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Understanding Anxiety Disorders: Types, Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Ayurvedic Treatment Options

Discover the different types, causes, symptoms, and diagnosis of anxiety disorders. Explore Ayurvedic treatment options for managing this mental health condition.


We all have encountered stress in day to day lives -modern life is replete with challenges ,responsibilities and discomforts .Well stress itself is not a illness but excessive stress can lead to health issues .Some hectic situations can make you feel depressed ,angry or frustrated but they can be overcome .However when these minor annoyances occurs repeatedly ,they can accumulate and lead to long term stress or anxiety . The unwelcome visitors of anxiety, panic attacks, and stress seem to be making their presence known in our lives unexpectedly. Despite the prevalence of anxiety nowadays, there are individuals who constantly struggle with anxious emotions, preventing them from fully experiencing and enjoying life.

Anxiety is a feeling of worry or fear especially about the future. Though it is difficult to specify any one particular cause for anxiety or such fears instead repetitive past bad experiences or some emotional trauma can lead to the cause of anxiety. Also it can be associated with various medical conditions.

What Ayurveda has to say about Anxiety

In Ayurveda, anxiety is commonly known as "Chittodvega" or "Manasika Vikara". Chittodvega refers to disruptions in the mind (Chitta), while Manasika Vikara encompasses various mental disorders or irregularities.


According to Ayurveda, illnesses are a result of an imbalance in Vata Dosha. If there is an excess of Vata Dosha, it can negatively impact the channels of the mind, leaving them in a deteriorated state.Ayurveda practices focus on bringing peace and serenity to the mind by balancing Vata Dosha.This imbalance may originate from various factors, such as irregular daily routines, poor dietary habits, insufficient sleep, and emotional stress. And in no time, this problem can become more severe if left untreated.

Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety


·       Feeling tired, nervous and restless

·       Palpitations

·       Having a sense of danger, panic or loneliness

·       Fatigue or sweating

·       Racing or unwanted thoughts

·       Difficulty on concentrating or doing some work

·       Gastrointestinal problems-IBS

·       Disturbed eating habits

·       Dryness of mouth

·       Lack of concentration

·       PTSD(post-traumatic stress disorder)

·       Nausea

·       Cold hands and feets

·       Panic Attacks

·       Excessive Worrying

·       Isolation

·       Sleep Disturbances

The symptoms may worsen at different points, and ayurvedic techniques help to restore balance to the accumulated Doshas that are causing increased anxiety. Ayurvedic therapies aim to promote better sleep through a nutritious diet and medication with no adverse effects.

Causes of Anxiety

·       Genetic connection- Specific gene variations may have an impact on neurotransmitter functions and brain circuitry, influencing how the brain responds to stress and terror 

·       Imbalance of hormones- Hormonal imbalances may contribute to heightened stress responses and increased anxiety symptoms as hormone fluctuations, specifically involving cortisol and adrenaline, can affect the onset and severity of anxiety disorders.

·       Parental approach- Social factors that include how they are brought up by their parents. 

·       Social Issues- Stressful living conditions, exposure to trauma, and a lack of social support can contribute to heightened anxiety levels. In addition, Unhealthy work environments, financial instability, or chronic exposure to noise and pollution may also act as stressors.

·       Medical conditions- Cardiopulmonary disorder and endocrine are problematic causes for anxiety. Medical conditions can make anxiety disorders worse because they can increase stress and emotional distress by adding to the physical difficulties and uncertainties that come with health problems.

·       Patterns of behavior- Some people have low confidence and poor self-esteem which can cause mild anxiety issues. 

·       Trauma – Trauma survivors might encounter intrusive thoughts, greater consciousness, and a heightened sense of risk as coping mechanisms for the consequences of their experiences. Anxiety disorders may arise from the foundation of these symptoms.

·       Stress due to illness and some past repetitive Experiences.

·       Lack of sleep: Increased levels of stress, anger, and emotional fragility are the result of the blood's increased cortisol content making it an indirect cause of panic attacks in someone who is vulnerable to having them.

·       Brain chemistry: Imbalances in certain brain chemicals called neurotransmitters can contribute to anxiety.

·       Personality traits: People with certain personality traits such as perfectionism, pessimism, or a tendency to overthink may be more prone to developing anxiety.

·       Substance abuse: Alcohol, drugs, and other substances can increase anxiety symptoms or trigger anxiety disorders.

·       Medications: Certain medications, including some antidepressants, steroids, and stimulants, can cause anxiety symptoms as a side effect.

Some Common Anxiety Disorders include:

·       Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) - various situations, difficulty in controlling anxiety and worry, along with restlessness

·       Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) involves persistent thoughts and fears that lead to feelings of anxiety.

Social phobia/Social anxiety disorder is characterized by a fear of social situations and performing in front of others.

Specific phobias are irrational fears that cause individuals to go to great lengths to avoid triggers, such as airplanes, crowded places, spiders, and tall buildings.·

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) occurs after experiencing or witnessing a highly traumatic event, like accidents.·

Panic disorder involves uncontrollable panic attacks that manifest in physical symptoms like dizziness, shortness of breath, and excessive sweating.


Anxiety treatment  in ayurveda

Anxiety treatment in Ayurveda first involves identifying the type of anxiety disorder and its cause. Anxiety treatment in Ayurveda, no matter what type it is, involves ensuring the patient gets good sleep, strict diet, and proper regimen. To treat anxiety in Ayurveda, it’s essential to balance the Vata dosha .

·       Meditation: Ayurveda recommends meditation as a way to calm the mind and reduce anxiety. Regular meditation practice can help improve focus, reduce stress, and promote relaxation.

·       Ayurvedic Herbs: Herbs such as ashwagandha, brahmi, mandukaparni, yashtimadhu, jatamamsi, amla, vacha etc have been found effective in reducing the symptoms of anxiety and relaxing the body and mind.These herbs can be taken in the form of supplements, teas, or powders.

o   Brahmi- it prevents anxiety and stress and boost brain function. Bacopa has benefits for anxietymemory/mental acuity, and ADHD. In fact, it has even been scientifically studied as an alternative to prescription stimulants in children with ADHD (and performed well for this purpose).

o   Aswagandha : Ashwagandha promotes balance energy to the body to reduce the insomnia and boost energy. It is one of the best Vata-balancing herbs out there. It is soothing, grounding, and warming.   It also shows benefits for stress ,insomnia ,cognitive dysfunction ,PTSD and more

o   Vacha: The root of vacha has relieving power over various mental disorders. It will help to sleep better and calm your anexity.

o   Jatamamsi - has been used for hundreds (maybe thousands) of years in Ayurveda. It has a role in anxietydepression, insomnia, and more. It is a very strong antioxidant

o   Gotukala - It is a marvelous plant remedy that has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda for a variety of conditions—most notably those that have a neurologic component (memory issues, nerve damage, learning enhancement, epilepsy) or psychologic component (anxiety, depression, stress)

o   Sankhapusphi- Supports cognitive function, memory, and emotional well-being.

·       Yoga: Yoga is another powerful tool in the Ayurvedic approach to treating anxiety. Yoga postures can help reduce stress, calm the mind, and promote relaxation. Some of the recommended yoga postures for anxiety include Child’s Pose, Cobra Pose, and Corpse Pose. Gentle Yoga asanas such as Balasana (Child’s pose), Savasana (Corpse pose), Setu Bandhasana (Bridge pose), and Uttanasana (Forward bend), combined with breathing techniques can contribute to managing anxiety disorder. Practice deep breathing exercises, such as Nadi Shodhana (alternate nostril breathing) and Shitali Pranayama (cooling breath), to calm the mind, reduce anxiety, and promote relaxation

·       Diet: In order to alleviate anxiety, a balanced diet aims to calm the exacerbated Vata dosha, which is linked to abnormalities in the neurological system. A balanced diet includes warm, nutritious meals such as cooked grains, soups, and stews. Incorporating ghee and oils like sesame or olive oil gives necessary fats that help the nervous system.A diet that’s rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can help improve overall health and reduce anxiety symptoms.

·       Lifestyle changes: Ayurveda also recommends making certain lifestyle changes to reduce anxiety. This can include getting enough sleep, reducing caffeine and alcohol intake, and incorporating relaxation techniques into your daily routine.

Panchakarma treatments advised:-

Abhyanga- Abhyanga involves a full-body massage using warm medicated oils. It helps release physical tension, improves circulation, calms the nervous system, and induces deep relaxation. The rhythmic strokes of the massage can also have a soothing effect on the mind.

o   Snehapana involves drinking small amounts of water every 45 minutes, with the presence of ghee checked in the belches. Meals are only consumed when hunger is felt.

o   Sirodhara- Shirodhara is a technique in which a continuous stream of warm oil or herbal decoctions is poured gently over the forehead. It helps calm the mind, relieve mental stress and anxiety, and promote a sense of tranquility. Shirodhara works directly on the nervous system and can be deeply relaxing and rejuvenating.

o   Swedana (Herbal Steam Therapy): Swedana involves sitting in a steam chamber or receiving localized steam treatments. It helps open up the channels of the body, relax muscles, relieve stiffness, and encourages the release of toxins. Swedana can be combined with other Panchakarma treatments to enhance their effectiveness.

o   Shiroabhyanga involves a thorough massage of the head and shoulders with soothing essential oils to ease tension, alleviate fatigue, and promote relaxation. This technique is effective in relieving stress, anxiety, and feelings of depression.

o   Takradhara is a therapeutic technique involving the gentle pouring of yogurt or medicated buttermilk onto the forehead. This treatment can be administered on the head or the entire body, and is highly beneficial for conditions such as insomnia, migraines, neuropathy, and persistent headaches.

o   Nasyam- Nasya involves the administration of medicated oils or herbal preparations through the nasal passages. It helps clear the sinuses, improve mental clarity, and alleviate stress-related symptoms such as headaches and congestion. Nasya can have a calming effect on the mind and promote mental relaxation.

o   Basti (Medicated Enema): Basti involves the administration of herbal decoctions or oils through the rectum. It is considered one of the most important Panchakarma treatments for balancing the doshas and eliminating toxins. Basti treatments can help regulate the nervous system, promote emotional stability, and reduce stress-related symptoms

o   Shiro pichu /Thalam-Siropichu involves application of oil dipped in

a cotton gauze to soak for few minutes

o   Shiro vasti- An ancient therapeutic practice involves the application of medicated oil to the head, wherein the oil is carefully collected within a leather cap. This method stands as one of the most effective ways to apply oil to the head and is particularly beneficial for various conditions affecting the head, sensory organs, nervous system, and spinal cord. The application of warm oil to the head enhances peripheral blood circulation in the scalp, facilitating the absorption of medicinal compounds through hair follicles and blood vessels. By stimulating nerve endings beneath the scalp, this therapy exerts its therapeutic influence on both head and body.

o   Pada Abhyangam-it involves massaging foot

o   Thalapodichil- This technique involves a specialized head packing procedure, wherein the hair and scalp are enveloped in carefully selected herbal pastes tailored to an individual's condition. Initially, a suitable head oil is applied to nourish the scalp and hair, followed by the herbal paste. A tender banana leaf is secured atop the paste, serving to cool the head and prevent the paste from drying. After a specified duration, the paste is removed, and the head is cleansed. Simultaneously, an appropriate body oil can be applied, allowing the individual to relax for 45 minutes while the paste works its magic. A common paste mixture consists of dried gooseberry pulp combined with medicated buttermilk, although additional herbs may be incorporated depending on the specific condition.

How it Works:

The pack gently warms the scalp, inducing a mild sweating effect. This process enhances scalp blood circulation, aiding in the absorption of the herbal ingredients


Q: What is an anxiety disorder?

A: An anxiety disorder is a mental health condition characterized by persistent feelings of worry, fear, or anxiety that interfere with daily life.

Q: What are the symptoms of anxiety?

A: Symptoms of anxiety can vary but commonly include feelings of nervousness, restlessness, increased heart rate, and difficulty concentrating.

Q: What are the different types of anxiety disorders?

A: Various anxiety disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and separation anxiety disorder exist.

Q: What are the risk factors for developing an anxiety disorder?

A: Risk factors for anxiety disorders include genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events such as trauma or stress.

Q: How is anxiety diagnosed?

A: Anxiety is diagnosed based on a thorough evaluation by a mental health professional, which may involve interviews, physical exams, and psychological questionnaires.

Q: What are the treatment options for anxiety disorders?

A: Treatment for anxiety disorders may include therapy (such as cognitive behavioral therapy), medication, lifestyle changes, and relaxation techniques.

Q: Can Ayurvedic treatments help with anxiety?

A: Ayurvedic treatments, which focus on a combination of diet, herbs, and lifestyle changes, can be beneficial in managing anxiety symptoms for some individuals.


How to reduce anxiety?

Deep breathing can help you focus on your breathe and release tensions

What is the 3-3-3 rule for anxiety?

The 333 Rule, is a popular anxiety exercise  referred to as the “Rule of Three,” is a grounding technique that directs people to identify three objects they can see, hear, and touch.

Can I live with anxiety?

Yes but with right treatment and support

What to drink to calm nerves?

Coconut water ,cool water ,sariba juice etc

What is the 5 5 5 rule for anxiety?

It’s a rule where you breathe in deeply for 5 seconds ,hold the breathe for 5 econds and brethe out for 5 seconds .Then identify 5 things you see,5 sounds you hear ,five objects around you that you can touch

What is the best exercise for anxiety?

Best exercise is cardio exercises but it varies from patients to patients

What is the best way to deal with anxiety?

Pracise mindfullnes ,relaxation techniques ,breathing techniques ,cognitive therapy ,medications

Can you treat anxiety without medication?

Yes youc can follow life style changes and self care techniques

How to stop feeling anxious?

You have to follow stress management techniques ,self care techniques

How to decrease stress and anxiety?

Find out the root cause and follow the relaxation techniques

Can you live a normal life with anxiety?

Yes with right treatment and support

How to fix extreme anxiety?

Life style changes ,self care

What is the best lifestyle for anxiety?

Improve sleep quality ,socialising ,stress reducing techniques  may help

is anxiety curable

Since it’s a natural part of human emotions ,its not completely curable

can anxiety be treated completely

Since it’s a natural part of human emotions ,its not completely curable

should anxiety be treated

yes it has to be treated r it can ead to depression

what is panic attack treatment

It’s a suden or intense feing of fear hich can cause chest pain ,difficulty in breathing etc

what is stress treatment

Stress treatments can help reduce stress and related problems like Complementary and alternative therapies such as acupuncture, aromatherapy, herbal remedies, hypnotherapy, massage, yoga, and meditation.

what is social anxiety treatment

it’s a psychotherapy in where CBT is most common

Do you know the difference between a panic attack and an anxiety attack?

Anxiety attacks are often triggered by stressors and they can build up gradually

Panic attacks are so unpredictable and sudden

How do I know if my child has an anxiety disorder?

She may be clingy ,crying ,emotionaly scared ,embarrassed or physicaly feels shaky or short of breathe

How do anxiety disorders affect children?

The child gets often irritated and angry  and physically feel weak and fatigue

How is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) related to anxiety disorders?

When you feel anxious  your body releases stress related chemicals to your gut .this can cause poor function of gut

How long should a trial of escitalopram treatment be in patients with major depressive disorder, generalised anxiety disorder or social anxiety disorder?

They should be given atleast 1 month before a change is considered

Meditation for anxiety and depression?

You can see negative thoughts has no action on you .Meditation can help you in achieving that

What are the 7 different types of anxiety?

generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder with or without agoraphobia, specific phobias, agoraphobia, social anxiety disorder, separation anxiety disorder and selective mutism

What are the symptoms of an anxiety disorder?

Irritated ,trouble focusing ,palpitations ,sweating ,nausea ,insomnia etc

What happens if I don’t get treatment for my child with an anxiety disorder?

They may have poor coping up and socialising  skills

What is generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)?

It’s a mental health condition that causes excessive worry about everyday things with no reason

What is separation anxiety disorder?

Separation anxiety is a normal stage of development for infants and toddlers. Young children often experience a period of separation anxiety, but most children outgrow separation anxiety by about 3 years of age.

What's the difference between stress and anxiety?

People who are stressed may experience mental and physical symptoms like anger ,worry ,fatigue .insomina etc

Anxiety is excessive worry that don’t get better even in absence of stressor

What, if any, physical or mental health conditions do you have?

You need to seek medical attentions in that case

Who can diagnose anxiety disorders?

psychiatrist, psychologist, or licensed clinical social worker

Who is at risk for anxiety disorders?

One who undergoes problem at work place ,family etc





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