Oceans Eleven Johns Hopkins Research Team Validates Mindbody Medicine for Depression & Anxiety (Redux!)
A(nother) very large research team (umm how about calling them the Oceans Eleven of JH?) led by Madhav Goyal, MD, MPH, at Johns Hopkins University published findings from a study they did about the effects of mindfulness practices on symptoms of anxiety and depression.
The team analyzed the methodology and findings from 47 trials and 3,500 subjects.
They found that mindfulness meditation, over a period of eight weeks and three months, had positive effects of “improved anxiety…depression…and pain.” They found no evidence of an effect on mood (isn’t; that anxiety & depression?), sleep, eating habits…and other such stuff.
And the researchers said that mindfulness appeared to provide as much relief from “..anxiety and depression symptoms… as antidepressants…” And then they added that the subjects did not suffer from full blown depression or anxiety.
Doncha just hate it when researchers say a cheap, free, self-care practice that people can do at home to relieve anxiety, depression and pain works as well as an antidepressant and then back-pedal??
Doncha just hate it when researchers issue statements they think are supposed to inform clinical practice but then don’t follow through?
Hey – I’m not suggesting that anyone give up their medications, however!
But just how depressed and anxious does a person have to be to benefit from mindfulness practices? Give me a break.
The people I see all day , all week, all month…have a range of depressive and anxious symptomologies and actual diagnoses…running the gamut from textbook depression and anxiety to the old stand-by of “adjustment” issues… insurance speak I’m forced to use for “worried well” or “normally neurotic” or just needing some professional support.
And I’d say that most people who come to my counseling practice could benefit from adding one relaxation or awareness practice such as mindfulness, easy safe touch, retraining in breathing, body awareness, nature walking, personal spirituality or guided imagery.
In my counseling practice in Wayne , and in my online work, I’m available to help you navigate your life issues and help you find a comfortable mix of mindful self-care and professional help. Please feel free to email or call me.
Dr. Madhav Goyal and Ocean Eleven at Johns Hopkins (2013). Meditation programs for psychological stress and well-being: A systematic review and meta-analysis.