Depression is a complex illness that involves the body, mood, behaviors, and thoughts. Depression does not have a single cause, and people of all ages and racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds can experience depression. Depression is the most common mental illness. It is estimated that 16 million American adults—almost 7% of the population—had at least 1 major depressive episode last year (NAMI 2016). Some people have only one episode in a lifetime, but for most people depression is a recurring and often debilitating illness. As many as eighty percent of people who experience a major depressive period in their lives, will experience one again. Depression is not a weakness. It is a serious mental health condition that requires understanding, treatment, and a good recovery plan.
Here at EBMC we are committed to providing integrative and evidence-based treatment for depression. Essential to our treatment model are Mindfulness Bases Approaches such as mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT), to relieve the symptoms of depression, prevent relapse, and increase the quality of life for many sufferers.
A recent study published in The Lancet found that MBCT helped prevent depression relapse as effectively as ongoing antidepressant medication did. An "Evidence Map of Mindfulness" prepared for the Department of Veterans Affairs on all types of mindfulness interventions found the most consistent effect on depression versus other health conditions (Evidence-based Synthesis Program Center, 2014).
"People at risk for depression are dealing with a lot of negative thoughts, feelings and beliefs about themselves and this can easily slide into a depressive relapse," says the Lancet study's lead author, Willem Kuyken, PhD, a professor at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. "MBCT helps them to recognize that's happening, engage with it in a different way and respond to it with equanimity and compassion."
As an adjunct to other therapies, Mindfulness Based interventions may be the essential key to effective and sustainable relief from depression.