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