Mindfulness-based therapy is an alternative to medication for people with recurrent depression. This is the conclusion of a British study. Compared to antidepressants, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) did just as well.
The study team invited 212 patients with a depressive history to an MBCT course. The patients participated in group sessions where they learned guided meditations and mindfulness improvement. Above all, the subjects should focus on the present in order to recognize early warning signs of another depression and to react to them in such a way that they did not trigger a recurrence. During the course, the subjects reduced the amount of medication taken.
The results of this group were compared to the results of a control group that took medication for two years. At the end of the study, a similar proportion of patients had relapsed in both groups. Many participants in the therapy group had stopped taking medication.
MBCT is therefore an alternative for patients who either cannot or do not want to take medication in the long term.
However, the experts warn that MBCT is not suitable for all forms of depression. It is not an option for people with severe depression who have been treated in the hospital or are at risk of suicide. In addition, patients should only reduce their medication under medical supervision. More on this here too. (pm)
Image: twinlili / pixelio.de