Depression and anxiety are common and debilitating illnesses that negatively impact personal well-being and functioning. The effects of depression and anxiety not only affect the individual, but also peers, family, the community, economy, and even the health care system. Pharmacological therapy is a first line treatment for depression and anxiety, but the risk for relapse remains. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) are treatments that have demonstrated effectiveness in treating depression. The evidence suggests that both therapies are successful in terms of reducing depressive symptoms, but most effective when combined. Further, evidence shows that the combination of MBCT and traditional pharmacological therapy provides relief from depressive symptoms and lengthens the amount of time between recurrent episodes and improves the quality of life. A project was implemented at an integrated health clinic to evaluate the effectiveness of a mindfulness-based intervention to reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety. The results revealed that practicing mindfulness was statistically and clinically significant in reducing depression and anxiety. In addition, mindfulness scores increased over 30 day application of the intervention. The results demonstrated the value of utilizing mindfulness as a cost-effective therapy in addition to pharmacological treatment to decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well as improve mindfulness. The ease of use demonstrated the value of mindfulness and self-directed skills aimed at improving wellness, reducing depression and anxiety which will result in the improvement of individual, economic, healthcare system, and community health.
- The Effects of mindfulness on Depression and Anxiety
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