Mindfulness works as good as antidepressants to prevent relapses of depression: Study



By NewsGram Staff Writer

A new study has unveiled that practicing mindfulness works just as good as gulping down antidepressants to prevent relapses of depression.

Having its root in Buddhism, mindfulness includes paying attention on ‘the purpose.’ It is an emotionally non-reactive state, which helps people to refrain from tagging a situation good or bad.

A latest study published in ‘The Lancet’ revealed that practicing mindfulness is as effective as taking antidepressants to treat depression. The study also suggested that patients taking part in the mindfulness-based group therapy sessions were less likely to slide back into depression.

The sessions aimed at teaching mediation tricks along with ‘mindfulness principles’ with the goal of bolstering the patients to react differently to patterns of negative thinking that could give a way to depression to creep in slowly.

The study, conducted by researchers at Oxford University, followed 424 people from the South West of England for two years. Half of the people received mindfulness therapy whereas the other half continued taking antidepressants.

Surprisingly, the rate of depression relapse in the people who continuously practiced mindfulness was 44% compared to 47% among those who carried on with their medication.

“Recurrent depression is characterized by people who have very negative thoughts about themselves, other people and the world, and those negative thoughts can quickly go into a downward spiral of depressive relapse,” said Willem Kuyken, professor of clinical psychology at the University of Oxford and lead author of the study.

“Whilst this study doesn’t show that mindfulness-based cognitive therapy works any better than maintenance antidepressant medication in reducing the rate of relapse in depression, we believe these results suggest a new choice for the millions of people with recurrent depression on repeat prescriptions,” he added.