"While previous research has shown the superiority of MBCT compared with usual care, this study provides important new evidence that MBCT is also effective compared with other active treatments and that its effects are not restricted to particular groups defined by age, educational level, marital status, or sex," the researchers wrote.
The finding that MBCT may be most helpful for patients with higher levels of depressive symptoms adds to an emerging consensus that the greater the risk for depressive relapse/recurrence, the more benefit MBCT offers.Subsequently, patients whose symptoms were less severe were shown to receive less benefit from practicing the mindfulness technique. Of the 1,258 patients studied, two thirds of them were female, since more women are known to experience depression than men. The mean age was approximately 47. Researchers also pointed out that in order for MBCT to remain effective in the long run, patients have to be proactive about continuing to practice. MBCT was first developed by Dr. Zindel Segal, Mark Williams and John Teasdale, and was based on Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. The program is designed specifically for people who suffer from recurring depression and general unhappiness. MBCT is a fusion of traditional cognitive therapy and meditation, specifically geared toward cultivating mindfulness. The idea behind this method is when the patient/practitioner is better able to differentiate between the two main modes of the mind—"doing mode" vs. "being mode," then they become better equipped to self-manage their symptoms in the long run. With dependency on prescriptions at an astronomical high, and many instances leading to dangerous levels of addiction, isn't it about time more mainstream medical practitioners turn to holistic healing modalities to help their patients cope with depression? — Andrea Rice is a Senior Writer for Wanderlust Media. She is also a freelance writer, editor, and yoga teacher. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Yoga Journal, SONIMA, mindbodygreen, AstroStyle, and other online publications. You can find her regular classes at shambhala yoga & dance center in Brooklyn, and connect with her on Instagram, Twitter, and on her website.