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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: An Ayurvedic Approach

Author : M. Jithesh, Uma Venugopal and Renuka R. Gayal

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder that centers on repetitive, fearful thoughts, termed as obsession and the resultant ritualistic, compulsive action. The reported lifetime prevalence in India is 1%, affecting both children as well as adults. Once identified the condition goes on across the life span, resulting in decreased productivity, as well as quality of life. The available management includes cognitive behavior therapy, drug therapy with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or both. The outcome is not as expected, but resultant decrease in the symptoms are reported. The approach of the ancient medical system of Ayurveda towards the mind and its altered functions needs special mention, in this regard. Ayurveda is reported to have several combinations and approaches effective for the same. Also the counseling methods, Yoga and Pranayama can be incorporated. Here the primary approach of an Ayurvedic practitioner towards OCD is being discussed. With treatment and self-help strategies, one can break free of the unwanted thoughts and irrational urges and regain control of their life, among the affected ones. The development of strategies that work better and more rapidly, is a major goal of the ongoing research. The prime objective is to improve the quality of life of those affected with OCD.


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