Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy very effective for depression

I’m a big believer in meditation to treat any psychiatric disturbance and have a couple of recovery stories of people who just used meditation in order to heal from deeply entrenched mental illness. See Jane’s story here and read Sally’s here. These are two stories of complete recovery through discipline and will using meditation.

Most people don’t have the discipline to do what Jane and Sally did though and these new generations of CBT are very promising. DBT incorporated mindfulness meditation years ago and I’ve mentioned ACT before. I’ve had friends turn their life around with ACT. Some people do better with the help of professionals.

Today an article in Science Daily talks about a study on MBCT revealing great results:

In a study, published December 1, 2008 in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, MBCT proved as effective as maintenance anti-depressants in preventing a relapse and more effective in enhancing peoples’ quality of life. The study also showed MBCT to be as cost-effective as prescription drugs in helping people with a history of depression stay well in the longer-term.

The randomised control trial involved 123 people from urban and rural locations who had suffered repeat depressions and were referred to the trial by their GPs. The participants were split randomly into two groups. Half continued their on-going anti-depressant drug treatment and the rest participated in an MBCT course and were given the option of coming off anti-depressants.

Over the 15 months after the trial, 47% of the group following the MBCT course experienced a relapse compared with 60% of those continuing their normal treatment, including anti-depressant drugs. In addition, the group on the MBCT programme reported a higher quality of life, in terms of their overall enjoyment of daily living and physical well-being. (complete article)

In other words, in the long run, MBCT is far superior to antidepressants. Besides antidepressants often not working at all they have dangerous as well as annoying side effects and sometimes people become dependent on them and can’t handle the withdrawal process. Why they can’t say that explicitly is beyond me.

Hat tip: The Healthy Skeptic

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4 thoughts on “Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy very effective for depression

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  1. go for it Dano!!

    best wishes for total recovery.

    and that is delightful that you trust your doc….

    I have a really nice doc too…I like him a lot, but I’ve had to tell him how to do my taper. He wouldn’t have had any idea that it would or should take as long as it has.

  2. Thanks for the guidance! I know this may not be a popular opinion, but I have great faith in my p-doc. I have been through countless doctors before arriving at my current team.

    Now that I have some solid CBT behind me, a 12-Step program (four years) and a p-doc with a vision of a med-free future, I am doing quite well.

    I’ve had some depression, but have caught it/addressed it before too late. I hope to continue this mental wellness gathering for the foreseeable future, knowing that when I feel solid in my recovery, I can start tapering off.

    I meet with him on Tuesday and will run it by him. Thanks again, sweetie!

  3. Dano,
    most people with histories like yours need lots of supports in place to go drug free…

    diet, nutrition, exercise and meditation…and any number of other things…

    also most people taper off drugs way too fast and then have symptoms they think are the disease returning when in fact it’s withdrawal…

    the best thing to do is a lot of research and preparation and then teach your doc, because most of them simply don’t know enough to do withdrawal and support responsibly…

    granted I don’t know your doctor or what you’ve tried so I’m just speaking in general terms at this point…

  4. My p-doc sees a drug free future for me. We streamline, but I end up crashing and needing more. I will be looking into this as a bridge to coming of my meds.

    Depression is a huge problem in my life and psychosis keeps it company. I wonder if MBCT helps with hallucinations?

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