A new study published the Archives of General Psychiatry has discovered that mindfulness therapy is just as effective as antidepressants in protecting against a relapse of depression.
Mindfulness comes from the Buddhist meditation tradition, but incorporates a focus on helping patients watch their feelings and thoughts in a way that lets them work with them differently, said Zindel Segal of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, in Toronto, Ontario.
In the study, researchers from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto followed 84 people ages 18 to 65 that were in remission from a depressive disorder. These patients were assigned to one of the three groups: antidepressant maintenance therapy, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, or a placebo. They found that the patients that had mindfulness-based therapy or antidepressant therapy had a reduction in relapse risk (28% and 27% respectively, compared to 71% of the placebo group).
Having this alternative to antidepressant medications is crucial – up to 40% of people who come out of depression do not take their prescribed antidepressants to prevent relapse, defying doctors’ recommendations. Pregnant women, for example, may be concerned about the effect of the drugs on the baby. Following on from the news that massages reduce stress, this is another example of spa staples such as yoga, meditation and reiki positively contributing to an individuals’ wellbeing.
Via (www.cnn.com/health and www.medpagetoday.com)