When it comes to preventing a relapse in depression, meditation might be just as helpful as medication. That's the finding of a new study from Archives of General Psychiatry, which compared the effectiveness of antidepressants and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (or MBCT, a healing approach that pairs mindfulness meditation with cognitive behavioral therapy).
The study involved 84 people in remission from major depression, all of whom had been treated with antidepressant medication. For 18 months, one group of participants stopped taking medication and started attending weekly MBCT sessions, a second group continued taking medication, and a third group was switched to a placebo. Study results showed that relapse rates for patients in the MBCT group were similar to those in the medication group (about 30 percent), while members of the placebo group had about a 70 percent rate of relapse.