Mindfulness reduces anxiety as much antidepressants

A major study by Georgetown University Medical Center concluded that mindfulness is as effective at reducing anxiety as a commonly prescribed antidepressant.

The results were published in the peer-reviewed journal JAMA Psychiatry, Participants in the mindfulness group practised daily meditations using a few different mindfulness techniques they learned at weekly classes and also went on daylong retreats.

The meditation techniques included breath awareness; body scanning, in which attention is directed to one body part at a time; and mindful movement, in which stretching and movements bring attention to the body.

Participants in the antidepressant group received 10mg of escitalopram daily the first week and then took 20mg daily for the rest of the study if the pill was well tolerated. There were 102 patients in the mindfulness group and 106 in the antidepressant group.

After 8 weeks, researchers found that people using mindfulness meditation saw their anxiety improve as much as people who were taking the antidepressant.

Dr. Elizabeth Hoge, lead author on the study, said the findings support physicians recommending mindfulness meditation as an alternative to antidepressants. Many people worry that antidepressants will interfere with their daily lives and others start taking medications but stop.

Hoge, who is director of Georgetown University’s Anxiety Disorders Research Program, said the study also provides evidence for insurers to cover mindfulness meditation as a treatment for anxiety.

Anxiety disorders are the most common type of mental illness, affecting about 301 million people around the world, according to a February study published in Lancet Psychiatry.

Mindfulness is great for helping with anxiety and depression -

More from the blog

The slow lane

The slow lane I took my old mum shopping today, she loves a ride around Morrisons in her wheelchair it’s a chance to get out

Read More »

Christmas get together

Christmas get together https://youtu.be/m_mSSZg2Kw8 Just turn up – see you there Meeting Rooms14b Neal’s Yard, Covent Garden London WC2H 9DP look for the blue door

Read More »