What is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder is the psychological state when the person shows signs of manic high followed by deep depression for a lengthy period of time. Most often the manic high state lasts for weeks while the depression lasts for months so the bipolar disorder is also called manic depressive illness. Bipolar disorder can be found by psychiatric doctors often after lengthy counsels as there are no medical tests in laboratory for diagnosis. They are differentiated according to the intensity of the psychic attack, length of the manic highs and depressions frequency of the affectation, time period between the recurrence of the affectation etc. They are life long condition which cannot be cured, it can only be subdued by medication and regular rigid routine. When the person is having extremely elevated mood or mania or emotional high they are excited, impulsive, euphoric and full of energy. Hypomania is similar to mania but with less intensity. Depression causes deep sadness, lack of interest in activities they once enjoyed, suicidal thoughts, periods of little or too much sleep, loss of energy, hopelessness etc. Family history or genetical risk, childhood abuse, long term stress, environmental factors, etc are at the root of the disease and play a major part in the formation of bipolar disorder.
Types of Bipolar Disorder:
1) Bipolar I Disorder: The episodes of mood swings can be very dramatic lasting only a small time periods of manic high hypomanic and depression with normal days in between bipolar I disorder is said to happen. When the person has at least one manic episode.
2) Bipolar II Disorder: When a person has had one or more attacks of severe depression the diagnosis of bipolar II disorder happen.
3) Bipolar III Disorder or rapid cycling: When the person has more than four mood swings between mania hypomania and depression in a year this stage is diagnosed.
4) Cyclothymia: When the mood swings are longer in duration but bot severe as a full blown bipolar disorder this stage occurs, it can also lead up to bipolar disorder.
Bipolar disorder and Ayurveda:
The science of life or Ayurveda has a holistic approach towards the human body and its illness. Main constitution of physical and mental wellbeing is believed to be due to the three Doshas (Vata, pitta, and kapha). Vata (ether and air), Pitta (Fire and water) and Kapha (Earth and water) thus involving the 5 elements. The Dosha controls your prakruthi (lifelong tendencies) and Vikruthi (your symptoms). Vata and pitt are the Doshas being in imbalance in the bipolar disorder affecting high mania as well as hypomania and kapha Dosha is involved in the causing of depression. When Vata is imbalanced the sensory impressions and circulation in nervous system is affected causing mental principles, Satva, rajas and tamas. The person suffering form this type of disease also has a low level of ojus along with Dosha imbalance and shows signs of unmada or insanity. Vata increase can be seen by symptoms like excitement, talkativeness, racing thoughts, hyper sexuality and impulsive overspending etc. Pitta involves symptoms of overconfidence, aggression, anger, irritability, less sleep and hyper activity. Kapha imbalance symptoms are depression, loss of confidence, low feeling or low enthusiasm, lack of appetite, low libido, excess sleeping and inactivity.
Ayurvedic treatment for Bipolar Disorder
Although ayurvedic treatments are for the whole body and mind focus should be on the brain and mind for bipolar disorder, panchakarma uses the tools that are best for the cure and rejuvenation of the person along with filling him with ojus. Ama or the indigested food or other particles that may be lodged in intestines, blood or tissue may turn toxic and affect the body so the removal of ma by basti pr herbal enema, warm oil massage or abyanga which increases blood flow and rejuvenate good tissue building is done. Shirodara which is pouring herbal infused oil or other substance on the forehead or massaging the forehead also increases brain activity thus reducing and abolishing unmada is also conducted. Over all of that a daily routine or dinacharya has to be organised according to the persons body type and Dosha imbalance they have to counter. Yoga practices like pranayama also helps to keep body healthy while meditation helps in healing the mind. Internal drugs also help manage the Doshas to some degree. The routine has to be altered to some degree and tailored according to the seasons.
Ayurveda uses practices like prakritisthapani chikitsa or health maintenance, rasayana chikitsa or restoration of normal functions, roganasini chikitsa or spiritual cleansing in the ayurvedic treatment for bipolar disorder.
The duration of ayurvedic treatment for bipolar disorder is 30-45 days in hospital and costs around 3900 to 5200 USD.