Meditation Is As Effective As Medication For Addressing Anxiety and It Is A Lot Safer ...


NBC NewsThe first study ever to directly compare medication to meditation for anxiety finds the two methods work equally well at reducing symptoms.

The finding, published Wednesday in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, suggests that people struggling with anxiety could be helped either by a daily pill (which could come with side effects) or a daily practice of mindfulness (which requires a substantial time commitment).

“For both treatments, we had people who said, ‘This really worked,’” said study author Dr. Elizabeth Hoge, director of the Anxiety Disorders Research Program and associate professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

About 6.8 million adults in the U.S. have generalized anxiety disorder, but less than half receive treatment, according to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America.

The two-month study included 276 patients diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. Half were given a common antidepressant — escitalopram (brand name: Lexapro) — and the other half participated in a mindfulness-based stress reduction program.

Both groups reported moderate improvements: a 20% reduction in symptoms at the end of the study, regardless of their treatment.

That kind of benefit is consistent with other studies of medications to treat anxiety, said Craig Sawchuk, a psychologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, who was not involved with the new research.

The study “shows there are alternative options that don’t involve medicine to help treat anxiety, that are just as effective,” said Lindsey McKernan, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, who was also not involved with the study.

In the era of Trump and a rogue republican party, mindfulness meditation to improve awareness is just what the doctor ordered. It is as effective as medicating and is a hell of a lot safer. Meditating with the guidance of an accomplised qualified meditation teacher can produce big benefits. I know from personal experience.

Meditate more and medicate much less!

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