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Can meditation provide benefits to depression/anxiety sufferers?

Anxiety disorders and depression are very impactful conditions. Many individuals here in Michigan struggle with these mental conditions. Some individuals find themselves unable to work because of these conditions and their effects.

There are many different treatment options for individuals who suffer from depression or an anxiety disorder. Two of the more well-known options are medications and traditional psychological/psychiatric therapy. However, there are also non-traditional treatment methods out there, such as meditation. When it comes to any treatment method, careful investigation of its effectiveness by researchers can be important.

Recently, a research review was conducted that looked at the effectiveness of a certain type of meditation as a therapy, mindfulness meditation. The review was recently published in "JAMA Internal Medicine" and it looked at 47 studies that were done regarding mindfulness meditation.

The review found that mindfulness mediation, generally, does show a degree of effectiveness in helping people manage anxiety and depression. The review's author says that the benefits may be somewhat modest. However, given the effects depression and anxiety can have on a person, even modest benefits when it comes to managing these things could be quite helpful.

The possibility that mindfulness meditation is at least somewhat effective in helping people who suffer from anxiety problems or depression is encouraging, given that such mediation has other things going for it that are good to have in a therapy: very low costs and no harmful side effects.

It will be interesting to see what future research has to say about how effective mindfulness meditation is as a treatment option for anxiety problems and depression.

Source: NPR, "Mindfulness Meditation Can Help Relieve Anxiety And Depression," Allison Aubrey, Jan. 7. 2014

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