Meditation and depression

Meditation and depression

by Headspace » Fri Aug 29, 2014 10:49 pm

The first thing to say is that I am not a medical doctor and so any opinion I have about a clinically diagnosed condition should be treated as friendly advice from a meditation teacher!

It’s true that meditation has been shown to have a very positive impact, both on those experiencing depressive episodes and those experiencing more chronic forms of depression. There is some particularly interesting research around the relapse of depression, in which meditation was shown to be “at least, if not more effective than anti-depressants” in preventing concurrent relapse. You can find out more information about this on the science page of our website.

My own experience of teaching those with depression is that it is entirely safe, as long as the necessary guidance and support is present. So if you're interested in learning more about meditation and depression, my advice would be to begin by chatting to your GP. Explain that you are interested in starting a course of meditation and see what they think. Most GP’s are aware of the latest research into mindfulness and we often hear from users who were recommended Headspace by their physician.

As a final note, it’s important to say that meditation does not ‘fix’ depression, as is often portrayed in the media. Meditation gives us a lens to look at the feelings we experience in a new way, with a fresh us the opportunity to embrace and accept those feelings. When we do, we start to feel a little less caught up in the internal dialogue, we tend to get less overwhelmed by strong emotions, and we start to become more aware of how others often struggle in similar ways, resulting in a softer, more outward looking mind.

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