Meditation Improves Mental Health

February 4, 2013 | Ontario

Many individuals coping with mental disorders or addictions resort to medicinal treatment to ease their pain, which can work for many people facing these problems. However, a number of medical experts argue that natural healing methods can offer similar, if not more beneficial, forms of treatment and reduce a person's risk of feeling dependent or reliant upon certain types of medication.

A new Canadian study demonstrates that meditation can do as good of a job in preventing relapses as certain drug treatments, the National Post reports.

Researchers at Ontario's Centre for Addiction and Mental Health decided to look into this topic to discover the impact of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), and if it could ultimately replace medication for patients suffering from depression and addictions. The main lessons involved in this type of therapy include learning to regulation emotions, adopting new lifestyle changes and taking note of catalysts that might lead patients to relapse.

Patients involved in the Ontario study, which was published in "Archives of General Psychiatry," were administered antidepressants until their symptoms reached the remission phase, the news source reports. They then split the group up into three subdivisions, where one continued taking the drugs, another took placebos and the final underwent MBCT. According to the study, relapse rates for both the MBCT group and the antidepressant group were almost exactly the same after 18 months, and were significantly lower than the placebo group.

Students who are taking courses in addictions and mental health programs can use this valuable information in their practices and consider the pros and cons of both types of treatment. Many patients may notify healthcare workers that they do not wish to receive medicinal treatment, for fear of becoming entirely dependent upon that type of medicine, or relapsing once they stop taking it. For these types of patients, personnel can suggest MBCT.

Ultimately, practicing mindfulness can help those suffering with mental illness or depression by allowing them to recognize warning signs of a potential downward spiral before it is too late. It brings life's positive aspects - whether it's a person's family, career or other passion - to the forefront of their mind and helps individuals think critically about each decision they make.

Those who wish to help others living with mental health or addiction issues will benefit from the healthcare courses in the Addictions and Community Services Worker program at CDI College. To find out more information, fill out the form on the right.

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