(WellnessNova.com) - There once lived a mentally distressed woman in my neighborhood. She suffered from somatic symptom disorder. Her infirmity caused her psychological distress to manifest itself in the form of acute physical discomfort.
She experienced aches and pains that could not be be attributed to any underlying physical illness. Suffering from hypochondria, she imagined that she was afflicted by serious illnesses and visited the doctor repeatedly for treatment. Allopathic physicians dealt with somatic symptom disorder by counseling her and administering cognitive behavior therapy.
They did not prescribe any drugs since there are no drugs to cure this ailment. There was no underlying cause for her physical discomfort, thus her ailment could not be treated with prescription pills. She suffered, refusing to believe that there was nothing wrong with her, and insisted that her doctor prescribe drugs. Her recovery was slow because she assumed that she would not recuperate till she was medicated.
One day out of sheer desperation, she sought the help of my Ayurvedic doctor and described her imagined physical ailments. She told her that she was suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, bipolar depression, insomnia, anxiety disorder, and attention deficit disorder.
My doctor realized that the woman’s problem was psychological. She decided to prescribe herbs to tackle her imagined woes. The herbs, when ingested in the right quantity, would have the effect of alleviating the symptoms of the illnesses.
When ingested in small quantities, they would do no harm but would promote good health and vitality. The woman dutifully visited the practitioner, and over a period of 3 years ended up feeling better, not just because of placebo effect, but also because the herbs fostered a sense of well-being and gave her symptomatic relief.
Herbs and Spices That Helped Combat Somatic Symptom Disorder
The following is the list of medicines that were prescribed by my Ayurvedic doctor:
She prescribed aloe vera, a porwerful antioxidant that has anti-inflammatory properties. This herb has been used for centuries to alleviate arthritic pain. The woman was assured that aloe vera would give her relief from rheumatoid arthritis and was handed a pamphlet that described in detail the health benefits of ingesting aloe vera.
Her intention in prescribing the herb was to help the woman’s body counter oxidative damage and stress, which was the result of the natural production of reactive oxygen in the body, due to respiration. The woman, however, was made to believe that the herb had been prescribed to alleviate joint ache. Convincing herself that aloe vera would cure joint pain helped her tackle her imagined ache, while reaping the benefits of the natural antioxidant.
My doctor believed that improving the woman’s excretory functions would make her healthier. She prescribed cardamom to fine-tune her kidneys.
Since cardamom also has the benefit of lowering blood pressure (BP) if ingested daily for an extended period of time, she convinced the woman that she was prescribing the spice for tacking high BP. Oblivious of the doctor’s true intention, the woman happily included cardamom in her diet believing that her blood pressure would drop.
She prescribed American ginseng to boost the woman’s energy levels, reduce stress, and make her feel relaxed. Since the plant is known to lower sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes, she convinced her that her diabetes would be cured.
The woman felt a sense of relief and believed that she would recover as a result of the medication. She felt a general sense of well-being after ingesting the Ayurvedic medicines and attributed it to the fact that the doctor had managed to cure three of her ailments.
Fenugreek is known to help lower bad cholesterol. It’s also believed to slow mental aging and provide relief to women suffering from the uncomfortable symptoms of menopause.
The woman was experiencing menopausal transition but believed that the reason for her discomfort was high cholesterol. The doctor convinced her that fenugreek would do the trick and improve her lipid profiles.
Believing that the spice would improve heart health, the woman ingested fenugreek on a daily basis and felt better without realizing that her relief was due to the symptoms of menopause subsiding.
The woman was adamant that she had bipolar depression. She wanted the doctor to prescribe strong herbs for the same. The physician smiled genially and asked her to consume Bacopa monnieri because she knew that the herb alleviates nighttime sleeplessness and keeps one energetic during the day.
In addition to this, it also stabilizes mood swings in patients with bipolar depression. The woman was convinced that her mania would be cured. The practitioner, on the other hand, felt happy because the woman’s insomnia had been tackled and the latter would no longer call her in the middle of the night to complain about her imagined ailments.
My doctor realized that the woman did not suffer from anxiety disorder, but was prone to being a bit jittery at times. She recommended chamomile because the herb acts as a relaxant and a mild sleep aid. The woman was now relaxed and felt better. She convinced herself that her disorder was cured.
The woman had a short attention span because every now and then she would be distracted by some imagined ailment. She was now convinced that she had attention deficit disorder (ADD).
She was prescribed Ginkgo biloba since the doctor knew full well that the herb would keep her alert and mentally sharp. The woman’s concentration improved and she believed that she had been cured of ADD.
The woman had run out of illnesses to complain about. She believed that in future if she was afflicted by maladies, Ayurveda would cure her. Feeling a renewed sense of confidence in her ability to live a healthy life, she started occupying herself fruitfully. Soon her preoccupation with work left her no time to envisage herself as being sick. She was finally cured of somatic symptom disorder.