Ayurvedic Management of Schizophrenia

Till the 18th century Schizophrenia had puzzled the heartland of modern psychiatry. The main important and confusing symptom is its variability and peculiarity. But long years back Maharshi Charak had discussed extensively about this socially stigmatised disease. Mostly cripples people in adolescence or early adulthood, the most productive period of life. Till 1950s not much effective treatment was available in modern science. There was not much effect on life expectancy even. Government is carrying major financial burden for this disease. Schizophrenia occurs in clear consciousness.  

It is characterized by peculiar destruction of internal connection of psychic personality; consequently this affects emotional & volitional spheres. ‘Splitting’ of psychic functions. The psychiatrists give very less emphasis on prognosis. The other secondary symptoms audible thoughts, voices arguing, discussing or commenting, other experiences of influenced thought, delusional perceptions, perplexity, depressive and euphoric mood changes, feelings of emotional impoverishment, hallucinations, disorganized speech, negative features of 1 to 6 months duration. Surprisingly sometimes the social and occupational dysfunctions are not specified. A patient's symptoms change with time. For example, a patient may have intermittent hallucinations and perform well at other times, or significant symptoms of a mood disorder may come and go during the course of schizophrenia. One must take into account the patient's educational level, intellectual ability, and cultural & sub-cultural activities. An impaired ability to understand abstract concepts may reflect either the patient's education or his intelligence. A young adolescence school student presenting with academic decline, remaining aloof, irritability, occasional suspiciousness, but no psychotic features -may be a case of Schizophrenia .
The preliminary symptoms are adolescent crisis of activities, depression and adjustment problem.
Ayurvedic Management: In Ayurveda, the treatment probability of Schizophrenia is very prospective. Establishing good rapport with patient is the first step of treatment. Panchakarma especially Vastikarma is very effective. Again shirovasti is also a proven major therapeutic procedure. Along with oral medication it brings a very good outcome. Proper psychotherapeutic session is an also important factor for successful treatment. Diagnosing schizophrenia in clinical practice is not just a routine clinical diagnosis. It carries lot of social implications like life time stigma and labelling. Early cases are often a challenge for a psychiatrist. One should be careful before giving the diagnosis and always explain to the family about the need for long term treatment and deal with the anxieties of the patient and the carers.
Reader, Ayurved Siddhant & Samhita.
Rajiv Gandhi Govt. PG Ayurvedic College
Paprola, Dist-Kangra, H.P.