By Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S
Apasmara is without doubt one of the illnesses included underneath Ayurveda psychiatry. It’s thought of as one of many psychological problems. Grasp Charaka has defined the chapter pertaining to analysis and therapy of Apasmara instantly after the chapter pertaining to analysis and therapy of Unmada.

Unmada is a broad-spectrum psychological dysfunction which incorporates many psychological circumstances underneath its wing. It has typically been in comparison with psychoses, lunacy and plenty of different psychological problems. Grasp Charaka has additionally specified that the therapy of unmada and apasmara are alike and shall be dealt with by way of comparable interventions. Apasmara is in comparison with epilepsy in Ayurveda medical apply. However apasmara is greater than that. The time period Apasmara has embedded in it the phrase ‘smriti’ which implies reminiscence. Apasmara undoubtedly is a situation whereby derangement of reminiscence could be evident. So, is apasmara ‘epilepsy’ or ‘reminiscence problems’? Allow us to see what the classics have to inform about it.
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Which means of Apasmara, the best way to perceive

Smrteh apagamanam – ‘Destruction of reminiscence’ is taken into account as apasmara by specialists.
So lack of reminiscence is the predominant attribute characteristic and diagnostic level for apasmara. However all circumstances of ‘reminiscence associated problems’ are usually not thought of as apasmara. The affiliation of different signs talked about beneath makes the definition of apasmara full and complete. Apasmara is a situation predominantly marked by lack of reminiscence related to –

  • tamah pravesha i.e. feeling as if enveloped by darkness (blackout) and
  • bhibhatsa cheshta i.e. scary actions (scary for individuals who are seeing). It additionally means disgustful actions

Each tamah pravesha and bibhatsa cheshta are precipitated on account of dhee-sattva samplava.
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Tamah Pravesha
Tamah – darkness, Pravesha – getting into
Tamah pravesha means feeling like getting into a zone of darkness. Getting into into the darkness is a time period used to elucidate ‘lack of knowledge or intelligence (non permanent)’ which the individual experiences throughout an assault of the illness. Identical to we don’t perceive something whereas enveloped by pitch darkness, we can’t perceive or entry something when attacked by (surrounded) the illness. 

Bibhatsa cheshta
Bhibhatsa – scary; Cheshta – actions
The individual does scary or hideous actions on account of absence of data / destruction of intelligence and thought course of on getting into into the zone of darkness. Hideous actions embody irregular jerky actions of the limbs and deviation of eyes, froth showing from the mouth and so on.

What causes ‘doing hideous actions’ and ‘destruction of reminiscence’ within the affected person of apasmara?

Dhee-sattva samplava is alleged to be the trigger for doing hideous actions and destruction of reminiscence within the affected person of apasmara. Hideous actions are usually not executed deliberately. They seem with out the information of the affected person on getting into the darkish zone, dropping information / mind and judgment and being blacked out. Dhee means mind. Sattva means thoughts. Samplava means deviation or destruction. So destruction of mind and thoughts is the principle explanation for destruction of reminiscence and hideous actions in apasmaara.
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Chain of occasions resulting in apasmara

  • Dhee Sattva Samplava (destruction / deviation of mind and thoughts)
  • Smriti apagamana (lack of reminiscence)
  • Tamah Pravesha (lack of consciousness)
  • Bhibhatsa Chesta (hideous actions)
  • Apasmara

Word – these occasions could not observe the chronology and will occur on the similar time.

In accordance with Madhava Nidana

Madhava Nidana treatise defines apasmara and its hallmark options together with the outline of the pathogenesis of the illness. The sequence of the illness is as defined beneath –

  • Publicity to etiological components which disturb and trigger imbalance of thoughts and attributes of the thoughts like worries, grief and so on
  • The doshas get aggravated
  • And transfer in direction of the hrt-srotas i.e. mind and thoughts channels and get lodged therein
  • Causes smriti apadhwamsa i.e. destruction of reminiscence
  • Attributable to destruction of reminiscence and buddhi i.e. mind by aggravated doshas
  • Tamah pravesha –blackout
  • Samrambha – hideous actions like deformities and obliqueness of the attention / eyes, violent and jerking actions of palms and legs (higher and decrease limbs)
  • The mixed results of those occasions results in manifestation of a illness referred to as apasmara, which is of 4 varieties

The reason is sort of much like that of Grasp Charaka. Madhava Nidana has defined the causes and the occasions following to the causation of apasmara. However Madhavakara has used the time period ‘samrambha’ as an alternative of ‘bhibhatsa chesta (Charaka)’.

Is there solely reminiscence loss in apasmara?
Although the principle attribute characteristic of apasmara is lack of reminiscence together with hideous actions and lack of consciousness, smriti is a time period stated to be consultant of a grosser injury within the illness. Smriti apagamana additionally consists of lack of mind, knowledge, thought course of, greater mental features and information together with reminiscence.
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In accordance with Grasp Sushruta

The phrase Apasmara is made up of two phrases, apa and smara. Apa is used within the which means of ‘killing, destroying or giving up’. Smara is used to elucidate smrti i.e. reminiscence. Smrti can also be to recollect and recollect the previous experiences and information of issues. When mixed collectively – apa + smara = destruction of reminiscence.

Antakrt – Sushruta tells that this illness would have a tendency to finish the lifetime of the affected person if not handled correctly. Attributable to destruction of reminiscence, mind and knowledge, the individual would enter water or hearth and finish life since they can not bear in mind the results in the course of the assault. Smrti needs to be understood broadly and may embody mind, knowledge and reminiscence. It’s because throughout apasmaara one tends to overlook the recollections and experiences gained not solely from the previous but in addition these of the current time.

Grasp Dalhana, commentator of Sushruta Samhita additionally opines that destruction of reminiscence known as as apasmara. One other reference from Grasp Charaka clarifies the identical –
Attributable to destruction of reminiscence, mind and thoughts, the individual does many scary actions together with look of froth from the mouth, cramps and irregular actions of the limbs and physique components, irregular actions of eyes, grinding of tooth, throwing of limbs and so on whereas enveloped by darkness and causes lack of consciousness instantly and repeatedly. This situation known as apasmara.
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Sanskrit Verses

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Apasmara is ‘epilepsy’ or ‘reminiscence problems’?

Apasmara has been in comparison with epilepsy. Even in epilepsy we are able to see that the individual may have irregular actions of the physique components (convulsions, shaking, tremors), froth happens within the mouth, the individual faints and loses consciousness for a short while and when he comes out of the episode of epilepsy he wouldn’t bear in mind something (lack of reminiscence). When the assaults are repeated or are frequent, one’s information, knowledge and analytical abilities are additionally misplaced. Therapy of apasmara works in offering reduction, prolonging the assaults or curing apasmara. Subsequently in a method it’s right to check apasmara with epilepsy.

Apasmara can also be a psychological dysfunction. When the thoughts, reminiscence and mind are broken and when the signs repeatedly happen and illness turns into continual, the reminiscence of the individual will likely be severely affected or destroyed. Since lack of reminiscence is the predominant characteristic of apasmara, it may be thought of as ‘reminiscence dysfunction’ additionally.
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