Depression is like a cloud that casts the dark shadows of disappointment, frustration and regret over you and never lets you see the beautiful sky of life clearly. Many treatments attempt to come to the rescue but defeating the battle has more to do with your own will power to stand back and fight again every time you are knocked down. The mind is much more powerful than most can imagine and optimal results are achieved if it is properly trained. Mindfulness is the ability of the mind to be attentive to the present moment. Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is a treatment to inhibit recurrence of depression. MBCT infuses meditation a nd breathing exercises to prevent relapse in individuals after recovering from depression. This therapy has recently been found effective in treating psychological conditions such as anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder and insomnia.
It is eight weeks of therapy courses to teach the individuals the art of mindfulness meditation. With the help of MBCT, individuals are better able to distract themselves from troubling thoughts that attempt to haunt them down again and instead increase their focus through yoga, breathing and meditation. Throughout the therapy, patients are taught mind management skills for increased metacognitive awareness and dealing with negative thoughts by responding in skillful ways. The therapy teaches the individuals to disconnect from troubling thoughts by recognizing their sense of being and seeing them as separate from their thoughts or moods. The individual witnesses an increased sense of awareness of being in the present moment. MBCT focuses on creating better awareness of depression among the participants and teaching them skills to liberate themselves from haunting thoughts. The long term benefit of MBCT includes the ability of the participant to use the techniques taught to him whenever the need arises again at any phase of life.
While antidepressants are seen as effective in treating relapse of depression, MBCT might take a lead as it is cost effective and does not come with side effects. Antidepressants have been proven to have neuron-killing effects that cause serious threats to cognition. Moreover antidepressants and their long term use also causes problems such as impaired gastrointestinal functioning and sexual dysfunction in individuals. So, a safer choice is surely MBCT.
MBCT is recommended by the National Institute for Clinical and Health Excellence as an effective and powerful treatment technique to help people stop recurring episodes of depression.
Moreover, Mindfulness Based Cognitive Behavior Therapy is proven to be effective by considerably reducing the cravings for substances in addicts. As addiction weakens the prefrontal cortex in the brain, Mindfulness meditation strengthens the prefrontal cortex in the brain and hence reduces the cravings in addicts hence giving them better self-control.
Experts are hopeful that MBCT is a healthier approach to preventing depression and it helps an individual in living in the present without focusing on the dark thoughts of the past or daunting thoughts of the future.