Mindfulness as a Therapy for Reducing Depression

Table of Contents

How This Helps

Major depression disorder (MDD) is one of the most common psychiatric disorders (Langlois et al., 2012). There are a range of treatment options available however, MDD still present a high rate of relapse or recurrence after remission or recovery (Raedt et al., 2011). Individuals struggling with depression may experience recurring episodes that drastically interfere with their quality of life. Mindfulness teaches acceptance, self-compassion, and being in the moment. 

Individuals struggling with depression experience a depressed mood or a loss of interested or pleasure in most activities for a period of at least two consecutive weeks. They also experience a least four additional symptoms such as changes in appetite or weight, sleep, decreased energy, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions or recurrent thoughts of death or suicidal behaviour (Langlois et al., 2012).

 There is no single cause but contributing factors include genetic predisposition, the presence of other chronic or sever medical conditions, a serious loss or stressful life event, financial problems or low self esteem (Langlois et al., 2012).

Antidepressant medication and psychotherapy are the most common treatments of depression but mindfulness has shown promising results as a supportive treatment and therapy in the management of remission (Batink et al., 2013). 

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Science and Research

Mindfulness therapy takes roots in Buddhist traditions dating back thousands of years. It can be described as “…the awareness that emerges thought paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non judgmentally to things as they are” (Sipe & Eisendrath, 2012, p. 63).

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