Depression strikes millions each year, often with debilitating consequences. This psychological disorder is so common that nearly 10% of the population is suffering from a depressive disorder. For some, the winter season can bring on a low mood; for others, depression is caused by major life changes, such as a divorce, major financial problems, a chronic illness, death of a loved one and other life stresses. 

The Ayurvedic Viewpoint

Ayurveda mentions Depression as "Vishada". Although this disease is categorized under psychological diseases, it can also affect the body; hence it can lead to any physical or psychological disorder. Depression is an illness that infiltrates your whole body. It affects the way you feel about things and situations, and you feel about yourself, the way you eat and sleep, the way your memory is working. 

Symptoms of Depression :

1.    Frequent sad, anxious or "empty" mood

2.    loss of interest and pleasure in activities

3.    irritability and family conflict

4.    loss of appetite or weight gain

5.    Low self Esteem

6.    Feeling of guilt and worthlessness

7.    Social withdrawal and agitation

8.    Difficulty in concentration and taking decisions

9.    Sleeping too less(insomnia) or too much (hypersomnia) 

People of all ages, social class and races can fall prey to depression. But effective treatments exist to help bring people's lives back under control. 

Treatments for Depression :

Depression is a mental disease going along with body processes – or vice versa. Depression cannot just be blown away, you have to get treated. You need the help of specialists, and then you can start and have to start helping yourself.Most people do best with a combination treatment plan, including: Panchkarma Therapy to gain relief of symptoms and medicines to help in effective ways of dealing with life's problems, including depression. 

1. Practice the Meditation for 20 minutes twice a day to relieve emotional, physical, mental and environmental stress. 

2. Go to bed before 10:00 p.m. Getting enough rest is essential for emotional health, and falling asleep during the Kapha time of night generates a deep, restful sleep that truly refreshes mind and body. Falling asleep after 10:00 p.m. produces a more restless sleep, and you will be more likely to wake up in the night with emotional distress. 

3. Waking up early is critical to preventing depression, because sleeping during the late morning, causes the channels of communication, to be clogged with impurities, leading to dullness of mind, depressed moods and slow communication between heart and mind. 

4. Daily exercise is essential to combat depression, because It increases the power of agni and helps improve processing power. Exercise also releases positive neurohormones, elevating mood and positive thoughts. 

5. Make sure you eliminate each morning. Constipation can cause headache, dullness, fatigue and depression. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. 

6. Eat your meals at the same time each day, with the main meal at noon and a lighter meal in the evening.Eat intelligent foods that are natural and unprocessed and digested quickly by the body to create ojas. Ojas creates bliss, stable emotions and good health in the body. Intelligent foods are milk, clove, walnut, pear, and coconut. 

7. Eat intelligent proteins such as soaked seeds and nuts with raisins and dates; Panir (fresh cheese); and ayurvedic buttermilk or lassi rather than yogurt, as these lighter drinks do not increase Kapha and are better for lightening emotions. 

8. Give yourself a daily Abhyanga (ayurvedic oil massage). Massage has many benefits: it increases circulation, allows toxins to be cleared from the tissues, invigorates the body, calms the mind and soothes the emotions, if you are massaging yourself, you are giving your skin the tactile stimulation needed to balance Vata dosha and calm anxiety and stress. 

9. Follow your massage with Swedanam ( medicated steam bath) to flush out the toxins that have been pushed out from the cells with the massage. 

10. Rasayanas are elixirs for bliss and rejuvenation, prepared according to ancient methods. Any true rasayana, has the ability to enhance medha, or the coordination between the mental functions of learning, retention and recall. This kind of coordination is important for balancing the emotions and helping to prevent depression. 

11. Shirodhara is the most popular Ayurvedic treatment. Shirodhara is a classical and a well-established ayurvedic procedure of slowly and steadily dripping medicated oil or other liquids on the forehead. This procedure induces a relaxed state of awareness and results in a dynamic psycho-somatic balance.It is one of the most powerful treatments to relieve Vata (wind) in the mind and thus, the specific treatment for stress related disorders.