Meditation (Mindfulness)

Depression

This sites intended use it not for self-treatment of depression. If you or someone you know is depressed you should seek help from a health care professional.

Studies have shown meditation to be effective (Gayner, Esplen et al. 2011) (Szanton, Wenzel et al. 2011). The thought behind it is that you are taking your mind off of the past and future by concentrating on your breath. Even though problems will still exist you have given your mind a break from being the fight, flight, or freeze mode. (Goldin & Gross 2010)

An 8-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction study (Shapiro, Schwartz, Bonner et al. 1998) on Medical and Premedical Students at the University of Arizona. The study had a high completion rate of 97% which was consistent with previous studies. The data indicate that participation in a mindfulness-based stress reduction intervention can effectively

1) Reduce self-reports of overall psychological distress including depression

2) Reduce self-reported state and trait anxiety

3) Increase scores on overall empathy levels

4) Increase scores on a measure of spiritual experiences assessed at termination of the intervention

These results replicated in the wait-list control group, held across experimenters were observed during the exam period. Further, analysis demonstrated that one’s compliance with treatment played an important role in the outcome.

Gayner, B., M. J. Esplen, et al. (2011). “A randomized controlled trial of mindfulness-based stress reduction to manage affective symptoms and improve quality of life in gay men living with HIV.” Journal of behavioral medicine.

Goldin, P. R. and J. J. Gross (2010). “Effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) on emotion regulation in social anxiety disorder.” Emotion 10(1): 83-91.

Szanton, S. L., J. Wenzel, et al. (2011). “Examining mindfulness-based stress reduction: Perceptions from minority older adults residing in a low-income housing facility.” BMC complementary and alternative medicine 11(1): 44.

Vollestad, J., B. Sivertsen, et al. (2011). “Mindfulness-based stress reduction for patients with anxiety disorders: evaluation in a randomized controlled trial.” Behaviour research and therapy 49(4): 281-288.

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