Monday, December 8, 2008

Study Finds Non-Drug Meditation Treatment Beats Depression

Study Finds Non-Drug Meditation Treatment Beats Depression
Tuesday, December 02, 2008 by: Sherry Baker, Health Sciences Editor
See all articles by this author

Email this author

Key concepts: Meditation, Depression and Health

Email this article to a friend Printable Version FREE Email Newsletter
Breaking News for Monday, December 08, 2008
Psychiatric Medications Should be Prescribed to Healthy People, Declares Medical Journal
Myth busted: Food Barcodes Do Not Reveal Products Made in China
Meditation Works as Well as Medication to Beat Depression
Coke, Pepsi Used as Agricultural Pesticides by India Farmers
Soldiers' Traumatic Brain Injuries Cause Dementia, Aggression, Depression and Relationship Problems
See all Breaking News...

FREE Natural Health Newsletter
Receive natural health product reviews, recommendations and alerts.
Instant download of 20+ free health reports and exclusive interviews.
Join over 1.2 million monthly readers.

Unsubscribe anytime, email privacy guaranteed

Products Related to This Article*
• The Genie In Your Genes by Dawson Church
A free, downloadable summary of this book
for learning about the biology of intention

• Free download: Selling Sickness (summary)
Read the best book on disease mongering
for learning the truth about Big Pharma

• The Weiss Method for Heart Disease☯
How to reverse heart disease naturally
for heart disease, high cholesterol

* Recommended by the Health Ranger.

Articles Related to This Article:
• Meditation Benefits for Those with Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia

• Study Shows Meditation Lowers Stress

• Use the Power of the Mind to Improve Your Health and Well Being

(NaturalNews) Clinical depression is far more than feeling blue. According to the National Institutes of Health, more than 20 million people in the U.S. have persistant depression that can interfere with everyday life, impact health and even lead to suicide. Now, for the first time, a study has shown that treatment based on meditation is an effective alternative to prescription drugs, even for people suffering from serious, long-term depression.

The research, just published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, found that the group-based psychological treatment called Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) was as good or better as treatment with anti-depressants like Prozac in preventing a relapse of serious depression -- and the non-drug therapy was more effective in enhancing quality of life. What’s more, the study concluded MBCT is cost-effective in helping people with a history of depression stay well for the long term.

The research team, which included British investigators from the Mood Disorders Center at the University of Exeter and the Center for Economics of Mental Health (CEMH) at the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College in London, looked at 123 people who had suffered repeated episodes of clinical depression. In a randomized control trial , the research subjects were assigned to one of two groups. Half continued their on-going drug treatment with anti-depressants and the rest participated in an MBCT course and were also given the option of stopping their anti-depressant medications.

MBCT focuses on targeting negative thinking and helps people who are at risk for recurring depression to stop their depressed moods from spiraling out of control into a full episode of depression. During the eight-week trial, groups of between eight and fifteen people attended meetings with a therapist who taught them a range of meditation exercises that they could continue to practice on their own once the course ended. The MBCT exercises were primarily based on Buddhist meditation techniques and helped the study participants learn to focus on the present, rather than dwelling on the past or worrying about future tasks.

Although the meditation exercises worked in a different way for each person, many reported more control over their negative thoughts and depressed feelings. Over the 15 months after the trial ended , about 47% of the group following the MBCT course experienced a relapse -- but those who continued normal treatment with anti-depressant drugs experienced a much higher, 60 percent relapse rate. In addition, the group practicing the mindfulness meditation techniques learned in the MBCT program reported a far better quality of life, more overall enjoyment and better physical well-being.

In a statement to the media, Professor Willem Kuyken of the University of Exeter , who headed the research, explained that people treated with anti-depressants are highly vulnerable to relapse when they stop their prescription drug therapy. “MBCT takes a different approach – it teaches people skills for life. What we have shown is that when people work at it, these skills for life help keep people well. Our results suggest MBCT may be a viable alternative for some of the 3.5 million people in the UK known to be suffering from this debilitating condition. People who suffer depression have long asked for psychological approaches to help them recover in the long-term and MBCT is a very promising approach. I think we have the basis for offering patients and GPs an alternative to long-term anti-depressant medication. We are planning to conduct a larger trial to put these results to the test and to examine how MBCT works,” Kuvken said.

No comments: