quality, coexistence within itself. Mana is connected to both janamindriya or the sensory centres and karma indriya or motor centres. That is the reason it is called as ubhayatmaka, which is a combined psychomotor entity.
Manovigyan (Understanding Mind)
Manas is typically understood by its actions. These Actions are indriya grahan (sensory and motor perceptions and control), svasyanigraha (self control), uha (speculation) and vicara (thinking). The objects belonging to manas are those which are chintya (thought about), vicarya (discriminated from), uhya (speculated upon), dhyeya (aimed at) and sankalpa (decided upon).
Qualities of Mana or Manoguna
Manas has two basic qualities. These are anova (atomic nature) and ekatva (unitary nature). But it is really tough to understand these qualities directly and clearly. That’s why manas is said to be constituted of three or more operational qualities. These qualities are satva, rajas and tamas.
These three qualities are understood by the role they play in the emergence of three different mental responses or patterns of mental responses. Like satva or kalyan bhaga is understood by self control, knowledge, discriminative ability, power of exposition, rajas or rosabhaga is understood by violence, despotic envy, authoritativeness, self adoration and the last one is tamas. Tamas is the mohabhaga and is understood by dullness, non action, sleep etc.
As we are discussing hysteria in Ayurveda and mind according to Ayurvedic concepts then it is very important to also discuss about the location of mana along with the common aetiology of all mental disorders and pathogenesis of mental disorders.
Manasthan or Location of Mind
Manas is said to be active throughout the body. Its seat of control is said to be siras that is head and talu that is hard palate. As all the senses are controlled by manas, it is important to consider siras in understanding the mana.
Secondly, the heart is also said to be the seat of chetana or atma. As manas is always associated with atma and different emotions generally influence blood circulation, so consideration of hridya will also be important while studying manas.
This is all about the location or seat of manas. Now we will be discussing the aetiological factors of mental disorders.
Manoroga Nidana (Aetiology of Mental Disorders)
The aetiological factors include some really deep emotional disturbances, volitional, unwholesome food and transgression. These three things can really do a lot of damage to one’s mana thus giving rise to manas roga.
Mano Roga Samprapti or Pathogenesis of Mental Disorders
Mostly all types of mental disorders are the result of alpha satwa (weak mind), manadosha that are rajas and tamas along with tridosha like vata, pitta and kapha. These all are believed to have a negative impact on manovaha srotas and finally the emergence of mano roga happens.
Manas Roga and Hysteria
Hysteria is typically a disease which is the result of mana srotas vikriti. The raja and tama guna also play a very important role in the vikriti of this srotas. When a person is overwhelmed or is filled with a lot of rage or anger or fear etc. emotions consistently only then the vikriti of manovaha srotas happens. The aetiological factors along with pathogenesis remain same for hysteria as for other mano roga. Alpa satva is one more causative factor contributing to the occurrence of this situation.
In Ayurveda, mental disorders are understood from the above mentioned information and now we will go through modern concepts of hysteria.
Modern Concept of Hysteria
Hysteria was once a very common diagnosis especially in women. The condition was described by exhibiting a wide array of symptoms which includes anxiety, shortness of breath, sextual desire, nervousness, fainting, lack of sleep, appetite for food and sex, a very forward sextual behaviour and a tendency to cause troubles for others. But now it is no longer considered a medical disorder but a psychiatric condition.
Hysteria nowadays is not just a women thing. Men are also being diagnosed with hysteria these days. Male hysteria is typically called masculine hysteria masculina. Though male hysteria had been a topic of debate for many decades. The idea suggesting the presence of uterus for the occurrence was discarded as soon as the concept of mind and brain came into existence.
The male hysteria notion was connected to posttraumatic disorder but later was associated with war neurosis or combat stress reaction.
Causes of Hysteria in Modern
The causes of hysteria ranges widely starting from some traumatic mental stress and extending to the point where finally there is a disturbance in the brain functioning.
As mentioned earlier in this article females were strictly believed to suffer from this condition due to presence of womb or uterus but later on the theory was discarded. Though till now females are the most affected individuals with hysteria. Reason is the ignorance and stress they face on regular bases. Women are having a tendency to think hard and especially in the situations when they feel left out or lonely.
But here also, the women and even with strong will power and situation facing habit never develop conditions like these but who are a bit soft at heart (can be understood as) slowly develops typical changes and hence finally occurrence of hysteria. The reason can be following for its occurrence:
Lack of Sex or Reaching Orgasms
It is widely accepted that females are hard to satisfy and males manage to satisfy themselves much more easily but if the scenario goes on then women can develop hysteria and yes non satisfaction can be the cause of hysteria.The implies to men if they face the same situation.
Lack of Attention
The lack of attention in both the genders can cause blunders. In the present scenario there is ignorance at some point and if the void isn’t filled then it gives rise to tendencies for gaining attention and thus leading to occurrence of hysteria.
Anxiety disorder, conversion disorder along with other disorders with specified somatic symptoms and related disorders.
Any kind of post traumatic stress can lead an individual towards hysteria. Like post traumatic stress, due to death of someone dear etc. can have a very great impact on one’s mind and psychological health.
These reasons are just very normal and simple things which are being ignored by the individuals. In some cases, ignorance from the person that matters or absence of an individual from life does have a very great impact on the psychological condition of a person.
Treatment of Hysteria
If we talk about treatment of hysteria in both Ayurvedic and modern terms then generally modern science does not have a permanent treatment. But in Ayurveda as hysteria is termed as a condition which arises due to manovaha srotas dushti then the shuddi or detoxification of this srotas is very important. For this process of detoxification there are certain ways explained in Ayurveda. There are three types of chikitsa which are being mentioned in Ayurveda for mental disorders especially. These are:
- Daivavyapasraya chikitsa (Divine and spiritual therapy)
- Yuktivyapasraya chikitsa (Logical therapy)
- Satwavajaya chikitsa (Psycho therapy)
Now understanding above mentioned three types treatments
Daivavyapasraya Chikitsa (Divine and Spiritual Therapy)
This can be understood as the part of treatment which includes or refers to the measure like mantra that is incantation, aushadhi (wearing sacred herbs) along with mani (wearing precious gems), homa (sacrifice), uphara (offerings), upvasa (fast) and many more. These methods are effective in almost all kinds of manovikara including hysteria.
Yuktivyapasraya Chikitsa (Logical Therapy)
This refers to the use of ahara, which is diet and aushadhi, which is herbal medicine. Under ahara, interestingly there are different food articles like kshira (milk), ghrita (cow’s ghee), draksha (grapes), brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), panasa (jackfruit), vastuka (goose foot), kakmachi (Solanum nigrum), mahakushmand (ash gourd) and others are recommended and are very beneficial in various mental disorders and same dietary changes can be done in patients of hysteria.
These ahara are mentioned in classics particularly in relation with mental disorders.
Under aushadhi or medicine it is mentioned that all types of mental disorders where there is derangement of vata, pitta and kapha sharir shodhana or shuddhi or detoxification is rea;lly important. This involves elimination of these deranged doshas by adopting various methods of purification.
There is a cell detoxification technique Explained in Ayurveda which is called panchkarma. The panchakarma procedure which can be done for the detoxification of manovaha srotas are:
- Virechana (purgation)
- Basti (Enema)
- Nasya (nasal inhalation)
- Abhyanga (annealing)
- Mastishka (application of medicated wet cakes on the head)
- Sirolepa (application of medicated wet cakes on the vertex)
These all procedures come under yuktivyapasraya chikitsa and have a very good effect in shuddhi of srotas.
Along with these shuddhi procedures or upakarma there are certain types of specific medicine, rasayana (tonics) that are being used in treating various types of mental disorders. The medicines or formulations which can be prescribed in hysteria involves:
- Brahmi ghrita
- Chaturmukha rasa
- Panchagavya ghrita
- Smritisagar rasa
- Saraswat churna
- Ksirabala taila
- Dhanvantara taila
- Asana Bilwadi taila
These formulations are described very well in classics along with their method of preparation and ingredients. All of them have a potency to show very significant and effective results in managing hysteria and many other types of conditions appearing due to mano vaha srotas dushti.
Then our acharyas were also mentioned so rasayan or tonics can also be used which will help in coping with the hysteria. These are as following
- Kushmanda Rasayana
- Brahmi Rasayana
- Ashwagandha Avaleha
- Satavari leha
Satwavajaya Chikitsa (Psycho Therapy)
The aim of this therapy is to restrain the mind from desire for unwholesome objects. This permits considering occupational, behavioural and like therapies as well, since the ultimate aim of them also would be to restrain mind from unwholesome objects.
That is how hysteria can be well managed in Ayurveda and you don’t need any psychotic drugs which makes you feel dizzy or sedated.
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Hysteria is a condition which is typically ignored these days and the population with hysteria really goes undiagnosed. The truth is people are too afraid to share and communicate and such conditions are generally the result of this lack of communication. The patients with hysteria are women generally because they have a tendency to think hard and generally spend their entire lives waiting for attention. In the case of males, the same situation is observed but generally due to responsibilities or due to lack of attention too. In case of any query kindly visit WWW.PlanetAyurveda.com