Chasing the blues away and cutting relapse with Mindfulness

Chasing the blues away and cutting relapse with Mindfulness

Did you ever had a day where you felt low in energy and no motivation to join your tutorial over zoom? It could be that you just stayed too long up last night, or you might be feeling the blues. Nowadays, feeling the blues or in other words depression is a common mental disorder in our society. According to the WHO, 322 million people over the world are suffering from depression with an astonishing high relapse rate of 50-80%! 

Most people with a high risk of relapse had a history of childhood abuse and often are considered as untreatable, since severe medication cannot prevent them of relapse. 

But remarkable findings by Mark Williams and co. found out that Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) is able to cut down relapse in severe depression by around 50%. Even medication does not reach a high drop in relapse as MBCT training. The study compared 300 patients who were randomly assigned to either MBCT or two active control groups where they either learned the basics of cognitive therapy or had the usual psychiatric treatments. 

The patients were tracked for six months to see if they had a relapse. MBCT proved to be as effective as the two active control groups, whereas MBCT was more effective in patients with a history of childhood abuse and severe depression. Therefore, MBCT with a similar outcome and no drug use is a technique that should become more popular in the general population.

Williams, J. M., Crane, C., Barnhofer, T., Brennan, K., Duggan, D. S., Fennell, M. J., Hackmann, A., Krusche, A., Muse, K., Von Rohr, I. R., Shah, D., Crane, R. S., Eames, C., Jones, M., Radford, S., Silverton, S., Sun, Y., Weatherley-Jones, E., Whitaker, C. J., Russell, D., … Russell, I. T. (2014). Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for preventing relapse in recurrent depression: a randomized dismantling trial. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology82(2), 275–286. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0035036

Blog writer: Gabi Tran

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