Anxiety and Depression: Ayurveda and Beyond
Anxiety and depression continue to be major issues facing our society, with rates among North American youth increasing by more than 30% since 2014. Along with the challenge of COVID, the existential threat of climate change, and now a war that threatens the entire world, it’s hard not to feel at least a little anxious and depressed about the future. Too often anxiety and depression is viewed as an isolated, personal health issue, when it fact it is the expression of a broader social dysfunction, which like canaries in a coal mine, tell us that something is very wrong. Drawing upon traditional systems of medicine like Ayurveda, there are a host of invaluable tools and interventions including lifestyle, diet, nutraceuticals, medicinal plants, and entheogens that can have a profound benefit on mental health. This lecture draws upon the Ayurveda classifications of spiritual (daivavyapāśraya cikitsā), behavioral (sattvāvajaya cikitsā), and medicinal therapies (yuktivyapāśraya cikitsā) to provide a truly holistic solution for the resolution of chronic anxiety and depression.