Mind full or mindful?
Current recommended treatment for recurrant depression in the UK is at least two years of maintenance antidepressants, but a recent study has shown that meditation and mindfulness may be equally as effective.
In the study, published in the Lancet medical journal, two randomized, controlled, groups of 212 adults were put together. The groups consisted of people who had suffered three or more major depressive episodes and were on a therapeutic dose of maintenance antidepressants. One group spent the next two years tapering off the pills, or not using any at all, and attended eight group sessions of more than two hours plus daily home practice and the option of four follow-up sessions over a year. The sessions included group discussions and cognitive behavior exercises, as well as training in mindfulness.
The other group maintained their consumption of antidepressant pills, with no additional training or therapy for the duration of the two years.
Interestingly, the study found that there was no significant difference in prevention of depressive relapse. Both the pills and the meditation worked wonders. In total, amongst the 424 participants, there were 5 adverse events, including 4 deaths (2 in each group).