[–] lofalexandria [S] 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago  (edited ago)

I hate articles like this actually, but felt it worth sharing and commenting on.

The title, subtitle, and the beginning of the article strongly gives the impression that mindfulness and meditation is always as good as if not better than anti-depressants, which is absolutely not the case and is expanded on later in the article.

There is absolutely a place for non-pharmacological interventions and they should very often be tried first and utilized as much as possible as a first recourse Sometimes medication is the best route forward and should be used in conjunction with those non-pharmacological interventions, if only to stabilize the individual to the point where they can function and meaningfully engage in therapy and training in things like mindfulness and meditation.

Brain function and all that results from it is simply biochemistry, and drugs are a very important and often effective method if interacting with that biochemistry. We still have a tremendous amount to learn, probably way more than we currently know, but when applied appropriately what we know at this point can do wonders for people in some really rough places in their lives.


[–] kimochiwarui 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

Based on what information I could find on the internet, there is actually very little difference between the efficacy of antidepressant medication and placebos, although strictly for the treatment of those without severe depression. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/about/director/2011/antidepressants-a-complicated-picture.shtml I think this article synthesizes it well, and seems credible. (I'll edit this later and embed the link, sorry!)

My own thoughts: My only experience with depression has never extended to the point where I attempted suicide, so my scope is limited in that aspect. However, depression in my experience is strictly an affliction of the mind; deficiencies of certain hormones coincide with those who have depression. But who's to say that the deficiency causes depression, when it could be that depression causes the deficiency? The only thing we know for certain is that mental afflictions and physiological expressions of those problems occur simultaneously. But what I can say on the subject is limited because I don't know what it's like to have depression so severe that it cripples my desire to live. :/


[–] lofalexandria [S] 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

strictly an affliction of the mind mental afflictions and physiological expressions

This is a false dichotomy unless you introduce the concept of some version of a soul being the seat of the "mind"/personality/cognition. Neuroscience has pretty much accepted that there is no mind/body duality going on. It is 100% biology.

Regarding your link, this is the take away part for me:

In more severe forms of depression, antidepressants show greater efficacy. It is important to note that these clinical studies have primarily focused on reducing the symptoms of depression and not on a broader range of potential outcomes (such as changes in everyday functions, cognitive abilities, quality of life, etc.).

Which is why I find titles and subtitles such as

Mindfulness 'as good as anti-depressants for tackling depression'

Mindfulness meditation stopped more people sliding back into depression than anti-depressants

to be misleading at best. Especially considering the large number of people more heavily influenced by headlines and the first paragraph or so of an article compared to the number of people who seriously read everything in depth and thoughtfully.