Doctors have claimed that the NHS should give patients with depression courses in meditation. This could halve the risk of depression coming back and could save the NHS millions of pounds. The Mental Health Foundation found only 1 in 20 family doctors actually prescribed meditation of any kind.
‘Mindfulness’ therapies which can include hypnotherapy are a much cheaper option than treating the condition with drugs claims Dr Andrew McCulloch, the Mental Health Foundation’s chief executive. He claimed it’s essential to make this treatment as widely available as possible as it would have huge knock-on benefits socially and economically. His report discovered that three-quarters of GPs have prescribed medication to people with long term depression when a different form of treatment would have been more appropriate.
After 2 bouts of depression, the risk of relapse is 70% rising to 90% after 3 episodes.
The Current Approach To Depression Is Not Working For Many People
Meditation is very closely linked to hypnotherapy. Meditation frequently starts with guided relaxation, focusing on breathing and an awareness of the body. This is exactly how many hypnotherapy sessions also begin. The difference is that with hypnotherapy there are suggestions given for how the client might be able to change their situation or behaviour which addresses their needs directly.
As someone who had depression for over 10 years, I find this very welcome news. The number of people with depression in Western society is increasing year on year, particularly among women. Some blame technology, diet, the media or government. Whatever the causes, the way this issue is being treated is not making things any better.
Some say the eagerness of the medical profession to throw tablets at the problem could be contributing to the problem. Don’t get me wrong, in some cases, medication can help. In many cases, though medication is the one and the only solution tried by the GP.
Hopefully, in 2010, we will see more of the medical profession turning to things like meditation, mindfulness and hypnotherapy first to help their patients to deal with depression and if that proves unsuccessful THEN turning to medication.
Whether this change in approach is undertaken because of the NHS becoming more restricted in its budget or whether it is due to greater openness to other techniques on behalf of the medical profession it doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that anyone who has depression is given the best tools, techniques and support available to help them to beat their condition?