Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Easing Depression Without Drugs

Mindfulness helps prevent depression, study finds
Mindfulness, or paying attention to the present moment, can help prevent a relapse back into depression, according to new research. Moreover, the study concluded that being in the moment — and not judging it – helped patients stave off depressive symptoms as effectively as traditional antidepressant medication during an 18-month period.

A common problem with antidepressant medication is that patients often stop taking the drugs far too soon. Some start feeling better and discontinue their meds; others are unwilling to take pills for years or experience side effects, said lead author Zindel Segal, a psychologist at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto.

“To be protected from relapse, people need to continue on some form of self-care one to three years after depression has ended,” he said.

The study published in the current issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry compared the effectiveness of antidepressant drugs with mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) by studying people who were initially treated with medication and then either stopped taking the drug in order to receive MBCT, continued taking medication for 18 months or received a placebo. (MORE)

Source: Chicago Tribune

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