As per Ayurved, there are three types of tendencies/ Tridosh of the body called Vaat, Kapha and Pitta. As long as these are in equilibrium, the body and mind remains healthy. You fall ill when these go out of balance with each other. These are also ultimately linked to the horoscope and planetary positions.
Addictive behaviour is quite common, most of us are addicted to something or the other, maybe as innocuous as cup of coffee, or a beer in the evening, an occasional cigarette, or then perhaps a bottle of alcohol. Depending on your chart again, these addictions can potentially result in severe problems. Compulsive behaviour is linked to the Mercury (mental processes and thinking patterns), Venus (desire and validation) and Moon (needy emotional behaviour requiring comforting, cyclic behaviour). If these are adversely placed or under malefic influences, they can lead to self damaging addictions.
Of the tri-dosh of Ayurved, Vaat dosh in this context is more important than Pitta or Kapha. ‘Impulsive cyclic behaviour’ is the domain of Vaat. Vaat is a Sanskrit word which means movement in every way, it also means wind, the vital energy /pran, movements of the mind/wishes and desires. The planets contributing to Vaat in the body and mind are Moon, Mercury, Venus and Saturn. The main 3 planets leading to addictive behaviour with the disciplinary constraints of Saturn. People are quite scared of Saturn, but we need to appreciate his discipline. Saturn grants ‘control’. If you observe people with a strong Saturn in their charts, they might come across as dour, not fun, boring to be with, etc but they seem to always be in control of their body and emotions. A Saturn dominant person rarely gets into addictions.
Now back to the body/mind, if the Vaat dosh is severely unbalanced, the mind will generate impulses to drink or to smoke or do drugs etc and the body will have to obey it. The intelligence loses is control over the impulses of the body/mind and starts moving down a slippery slope. Along with this, the symptoms of Vaat imbalance start manifesting, ‘nervous, fast, alone, rough, dry, light’ will be the descriptions of the body, mind, behaviour, emotions, e.g. from a loss in body weight to loneliness. If corrective actions to stabilise Vaat are not taken in this stage then it will deteriorate further and be more difficult to cure.
- Vaat, if just out of balance, will result in restlessness, scattered and looping thoughts, anxiety, inability to concentrate, memory loss, dullness etc.
- Moderately imbalanced Vaat will lead to sleeplessness, tremors and tics, nervousness; loss of appetite, loneliness, physical weakness, little or no desire to look presentable, wears shabby clothes, opinions of loved ones stop mattering, does not clean the room etc.
- Seriously affected Vaat will cause chronic insomnia, problems in perception, apathy to self, loved ones and the surroundings, delusions, hallucinations, simultaneous deterioration of the physical body, there are no positive desires in the mind. This often happens at the the very end of the substance addictions. This is either an alcoholic in delirium tremens or schizophrenic, the root cause is the same, the wildly out of balance Vaat.
Of the three tendencies, the first to go out of balance is Vaat, the next to follow is Pitta. The ‘conversion power’ of the body/mind which creates ‘heat’ and vitality is Pitta. Thus you can see the typical irrational moods, violence, flushed skin, abnormal sweating, thirst, digestive disorders, etc of the typical addict. Finally the Kapha is pushed out of balance, thus the structure of the body/mind and the fluidity which keeps them functioning is damaged. At this stage regaining equilibrium can be next to impossible.
When one crosses the milder levels of addiction, it can be difficult to stop because the habit and its withdrawal both start giving the same problem. Also guilt comes in. The person is aware that something is wrong, but does not know that it is Vaat out of balance. He does initially try to ditch the habit, maybe behaviour changes, chemical medicines perhaps, but Vaat cannot be balanced by these. So he gets caught in the cycle of guilt, he feels that he has failed to control himself, which aggravates the addictive behaviour.
Vaat is all the tens of hundreds of cycles and rhythms of the body which need to be coordinated. This is Intelligent Energy. If Vata loses its rhythm, no chemical medicine can stabilise it, Ayurvedic principles have to be applied. Ayruvedic cures are based on the living energy/pran of the plant kingdom. Concentrated vital energy from plants/Vanaspati is refined with other materials and turned into a complete medicine/Oushad. Medicinal plants are very potent and specific in their action and work on the deepest levels. And then if some simple spiritual practice can be introduced at this stage it will give faster results.
Thus additions need to be recognised primarily as a Vaat disorder and appropriate measures need to be taken on the astrological and ayurvedic fronts to enable the sufferer to come out of this imbalance. There is nothing called as a disease, it is all a reflection of the imbalance of the internal energies, which can be intelligently rebalanced to give perfect health again.