Herbal Remedies for Somatoform Disorder – Mental illness
A clinically significant disturbance in an individual’s cognition, behavior or emotional regulation identifies a mental disorder. It is commonly associated with impairment or distress in critical areas of functioning. Mental disorders are also known as mental health conditions. The latter is a broader term that encompasses mental disorders, psychosocial disabilities, and various other mental states associated with functional impairment, significant distress or risk of self-harm. One such disorder is Somatoform Disorder about which we are going to discuss in this below article. So let’s review!!!
People suffering from somatic symptom disorder are preoccupied with physical sensations and symptoms such as shortness of breath, pain, weakness, etc. Previously, this condition was known as Somatization disorder or Somatoform Disorder. It is distinguished by the belief that you have a medical condition despite the fact that you have not been diagnosed with anything and your doctor’s assurances that you have no health issue causing your symptoms. When your doctor and those around you don’t believe your symptoms are real, it can cause a lot of emotional stress.
SOME FACTS ABOUT SOMATOFORM DISORDER
Following are some of the facts that one must know about Somatoform Disorder
- Mostly this condition is genetic which means passes from parent to child
- Lifetime prevalence in women is 0.2 – 2% and in Men it is about 2%
- There are 10-20% chances of developing this condition in first degree females
- Monozygotic twins are 29% prone to this condition and Dizygotic Twins is about 10%
RISK FACTORS OF SOMATOFORM DISORDER
Researchers have identified various potential risk factors that may increase your chances of developing Somatoform Disorder over time. These are some examples:
- Suffering from Depression or Anxiety
- Having a medical condition or recovering from one
- Because of family history, having a high risk of developing a serious medical condition
- Traumatic experiences in the past
CAUSES OF SOMATOFORM DISORDER
The exact cause of somatic symptom disorder is unknown to researchers. However, it appears to be linked to
- Genetic Trait like Pain Sensitivity
- Possessing a negative affectivity, a personality trait characterized by negative emotions and a low self-image
- Having trouble dealing with stress
- Reduced emotional awareness, which may cause you to concentrate on physical issues beside emotional ones
- Learned behaviors, such as trying to gain attention as a result of an illness or increasing immobility as a result of pain behaviors
- Somatic symptom disorder can be caused by any of these characteristics, or by a combination of them.
SYMPTOMS OF SOMATOFORM DISORDER
Any of these characteristics, or a combination of them, can cause somatic symptom disorder. The severity of these conditions ranges from mild to severe.
Other characteristics include
- Symptoms not associated with any known medical condition
- Symptoms of a known medical condition that are much more severe than they should be
- Constant or intense worry about a potential illness
- Believing that normal bodily sensations are symptoms of illness
- Concerning the seriousness of minor symptoms such as a runny nose
- Believing that your doctor did not properly examine or treat you
- Being concerned that physical activity will harm your body
- Recurrent Headache, abdominal pain, nausea or fatigue and various other symptoms associated with GI Tract
Because people suffering from somatic symptom disorder have a genuine belief that they are suffering from a medical condition, it can be difficult to distinguish Somatic Disorder from a genuine medical condition that requires treatment. However, Somatic Disorder causes a dominating concern with symptoms that frequently interfere with daily life.
DIAGNOSIS OF SOMATOFORM DISORDER
Before diagnosing Somatoform Disorder, your doctor will perform a thorough physical examination to look after the signs of any kind of illness. If no evidence of a medical condition is found, they will most likely direct you to a mental healthcare professional, who may well begin by asking you questions about your:
- Symptoms and from how long you have those symptoms
- Sources of Anxiety or Stress
- Family History
- If applicable, a past of substance abuse
They may also request that you complete a questionnaire regarding your symptoms along with the lifestyle. A mental health practitioner will be more concerned with how you perceive your symptoms than with the symptoms themselves.If you experience the following symptoms, you are likely to be diagnosed with Somatoform Disorder
- You are experiencing one, two or more physical symptoms that are causing you distress or interfering with your daily activities.
- Have frequent or obsessive thoughts about the seriousness of your symptoms, causing you to devote an inordinate amount of time and energy to assessing your health
- Continue to have symptoms for at least six months, whether the symptoms change with time
AYURVEDIC VIEW OF SOMATOFORM DISORDER
There is no such direct correlation of Somatoform Disorder in Ayurveda, Acharya Charaka has mentioned about Avara Satva Maanas while describing Satva Pariksha under the Dashvidha Pariksha concept (Ch. Vi 8/119). These people come under the category of people having Somatoform Disorder. Avara Satva Manas are people with weak minds.
1. Characteristics of a person with Avara Satva
People with Avara Satva (weak mind) are those who cannot persuade themselves of anything. Because once they find themselves in the midst of life’s difficulties, they become terrified and easily panic. They suffer from depression, fainting, syncope, loss of consciousness, giddiness, or insaneness as a result of this behaviour. Avara satva leads to Manovaha Sroto Dushti and various disorders related to Manovaha Srotas.
2. Manovaha Srotas
These are the channels which carry emotions and mind and these channels are situated in the heart as well as Dasha Dhamni (10 Giant arteries originating from the heart).
Causes of Vitiation of Manovaha Srotas Dushti
Indulgence in activities and Consumption of foods that aggravate the rajo and tamo qualities of the mind and deteriorate the satva quality of the mind. Excessively expressing mental emotions such as greed, anger, panic, fear, and so on. All of the etiological factors mentioned inside the context of insanity, fainting disorders, or epilepsy.
Management as per Ayurveda
The three basic principles of mental health treatment are as follows
- Dhee – Proper and skilled use of mental training
- Dhairya – Instilling courage in oneself
- Atmadi Vijnanam – to make one realize the value of one’s own worth
Other than this following treatment protocols are followed in Ayurvedic Management
1. Sattvavajaya Chikitsa
This treatment format is a bigger section of ayurveda therapy which encompasses the entire concept of psychiatric and psychological interventions in general, including psychotherapy. Sattvavajaya means "mind conquering." In other words, Sattvavajaya Chikitsa refers to all medicines, treatments, and therapies that promote mental balance and treat mental disorders.
2. Medhya Dravayas
Ayurveda describes Medhya Dravya as a group of brain tonics. These herbs not only improve memory and intellect of the person but also helps in keeping balance in the state of mind. They also assist in bringing the mind back into balance if the mind is out of balance. Somatoform disorders should be treated with Medhya medicines.
3. Atatvabhinivesha Chikitsa
Atatvabhinivesha means a loss of judgment and discrimination between what’s beneficial and detrimental, true and false. Patients with SSD, too, are unable to distinguish between what is true and what is false. Even if they are aware, they will have a fixed philosophy and perspective and will refuse to accept things. As a result, they clarify physical ailments regardless of the lack of proof. It’s only because they genuinely think they do have serious disease and symptoms. As a result, ssd can be treated using atatva abhinivesha rehabilitation fundamentals.
HERBAL REMEDIES BY PLANET AYURVEDA FOR SOMATOFORM DISORDER
Planet Ayurveda is a company formulating herbal and herbomineral products from more than 20 years and serving almost Worldwide with the Blessing of Ayurveda. All their products are made of pure ingredients and free from preservatives and additives such as fillers, starch, color, resins, gums, etc. This quality makes all their products safe and free from side effects if taken under the guidance of Ayurveda practitioners. They deal with the patients and manage them as per the ancient management protocols of Ayurveda which is almost based on three basic principles Vata, pitta and Kapha. As this article is on Somatoform Disorders so following are the remedies listed for managing the same by Planet Ayurveda
- NEUROGENIE CAPSULES
- BOSWELLIA CURCUMIN
- PHYLLANTHUS NIRURI
- KALYANAKA GHRIT
1. NEUROGENIE CAPSULES
Neurogenie capsules are Planet Ayurveda’s polyherbal capsules containing standardized extracts of the herbs Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) and Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri). This remedy, as the name implies, is beneficial for maintaining nerve health. These capsules help in preventing damage to the Nervous health by reducing the Oxidative Stress due to anxiety and stress
Dosage: 2 capsules twice daily with plain water after meals.
2. BOSWELLIA CURCUMIN
Planet Ayurveda manufactures polyherbal capsule formulation with the name of Boswellia-Curumin. These herbal capsules contain a standardized extract of the herb Curumin (Curcuma longa) and Shallaki (Boswellia serrata). Both herbs have powerful anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. As this patient thinks a lot which causes recurrent headache so for that Boswellia Curcumin is a helpful remedy.
Dosage: 1 capsule twice daily with plain water after meals.
3. PHYLLANTHUS NIRURI
Phyllanthus Niruri is a formulation made up of single standardized extract of herb Bhumi Amla (Phyllanthus niruri). As this patient suffers from a lot of stress and anxiety which further affects the hepatic cells. Beside this both these factors cause symptoms related to GI Tract also. So to prevent the damage of hepatic cells and symptoms related to GI Tract these capsules are added to the list of herbal remedies for Somatoform Disorders.
Dosage: 1 capsule twice daily with plain water after meals.
4. KALYANAKA GHRIT
Kalyanaka Ghrit, a classical Ayurvedic remedy prepared by Planet Ayurveda as mentioned in the texts. This remedy is available in paste form and consists of ingredients such as Devdaru (cedrus deodara), Haridra (curcuma longa), Shalaparni (Desmodium gangeticum) and various other ingredients. Kalyanaka Ghrita has traditionally been used to improve brain functions such as intelligence and memory, as well as cognition. It helps in calming the mind and reducing oxidative stress thus given in Somatoform Disorder
Dosage: 1 tsp twice daily with warm water after
Saraswatarisht, is a traditional Ayurvedic formulation prepared by Planet Ayurveda. This syrup contains vidarikand (Pueraria tuberosa), saunf (Foeniculum vulgare), khas (Vetiveria zizanioides), shatavari (Asparagus racemosus) and other ingredients. This herbal syrup has been used to maintain good Brain health since ancient times. Saraswatarisht also includes herbs referred to as medhya rasayan which helps in improving mental health. In Somatoform Disorder aggravated Vata Dosha is responsible for all such behaviour of the patient, thus Saraswatarisht by pacifying Vata Dosha helps in managing symptoms of Somatoform Disorder.
Dosage: 2 tsp twice daily with plain water after meals.
People suffering from somatic symptom disorder are preoccupied with physical sensations and symptoms such as shortness of breath, pain, weakness, etc. The exact cause of somatic symptom disorder is unknown to researchers. Mostly this condition is genetic which means it passes from parent to child. There is no such direct correlation of Somatoform Disorder in Ayurveda, but characteristics of Avara Satva person are more equivalent to that of Somatoform Disorder. Ayurvedic treatment protocol includes Sattvavajaya Chikitsa, Medhya Dravayas, Atatvabhinivesha Chikitsa, etc. Various Herbal Remedies with Medhya properties are recommended by Planet Ayurveda which helps in keeping the state of mind of person with Somatoform Disorder normal.
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