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Meditation 'on a par with antidepressants'

Meditation 'on a par with antidepressants'
9th December 2010

Meditation can work just as well as antidepressants to prevent depression relapse, according to new findings.

Research, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, found that mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) is on a par with antidepressants at preventing a relapse in patients who have been diagnosed with major depressive disorder in the past.

MBCT teaches patients how to be aware of and regulate certain emotions and make lifestyle changes which help with mental health issues.

Canadian scientists recruited 84 patients who were in remission from major depressive disorder and spilt them into groups of intervention, standard care and placebo.

Those in the intervention group swapped antidepressants for MBCT while the standard care group stayed on their medication and the prescription of the third group was switched to a placebo.

Researchers concluded: "For depressed patients achieving stable or unstable clinical remission, MBCT offers protection against relapse/recurrence on a par with that of maintenance antidepressant pharmacotherapy."

This comes after mental health charities urged the government to stick to their promise of expanding services for those with mental health difficulties.

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