Reduce the Symptoms of Schizophrenia with Mind-Body Practices

Reduce the Symptoms of Schizophrenia with Mind-Body Practices

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Research shows that some mindfulness-based interventions for psychotic symptoms can afford people a greater acceptance and insight into their experiences. They can also reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression which often accompany, and may exacerbate, psychotic disorders.” – Adrianna Mendrek

 

Schizophrenia is the most common form of psychosis. Its effects about 1% of the population worldwide. It appears to be highly heritable and involves changes in the brain. It is characterized by both positive and negative symptoms. Positive symptoms include hallucinations; seeing and, in some cases, feeling, smelling or tasting things that aren’t there, or delusions; unshakable beliefs that, when examined rationally, are obviously untrue. Negative symptoms include a reduced ability to function normally, neglect of personal hygiene, lack of emotion, blank facial expressions, speaking in a monotone, loss of interest in everyday activities, social withdrawal, an inability to experience pleasure, and a lack of insight into their symptoms. The symptoms of schizophrenia usually do not appear until late adolescence or early adulthood.

 

Schizophrenia is very difficult to treat with psychotherapy and is usually treated with antipsychotic drugs. These drugs, however, are not always effective, sometimes lose effectiveness, and can have some difficult side effects. Mindfulness training has been shown to be beneficial for a variety of mental health problems, including psychosis. Mindfulness has also been shown to associated with lower symptom severity of schizophrenia. Also, there is accumulating research that mindfulness and yoga practices may be beneficial for patients with major mental illnesses. Tai Chi and Qigong  practices have also been shown to improve the symptoms of schizophrenia. The evidence is accumulating. So, it makes sense to step back and summarize what has been learned about mind-body practices as treatments for schizophrenia.

 

In today’s Research News article “Effects of Mind-Body Exercises on Schizophrenia: A Systematic Review With Meta-Analysis.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7457019/ ) Wei and colleagues review, summarize and perform a meta-analysis of the published controlled research studies of the effectiveness of mind-body practices to improve the symptoms of schizophrenia. They included Tai Chi, Qigong, yoga, and other mindful movement practices. They identified 13 studies (11 randomized controlled trials) employing a total of 1159 patients with schizophrenia.

 

They report that the published studies found that mind-body practices produced significant improvements of both the positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia and also depression. In addition, the greater the number of weekly mind-body sessions the greater the improvement in the positive symptoms and the greater the duration of the mind-body sessions the greater the improvements in the negative symptoms.

 

These results are impressive as schizophrenia is difficult to treat. But the results show that mind-body practices are safe and effective treatments that improve not only the positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia but also the frequently co-occurring depression. There also appears to be a dose response effect such that the greater the frequency and duration of mind-body practices the greater the benefits. This suggests that mind-body practices should be recommended as a part of the treatment for schizophrenia.

 

So, reduce the symptoms of schizophrenia with mind-body practices.

 

yoga therapy is of particular benefit for those with schizophrenia . .  in lessening state anxiety and increasing subjective wellbeing, while also reducing both positive and negative symptoms and improving quality of life.” – Minded Institute

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Wei, G. X., Yang, L., Imm, K., Loprinzi, P. D., Smith, L., Zhang, X., & Yu, Q. (2020). Effects of Mind-Body Exercises on Schizophrenia: A Systematic Review With Meta-Analysis. Frontiers in psychiatry, 11, 819. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2020.00819

 

Abstract

Background

Mind–body exercises (MBEs) have been widely accepted as a complementary therapy for the patients with low exercise tolerance. Currently, the number of experimental studies investigating the effect of MBEs for improving symptoms in people with schizophrenia is increasing. However, results are inconsistent.

Methods

We systematically reviewed and meta-analyzed the effects of mind–body exercises on schizophrenia. Seven electronic databases (Pubmed, Web of Science, PsycINFO, Embase, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials [CENTRAL], CNKI and Wangfang) were screened through October 2019 and risks of bias of included studies were assessed in Review Manager 5.3.

Results

Meta-analysis on 13 studies with 1,159 patients showed moderately significant effects in favor of mind–body exercise intervention to improve positive symptoms (SMD = 0.31; 95% CI 0.01 to 0.60; p = 0.04), negative symptoms (SMD = 0.37; 95% CI 0.14 to 0.60; p = 0.002), and depression (SMD = 0.88; 95% CI 0.63 to 1.13; p<0.00001). Meta-regression analysis revealed that the improvement in positive symptoms was positively associated with the frequency of intervention (p = 0.04), while a marginally significant correlation was observed between the improved negative symptoms and duration of each session (p = 0.06).

Conclusions

This meta-analysis supports the therapeutic effects of MBEs to aid in the treatment of schizophrenia. Further studies need to incorporate rigorous design and large sample size to identify the optimal type and dose of mind–body exercise to inform clinical practices on MBEs’ recommendations for the management of schizophrenia symptoms.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7457019/

 

Distress Is Lower during a COVID-19 Pandemic Lockdown in Mindful People

Distress Is Lower during a COVID-19 Pandemic Lockdown in Mindful People

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“During the current pandemic, there is so much uncertainty concerning the future, and many threats to our security (physical, social, emotional, and financial). It is totally natural and normal to feel anxious, fearful, and frustrated. . . Mindfulness can help us acknowledge this situation, without allowing us to be carried away with strong emotions; it can, in turn, help bring ourselves back to a centered calm. Only then can we see more clearly what it is we have control over and what it is that we do not.” – Michigan Medicine

 

Modern living is stressful under the best of conditions. But with the COVID-19 pandemic the levels of stress have been markedly increased. These conditions markedly increase anxiety. This is true for everyone but especially for healthcare workers and people caring for patients with COVID-19 and for people with pre-existing conditions that makes them particularly vulnerable. But it is also true for healthy individuals who worry about infection for themselves or loved ones.

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has also produced considerable economic stress, with loss of employment and steady income. For the poor this extends to high levels of food insecurity. This not only produces anxiety about the present but also for the future. It is important for people to engage in practices that can help them control their responses to the stress and their levels of anxiety. Mindfulness practices have been found routinely to reduce the psychological and physiological responses to stress, reduce anxiety levels, and improve mood.

 

In today’s Research News article “Mindfulness, Age and Gender as Protective Factors Against Psychological Distress During COVID-19 Pandemic.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01900/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1437459_69_Psycho_20200922_arts_A ) Conversano and colleagues solicited adult participants online during a government ordered lockdown and had them complete measures of COVID-19 experiences, mindfulness, psychological distress, and mental illness symptoms.

 

They found strong negative relationships between mindfulness and psychological distress. They found that the higher the levels of mindfulness the lower the levels of psychological distress including somatic symptoms, symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder, internalizing symptoms, depression, anxiety, hostility, phobia, paranoia, psychoticism, and sleep disturbance. They also found weak relationships with age and gender such that younger and female participants tended to have higher psychological distress.

 

It needs to be kept in mind that these results are correlational and as such causation cannot be determined. Mindfulness may produce reduced distress or conversely distress may produce reduced mindfulness or some third factor may produce both. Nevertheless, the results show that during a pandemic lockdown that the people who have high levels of mindfulness also have low levels of psychological distress.

 

So, distress is lower during a COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in mindful people.

 

In many ways, COVID-19 has shown us just how connected and how much the same we really are. All of us—and some of us more than others—are vulnerable to getting sick and none of us wants to become ill. Viewed through the lens of interconnectedness, practicing mindfulness as the coronavirus spreads is not only a way to care for ourselves but a way to care for everyone around us.” – Kelly Baron

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Conversano C, Di Giuseppe M, Miccoli M, Ciacchini R, Gemignani A and Orrù G (2020) Mindfulness, Age and Gender as Protective Factors Against Psychological Distress During COVID-19 Pandemic. Front. Psychol. 11:1900. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01900

 

Objective: Mindfulness disposition is associated with various psychological factors and prevents emotional distress in chronic diseases. In the present study, we analyzed the key role of mindfulness dispositions in protecting the individual against psychological distress consequent to COVID-19 social distancing and quarantining.

Methods: An online survey was launched on March 13, 2020, with 6,412 responses by April 6, 2020. Socio-demographic information, exposure to the pandemic, and quarantining were assessed together with psychological distress and mindfulness disposition. Multivariate linear regression analysis was performed to study the influence of predictive factors on psychological distress and quality of life in Italian responders during the early days of lockdown. Pearson correlations were calculated to study the relationship between mindfulness and psychiatric symptoms.

Results: Multivariate linear regression run on socio-demographics, COVID-19-related variables, and mindfulness disposition as moderators of overall psychological distress showed that mindfulness was the best predictor of psychological distress (β = −0.504; p < 0.0001). High negative correlations were found between mindfulness disposition and the overall Global Severity Index (r = −0.637; p < 0.0001), while moderate to high associations were found between mindfulness and all SCL-90 sub-scales.

Discussion: Findings showed that high dispositional mindfulness enhances well-being and helps in dealing with stressful situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Mindfulness-based mental training could represent an effective intervention to stem post-traumatic psychopathological beginnings and prevent the onset of chronic mental disorders.

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01900/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1437459_69_Psycho_20200922_arts_A

 

Improve Schizophrenia with Mindfulness

Improve Schizophrenia with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

Research shows that some mindfulness-based interventions for psychotic symptoms can afford people a greater acceptance and insight into their experiences. They can also reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression which often accompany, and may exacerbate, psychotic disorders.” – Adrianna Mendrek

 

Schizophrenia is the most common form of psychosis. Its effects about 1% of the population worldwide. It appears to be highly heritable and involves changes in the brain. It is characterized by both positive and negative symptoms. Positive symptoms include hallucinations; seeing and, in some cases, feeling, smelling or tasting things that aren’t there, or delusions; unshakable beliefs that, when examined rationally, are obviously untrue. Negative symptoms include a reduced ability to function normally, neglect of personal hygiene, lack of emotion, blank facial expressions, speaking in a monotone, loss of interest in everyday activities, social withdrawal, an inability to experience pleasure, and a lack of insight into their symptoms. The symptoms of schizophrenia usually do not appear until late adolescence or early adulthood.

 

Schizophrenia is very difficult to treat with psychotherapy and is usually treated with antipsychotic drugs. These drugs, however, are not always effective, sometimes lose effectiveness, and can have some difficult side effects. Mindfulness training has been shown to be beneficial for a variety of mental health problems, including psychosis. Mindfulness has also been shown to associated with lower symptom severity of schizophrenia. The evidence is accumulating. So, it makes sense to step back and summarize what has been learned.

 

In today’s Research News article “Mindfulness-Based Interventions for People with Schizophrenia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7369977/) Hodann-Caudevilla and colleagues review, summarize, and perform a meta-analysis of the published research studies on the effectiveness of mindfulness training on the symptoms of schizophrenia. The identified 10 published studies that included a total of 1096 participants. The trainings usually included treatment as usual, mindfulness training, psychoeducation, and group exercises.

 

They report that the published research studies found that mindfulness training resulted in significant increases in mindfulness and significant improvements of overall schizophrenic symptoms after training and also 6-months later with large effect sizes. These improvements were in both the positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia and the individual’s awareness of their illness.

 

These results are excellent and suggest that mindfulness training when provided along with the usual treatments produce large and significant improvements in the symptoms of schizophrenia. There has been, for a long time, a worry that mindfulness training for individuals with psychosis might actually exacerbate the illness. But the review suggests that the opposite, in fact, is true with mindfulness training greatly improving the illness.

 

So, improve schizophrenia with mindfulness.

 

“There is emerging evidence that mindfulness for psychosis – when used in an adapted form – is safe and therapeutic.” – Paul Charwick

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Hodann-Caudevilla, R. M., Díaz-Silveira, C., Burgos-Julián, F. A., & Santed, M. A. (2020). Mindfulness-Based Interventions for People with Schizophrenia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. International journal of environmental research and public health, 17(13), 4690. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17134690

 

Abstract

(1) Background: There is increasing interest in the practice of mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) to treat people with schizophrenia, as evidenced by the publication of different randomized controlled trials (RCTs). However, no meta-analysis of RCTs has been carried out to date with the exclusive inclusion of this type of interventions. (2) Objective: To analyze empirical evidence regarding the effectiveness of MBIs for the improvement of clinical parameters associated with schizophrenia. Method: A systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted of RCTs published in the databases PsycINFO, PubMed, WOS, and Cochrane Library. (3) Results: A total of 10 articles (n = 1094) fulfilled the criteria for inclusion in the review. The analysis of these studies suggests that MBIs combined with standard interventions are able to generate significant improvements in a variety of clinical schizophrenia-related parameters, such as the intensity of overall symptomatology (g = 0.72), positive symptoms (g = 0.32), negative symptoms (g = 0.40), functioning level (g = 1.28), and awareness of illness (g = 0.65). (4) Conclusions: There is evidence that supports the effectiveness and safety of MBIs for the treatment of people with schizophrenia. The results obtained by MBIs are comparable to those obtained by cognitive-behavioral therapy for psychosis. However, given the heterogeneity of the applied interventions and the methodological limitations found in the reviewed trials, the results should be interpreted with caution.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7369977/

 

Mindfulness Improves the Emotion Regulation in Patients with Schizophrenia

Mindfulness Improves the Emotion Regulation in Patients with Schizophrenia

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

Mindfulness treatments do not aim to decrease the occurrence or severity of the symptoms of psychosis, but by helping to reduce the distress people experience, many of these treatments help indirectly to alleviate psychotic symptoms as well.” – Tania Lecomte

 

Schizophrenia is the most common form of psychosis. It effects about 1% of the population worldwide. It appears to be highly heritable and involves changes in the brain. It is characterized by both positive and negative symptoms. Positive symptoms include hallucinations; seeing and, in some cases, feeling, smelling or tasting things that aren’t there, or delusions; unshakable beliefs that, when examined rationally, are obviously untrue. Negative symptoms include a reduced ability to function normally, neglect of personal hygiene, lack of emotion, blank facial expressions, speaking in a monotone, loss of interest in everyday activities, social withdrawal, an inability to experience pleasure, and a lack of insight into their symptoms. The symptoms of schizophrenia usually do not appear until late adolescence or early adulthood.

 

Schizophrenia is very difficult to treat with psychotherapy and is usually treated with antipsychotic drugs. These drugs, however, are not always effective, sometimes lose effectiveness, and can have some difficult side effects. Mindfulness training has been shown to be beneficial for a variety of mental health problems, including psychosis. Mindfulness has also been shown to associated with lower symptom severity of schizophrenia. Patients with schizophrenia have difficulty regulating emotions and mindfulness training improves emotion regulation. Hence, it makes sense to investigate the effectiveness of mindfulness training in improving emotion regulation in patients with schizophrenia.

 

In today’s Research News article “The Effectiveness of a Mindfulness-Based Psychoeducation Programme for Emotional Regulation in Individuals with Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders: A Pilot Randomised Controlled Trial.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7075335/), Lam and colleagues recruited adult patients diagnosed with schizophrenia-spectrum disorders and randomly assigned them to a treatment as usual control condition or to receive a 90 minute once a week for 8 weeks Mindfulness-Based Psychoeducation Program (MBPP) including “engagement and empowerment, mindfulness in daily living and problem solving, mindfulness in illness management and equip and prepare for the future.” Patients also performed daily mindfulness practice. They were measured before and after training and 3 months later for the emotion regulation processes of reappraisal and suppression, rumination, psychotic symptoms, mindfulness, anxiety, and depression.

 

Engagement in the Mindfulness-Based Psychoeducation Program (MBPP) was high with 85% of participants attending 6 or more sessions with average attendance of 6.88 sessions. The average amount of home practice was 31 minutes per week. Hence the program can be successfully implemented and is acceptable to the patients.

 

They found that in comparison to baseline and the treatment as usual group after Mindfulness-Based Psychoeducation Program (MBPP) there was a significant improvement in mindfulness and the emotion regulation strategy of reappraisal. These improvements were maintained for 3 months after the end of training. The results suggest that mindfulness training improves the emotion regulation strategy of reappraisal in patients diagnosed with schizophrenia-spectrum disorders.

 

Reappraisal is a cognitive strategy to reinterpret the origin and meaning of an emotional event to reduce its impact. This is an effective emotion regulation strategy to help the individual cope with emotions. Since, problems with emotions are common in schizophrenia, improving emotion regulation may be of great assistance to them in dealing with the symptoms of the disease.

 

So, mindfulness improves the emotion regulation in patients with schizophrenia.

 

“mindfulness-based psycho-educational intervention expressly designed for patients with schizophrenia can be well tolerated and result in better illness outcomes than either standard treatment alone or standard treatment supplemented by a more typical psycho-educational approach. This is an important finding because of the widely held belief that psychotic patients can neither tolerate nor benefit from mindfulness-based interventions.” – American Mindfulness Research Association

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Lam, A., Leung, S. F., Lin, J. J., & Chien, W. T. (2020). The Effectiveness of a Mindfulness-Based Psychoeducation Programme for Emotional Regulation in Individuals with Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders: A Pilot Randomised Controlled Trial. Neuropsychiatric disease and treatment, 16, 729–747. https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S231877

 

Abstract

Background

Emotion dysregulation has emerged as a transdiagnostic factor that potentially exacerbates the risk of early-onset, maintenance, and relapse of psychosis. Mindfulness is described as the awareness that emerges from paying attention to the present moment without judgment. It gently pulls the mind out of the negative emotions induced by the disparity between expectation and reality by focusing on the present moment, instead of worrying about the future or regretting the past. However, only a few research has ever focused on the efficacy of using a mindfulness-based intervention to improve emotion regulation in schizophrenia spectrum disorders.

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of a Mindfulness-Based Psychoeducation Programme (MBPP) on the emotion regulation of individuals with schizophrenia, in particular, to access emotion regulation strategies. The objective of this study was to find out whether MBPP is feasible for improving emotion regulation strategies, in terms of rumination, cognitive reappraisal, and expressive suppression, with a sustainable effect at a three-month follow-up.

Patients and Methods

A single-blinded pilot randomised controlled trial with repeated-measures designs was adopted. Forty-six participants diagnosed with schizophrenia and its subtypes were randomised in either the 8-week mindfulness-based psychoeducation programme or treatment-as-usual (control) group.

Results

The results of the Generalised Estimating Equations test indicated that the MBPP group showed a significant improvement in reappraisal at a three-month follow-up (β = −6.59, Wald’s χ2=4.55, p=0.033), and a significant reduction in rumination across time. However, the Generalised Estimating Equations indicated no significant difference in rumination and expressive suppression in the MBPP group. Two participants reported having unwanted experiences, including feelings of terror and distress during the mindfulness practice.

Conclusion

The MBPP appeared to be effective for improving emotion regulation, which will contribute to future large-scale RCT to confirm the treatment effects in more diverse groups of schizophrenic patients.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7075335/

 

Reduce Inflammation in Psychiatric Patients with Mindfulness

Reduce Inflammation in Psychiatric Patients with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

mindfulness practice was not directly linked to lower inflammation levels, but that it may have bolstered stress resilience among at-risk adults by preventing an increase in inflammatory biomarker levels.” – Grace Bullock

 

The immune system is designed to protect the body from threats like stress, infection, injury, and toxic chemicals. One of its tools is the Inflammatory response. This response works quite well for short-term infections and injuries. But when inflammation is protracted and becomes chronic, it can itself become a threat to health. It can produce autoimmune diseases such as colitis, Chron’s disease, arthritis, heart disease, increased cancer risk, lung disease, sleep disruption, gum disease, decreased bone health, psoriasis, and depression. In the elderly it is associated with the onset of dementia.

 

Needless to say, chronic inflammation can create major health problems. Indeed, the presence of chronic inflammation is associated with reduced longevity. So, it is important for health to control the inflammatory response, allowing it to do its job in fighting off infection but reducing its activity when no external threat is apparent. Of course, it is far better to prevent chronic inflammation in the first place than to treat it later. Mind-body techniques such as yoga, Tai Chi and meditation have been shown to adaptively reduce the inflammatory response. In addition, mindfulness training, has been shown to be effective in treating psychiatric disorders. It is possible that mindfulness acts, in part, to improve psychiatric disorders by decreasing inflammation in these patients.

 

In today’s Research News article “Effects of Mindfulness-Based Interventions on Biomarkers and Low-Grade Inflammation in Patients with Psychiatric Disorders: A Meta-Analytic Review.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7177919/), Sanada and colleagues review, summarize, and perform a meta-analysis of the effectiveness of mindfulness-based interventions in reducing biomarkers of the inflammatory response in psychiatric patients. They discovered 10 published research studies with a total of 998 participants. They included patients diagnosed with anxiety disorders, depression, alcohol abuse, sleep disorders, PTSD, and ADHD.

 

They report that the published research studies found that mindfulness-based interventions improved the levels of a variety of biomarkers of inflammation with a variety of psychiatric problems. These included event-related potentials, methylation of serotonin transporter genes, IL-6, TNF-α, and adrenocorticotropic hormone. These biomarkers suggest that psychiatric disorders are associated with mild levels of inflammation and that mindfulness-based interventions reduce the levels of these biomarkers.

 

Hence the published research literature suggests that mindfulness-based interventions are effective in reducing the levels of inflammation in psychiatric patients and improving their health status. These results provide an explanation for the effectiveness of mindfulness for the improvement of anxiety disorders, depression, alcohol abuse, sleep disorders, PTSD, and ADHD. They did not report on the mechanisms by which mindfulness reduces inflammation. But high on the list of possibilities has to be the ability of mindfulness training to reduce the physiological and psychological responses to stress as stress can increase inflammatory responses.

 

So, reduce inflammation in psychiatric patients with mindfulness.

 

mindfulness techniques may be more effective in relieving inflammatory symptoms than other activities that promote well-being.” – ScienceDaily

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Sanada, K., Montero-Marin, J., Barceló-Soler, A., Ikuse, D., Ota, M., Hirata, A., Yoshizawa, A., Hatanaka, R., Valero, M. S., Demarzo, M., Campayo, J. G., & Iwanami, A. (2020). Effects of Mindfulness-Based Interventions on Biomarkers and Low-Grade Inflammation in Patients with Psychiatric Disorders: A Meta-Analytic Review. International journal of molecular sciences, 21(7), 2484. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21072484

 

Abstract

Mindfulness-Based Interventions (MBIs) present positive effects on mental health in diverse populations. However, the detailed associations between MBIs and biomarkers in patients with psychiatric disorders remain poorly understood. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of MBIs on biomarkers in psychiatric illness used to summarise the effects of low-grade inflammation. A systematic review of PubMed, EMBASE, PsycINFO, and the Cochrane Library was conducted. Effect sizes (ESs) were determined by Hedges’ g and the number needed to treat (NNT). Heterogeneity was evaluated. A total of 10 trials with 998 participants were included. MBIs showed significant improvements in the event-related potential amplitudes in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, the methylation of serotonin transporter genes in post-traumatic stress disorder, the salivary levels of interleukin 6 (IL-6) and tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) in depression, and the blood levels of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), IL-6, and TNF-α in generalised anxiety disorder. MBIs showed low but significant effects on health status related to biomarkers of low-grade inflammation (g = −0.21; 95% confidence interval (CI) –0.41 to −0.01; NNT = 8.47), with no heterogeneity (I2 = 0; 95% CI 0 to 79). More trials are needed to establish the impact of MBIs on biomarkers in psychiatric illness.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7177919/

 

Reduce Hallucinations in Schizophrenia with Mindfulness

Reduce Hallucinations in Schizophrenia with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

mindfulness-based interventions can give people a greater acceptance and insight into their experiences of psychosis, so they are less bothered by them, even if hallucinations and other symptoms are not eliminated.” – Adrianna Mendrek

 

Psychoses are mental health problems that cause people to perceive or interpret things differently from those around them. This might involve hallucinations; seeing, hearing and, in some cases, feeling, smelling or tasting things that aren’t objectively there, or delusions; unshakable beliefs that, when examined rationally, are obviously untrue. The combination of hallucinations and delusional thinking can often severely disrupt perception, thinking, emotion, and behavior, making it difficult if not impossible to function in society without treatment. Psychoses appear to be highly heritable and involves changes in the brain. The symptoms of psychoses usually do not appear until late adolescence or early adulthood. There are, however, usually early signs of the onset of psychoses which present as cognitive impairments.

 

Mindfulness training has been shown to be beneficial for patients with psychosis including reducing hallucinations. In today’s Research News article “Mindfulness Mediates the Effect of a Psychological Online Intervention for Psychosis on Self-Reported Hallucinations: A Secondary Analysis of Voice Hearers From the EviBaS Trial.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7145894/), Lüdtke and colleagues recruited patients with schizophrenia who have delusions of hearing voices and randomly assigned them to receive online training that included a module on mindfulness or to a waitlist control condition. They completed a online training module online for 8 weeks. The module consisted of trainings on ”mindfulness, worry and rumination, social competence, self-worth, depression, sleep, and metacognitive biases, such as “jumping to conclusions” and took about 1 hour to complete. The mindfulness module consisted of “24 web pages, which contained text, pictures, and audio files.” They were measured before and after training for antipsychotic medication dosage, positive, negative, and global symptoms of schizophrenia, mindfulness, and distress caused by hearing voices.

 

They found that in comparison to baseline and the waitlist control participants that the online modules training group had significantly higher levels of mindfulness and lower levels of hallucinations. In addition, a mediation analysis found that the reduction in hallucinations was, in part, mediated by mindfulness. That is the training reduced hallucinations directly and also indirectly by increasing mindfulness that, in turn, reduced hallucinations. The online modules were a complex of trainings and mindfulness was just one component. So, it is not possible to ascribe the results to mindfulness training alone.

 

It was surprising that the online modules training did not reduce distress from hearing voices as was the intent of the study, but rather unexpectedly reduced overall hallucinations in the schizophrenic patients. Previous research has shown that Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) can reduce the distress caused by hearing voices. This suggests that the cognitive therapy component of the treatment which attempts to alter the thought processes used to judge and interpret experiences was critical. Hence, mindfulness training itself may reduce overall hallucinations while alterations of cognitive process is required to decrease the distress produced by hearing voices.

 

So, reduce hallucinations in schizophrenia with mindfulness.

 

“mindfulness skills can provide these individuals with an alternative way of relating to their symptoms, moving from a judgemental and controlling stance to a more compassionate, accepting view. The effectiveness of mindfulness-based approaches for people with psychosis has been demonstrated in controlled clinical settings and in the community.” – Carly Samson

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Lüdtke, T., Platow-Kohlschein, H., Rüegg, N., Berger, T., Moritz, S., & Westermann, S. (2020). Mindfulness Mediates the Effect of a Psychological Online Intervention for Psychosis on Self-Reported Hallucinations: A Secondary Analysis of Voice Hearers From the EviBaS Trial. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 11, 228. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2020.00228

 

Abstract

Background

Psychological online interventions (POIs) could represent a promising approach to narrow the treatment gap in psychosis but it remains unclear whether improving mindfulness functions as a mechanism of change in POIs. For the present study, we examined if mindfulness mediates the effect of a comprehensive POI on distressing (auditory) hallucinations.

Methods

We conducted a secondary analysis on voice hearers (n = 55) from a randomized controlled trial evaluating a POI for psychosis (EviBaS; trial registration NCT02974400, clinicaltrials.gov). The POI includes a module on mindfulness and we only considered POI participants in our analyses who completed the mindfulness module (n = 16).

Results

Participants who completed the mindfulness module reported higher mindfulness (p = 0.015) and lower hallucinations (p = 0.001) at post assessment, compared to controls, but there was no effect on distress by voices (p = 0.598). Mindfulness mediated the POI’s effect on hallucinations (b = −1.618, LLCI = −3.747, ULCI = −0.054) but not on distress by voices (b = −0.057, LLCI = −0.640, ULCI = 0.915).

Limitations and Discussion

Completion of the mindfulness module was not randomized. Hence, we cannot draw causal inferences. Even if we assumed causality, it remains unclear which contents of the POI could have resulted in increased mindfulness and reduced hallucinations, as participants completed other modules as well. In addition, confounding variables could explain the mediation and the sample size was small. Nonetheless, the overall pattern of results indicates that the POI is likely to improve mindfulness, and that increased mindfulness could partially explain the POI’s efficacy.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7145894/

 

Improve the Symptoms of Psychosis with Mindfulness

Improve the Symptoms of Psychosis with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“There is increasing evidence that specially adapted mindfulness techniques can be used safely and effectively in the management and treatment of severe mental health problems, such as psychosis.” – Carly Samson

 

Psychoses are mental health problems that cause people to perceive or interpret things differently from those around them. This might involve hallucinations; seeing and, in some cases, feeling, smelling or tasting things that aren’t objectively there, or delusions; unshakable beliefs that, when examined rationally, are obviously untrue. The combination of hallucinations and delusional thinking can often severely disrupt perception, thinking, emotion, and behavior, making it difficult if not impossible to function in society without treatment. Psychoses appear to be highly heritable and involves changes in the brain. The symptoms of psychoses usually do not appear until late adolescence or early adulthood. There are, however, usually early signs of the onset of psychoses which present as cognitive impairments.

 

Mindfulness training has been shown to be beneficial for patients with psychosis. Implementing interventions early in the disease progression may maximize the benefits. This training improves a number of different facets of mindfulness. These include describing, observing, acting with awareness, non-judging, and nor-reacting facets. It has not been established which of these facets is critical for symptom improvement

 

In today’s Research News article “The Role of Five Facets of Mindfulness in a Mindfulness-Based Psychoeducation Intervention for People With Recent-Onset Psychosis on Mental and Psychosocial Health Outcomes.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7078358/), Chien and colleagues recruited patients in the early stages of psychosis (< 5 years since onset) including schizophrenia, schizophreniform/schizoaffective disorders or other psychotic disorders. They were randomly assigned to receive either mindfulness-based psychoeducation, conventional psychoeducation, or treatment-as-usual. The mindfulness-based psychoeducation program was a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) modified for psychotic patients and consisted of one session every other week for 24 weeks along with daily practice of 20 minutes. They were measured before and after the program and 6 and 18 months later for positive and negative psychotic symptoms, process of recovery, insight, treatment attitude, level of functioning, and mindfulness.

 

They found that in comparison to baseline and the control groups the patients who received mindfulness-based psychoeducation had significantly greater increases in mindfulness that persisted at the 18-month follow-up. They also found that greater the increases in mindfulness the greater the improvements in positive and negative psychotic symptoms, process of recovery, insight, treatment attitude, and level of functioning. Psychosocial functioning was the most highly related symptom while psychotic symptoms were less associated. Of the facets of mindfulness, only the observing and acting with awareness facets were significantly associated with the symptom improvements.

 

These results are interesting and suggest that mindfulness can be improved in psychotic patients with training and that these improvements are related to improvements in symptoms. It appears that training that improves the patient’s ability to observe what is occurring in the present moment and to act with awareness in response to what is occurring are the most important aspects of mindfulness for symptom improvement. It would make sense that these abilities would be particularly useful for psychosocial functioning. Psychotic symptoms are extremely difficult to treat. So, these results suggest that mindfulness training may be a helpful program for psychotic patients in the early stages of the disease.

 

So, improve the symptoms of psychosis with mindfulness.

 

There is emerging evidence that mindfulness for psychosis – when used in an adapted form – is safe and therapeutic.” – Paul Chadwick

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Chien, W. T., Chow, K. M., Chong, Y. Y., Bressington, D., Choi, K. C., & Chan, C. (2020). The Role of Five Facets of Mindfulness in a Mindfulness-Based Psychoeducation Intervention for People With Recent-Onset Psychosis on Mental and Psychosocial Health Outcomes. Frontiers in psychiatry, 11, 177. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2020.00177

 

Abstract

Objective: This study aimed to examine how five facets of mindfulness may be associated with the changes in psychotic patients’ health outcomes after participating in a mindfulness-based psychoeducation group (MBPEG) program.

Methods: Longitudinal follow-up data from two pragmatic randomized controlled trials of MBPEG for psychotic patients were used for this study. A total of 124 patients who completed the MBPEG program were included in this analysis. Patient outcomes (psychotic symptoms, functioning, insight into illness/treatment, subjective recovery) and five facets of mindfulness were assessed at baseline and six, 12 and 24 months post-intervention. Areas under the curve of individual outcomes in repeated-measures were computed using trapezoidal method, rescaled to the original possible range of the underlying variable and used for correlation and regression analyses.

Results: All mean scores of the five facets increased across time and were significantly correlated with the improvements in all patient outcomes (p-values ranged from <0.001 to <0.05), except “non-judging” facet and symptom severity. Regression analyses revealed that only “observing” and “acting with awareness” were significantly associated with positive changes across all outcomes (increase in adjusted R2 ranged from 5.9% to 24.2%, p < 0.001).

Conclusions: Two facets of mindfulness, “observing” and “acting with awareness,” were related to positive outcomes of psychotic patients after participating in the MBPEG. More efforts in addressing these two facets of mindfulness can be considered to increase the efficacy of mindfulness-based interventions in psychosis.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7078358/

 

Improve the Psychological Health of Patients with Early Psychosis with Mindfulness

Improve the Psychological Health of Patients with Early Psychosis with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

for people with psychosis without severe social anxiety, learning mindfulness strategies in a group format is greatly appreciated and offers clear benefits—in terms of participants being more active, less depressed and less anxious.” – Tania Lecomte

 

Psychoses are mental health problems that cause people to perceive or interpret things differently from those around them. This might involve hallucinations; seeing and, in some cases, feeling, smelling or tasting things that aren’t objectively there, or delusions; unshakable beliefs that, when examined rationally, are obviously untrue. The combination of hallucinations and delusional thinking can often severely disrupt perception, thinking, emotion, and behavior, making it difficult if not impossible to function in society without treatment. Psychoses appear to be highly heritable and involves changes in the brain. The symptoms of psychoses usually do not appear until late adolescence or early adulthood. There are, however, usually early signs of the onset of psychoses which present as cognitive impairments.

 

Mindfulness training has been shown to be beneficial for patients with psychosis. Implementing interventions early in the disease progression may maximize the benefits. It would be even better to intervene before full-blown symptoms emerge. Research in this area is accumulating. Hence, it makes sense to review and summarize the studies to assess the state of the understanding of the effectiveness of early intervention with mindfulness training in patients at risk for or in early stages of psychosis.

 

In today’s Research News article “Clinical Effects of Mindfulness-Based Intervention in Patients With First Episode Psychosis and in Individuals With Ultra-High Risk for Transition to Psychosis: A Review.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6837071/ ), Vignaud and colleagues reviewed and summarized the 9 published research studies on the effectiveness of mindfulness training for the treatment of patients at ultra-high risk (1 article) for or in early stages (8 articles) of psychosis.

 

They report that the 9 published research studies found that mindfulness training was safe and effective and produced significant improvements in anxiety, depression and quality of life in these patients. There were insufficient studies assessing the positive and negative symptoms of psychosis to reach any conclusions. It would be useful for future studies to examine in more depth the positive and negative symptoms of psychosis.

 

It is well established that mindfulness training produces improvements in anxiety and depression and improves the quality of life in diverse types of patients. The findings of the present review suggest that it has these same benefits for patients at risk for or in early stages of psychosis. It was disappointing that the currently available findings did not include long-term follow-up. It would be important to establish whether mindfulness interventions early in the disease progression might reduce the deterioration that normally occurs over time.

 

So, improve the psychological health of patients with early psychosis with mindfulness.

 

mindfulness, is effective in alleviating distress in individuals with psychosis who are hearing voices.” – Batya Swift Yasgur

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Vignaud, P., Reilly, K. T., Donde, C., Haesebaert, F., & Brunelin, J. (2019). Clinical Effects of Mindfulness-Based Intervention in Patients With First Episode Psychosis and in Individuals With Ultra-High Risk for Transition to Psychosis: A Review. Frontiers in psychiatry, 10, 797. doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00797

 

Abstract

Objectives: Recent clinical studies and meta-analyses have reported the clinical effects of mindfulness-based interventions as a complementary treatment for patients with schizophrenia, but their possible efficacy in patients with first episode of psychosis (FEP) and in individuals with ultra-high risk (UHR) of transition to psychosis is less clear. Here, we investigated the current evidence on the usefulness of mindfulness-based interventions in these two populations.

Methods: We conducted a systematic search of the literature according to the PRISMA guidelines.

Results: Among the 102 references retrieved, 9 responded to the inclusion criteria (8 in FEP patients and 1 in UHR individuals). In FEP patients, mindfulness interventions are well-tolerated and have a satisfactory level of adherence. The clinical benefits consist primarily of reduced anxiety and sadness and improved quality of life. None of the studies reported any increase in positive symptoms.

Conclusion: Future sham-controlled studies with large sample sizes are needed to definitively conclude on the clinical interest of mindfulness-based interventions in FEP patients and UHR individuals as well as to understand their underlying mechanisms of action.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6837071/

 

Improve Psychopathology with Meditation

Improve Psychopathology with Meditation

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“The research is strong for mindfulness’ positive impact in certain areas of mental health, including stress reduction, emotion and attention regulation, reduced rumination, for reducing mild to moderate depression and anxiety, and preventing depressive relapse.” – Kelle Walsh

 

There are vast numbers of people who suffer with mental illnesses; psychopathology. In the United states it has been estimated that in any given year 1 in 5 people will experience a mental illness. Many are treated with drugs. But drug treatment can produce unwanted side effects, don’t work for many patients, and often can lose effectiveness over time. Mindfulness practices provide a safe alternative treatment. They have been found to be helpful with coping with these illnesses and in many cases reducing the symptoms of the diseases. Hence, it appears that mindfulness practices are safe and effective treatments for a variety of psychiatric conditions including anxietydepressionpsychosesaddictions, etc.. Since there has accumulated a large amount of research, it makes sense to step back and summarize what has been discovered.

 

In today’s Research News article “Mindfulness Meditation and Psychopathology.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6597263/), Wielgosz and colleagues review and summarize the published research studies investigating the efficacy of mindfulness meditation practices for the treatment of a variety of psychopathologies.

 

They report that mindfulness meditation produces significant improvements in depression and in anxiety disorders in comparison to inactive and active control conditions. Efficacy is equivalent to that of other evidence-based treatments. The research suggests that meditation reduces depression by decreasing rumination and anxiety by reducing repetitive negative thinking. Hence, meditation training is an excellent safe and effective treatment for these prevalent mental illnesses.

 

They also report that mindfulness meditation produces significant improvements in chronic pain intensity and unpleasantness in comparison to inactive but not active control conditions. Efficacy is equivalent to that of other evidence-based treatments. This is true for chronic low back pain fibromyalgia, migraine, and chronic pelvic pain. Meditation also appears to improve the quality of life of chronic pain patients. The research suggests that meditation reduces chronic pain by decreasing negative emotional reactivity. Such reactivity appears to intensify pain and meditation reduces this reactivity and thereby reduces pain.

 

They report that mindfulness meditation produces significant improvements in substance abuse disorders in comparison to inactive and active control conditions and even in comparison to other evidence-based treatments. It appears to reduce substance use frequency, use-related problems, and craving. This is important as addictions are very difficult to treat and frequently relapse.

 

There is evidence that mindfulness meditation is effective in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) both in children and adults and also post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). But there are currently no comparisons to the effects of other active or evidence-based treatments. It will be important to have randomized controlled trials with active controls to better assess the efficacy of meditation for the treatment of ADHD and PTSD.

 

There is emerging evidence that mindfulness meditation may be effective for eating disorders, and major mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder, major depression, and psychosis. But there is a need for more, better controlled research.

 

Hence, this comprehensive review suggests that mindfulness meditation is a useful treatment for a variety of types of psychopathology. It is amazing that such a simple practice as meditation can have such wide-ranging benefits for such diverse mental illnesses. Meditation appears to act indirectly by strengthening cognitive, emotional, and stress related process that in turn have beneficial effects on the psychopathologies. Hence, it is clear that mindfulness meditation is a safe and effective treatment for psychopathologies that can be used alone or in combination with other treatments.

 

So, improve psychopathology with meditation.

 

“When they’re depressed, people are locked in the past. They’re ruminating about something that happened that they can’t let go of. When they’re anxious, they’re ruminating about the future — it’s that anticipation of what they can’t control. In contrast, when we are mindful, we are focused on the here and now. Mindfulness trains individuals to turn their attention to what is happening in the present moment.” – Carolyn Gregoire

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Wielgosz, J., Goldberg, S. B., Kral, T., Dunne, J. D., & Davidson, R. J. (2019). Mindfulness Meditation and Psychopathology. Annual review of clinical psychology, 15, 285–316. doi:10.1146/annurev-clinpsy-021815-093423

 

Abstract

Mindfulness meditation is increasingly incorporated into mental health interventions, and theoretical concepts associated with it have influenced basic research on psychopathology. Here, we review the current understanding of mindfulness meditation through the lens of clinical neuroscience, outlining the core capacities targeted by mindfulness meditation and mapping them onto cognitive and affective constructs of the Research Domain Criteria matrix proposed by the National Institute of Mental Health. We review efficacious applications of mindfulness meditation to specific domains of psychopathology including depression, anxiety, chronic pain, and substance abuse, as well as emerging efforts related to attention disorders, traumatic stress, dysregulated eating, and serious mental illness. Priorities for future research include pinpointing mechanisms, refining methodology, and improving implementation. Mindfulness meditation is a promising basis for interventions, with particular potential relevance to psychiatric comorbidity. The successes and challenges of mindfulness meditation research are instructive for broader interactions between contemplative traditions and clinical psychological science.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6597263/

Improve Major Mental Illnesses with Mindfulness and Yoga

Improve Major Mental Illnesses with Mindfulness and Yoga

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“for many patients dealing with depression, anxiety, or stress, yoga may be a very appealing way to better manage symptoms. Indeed, the scientific study of yoga demonstrates that mental and physical health are not just closely allied, but are essentially equivalent. The evidence is growing that yoga practice is a relatively low-risk, high-yield approach to improving overall health.” – Harvard Health

 

There are vast numbers of people who suffer with mental illnesses. In the United states it has been estimated that in any given year 1 in 5 people will experience a mental illness. Many are treated with drugs. But drug treatment can produce unwanted side effects, don’t work for many patients, and often can lose effectiveness over time. Mindfulness practices provide a safe alternative treatment. They have been found to be helpful with coping with these illnesses and in many cases reducing the symptoms of the diseases. Hence, it appears that mindfulness practices are safe and effective treatments for a variety of psychiatric conditions including anxiety, depression, psychoses, addictions, etc..

 

Yoga practice is a mindfulness practice that includes beneficial exercise. There is accumulating research that mindfulness and yoga practices may be beneficial for patients with major mental illnesses. Hence it makes sense to step back and summarize what has been learned regarding the effectiveness of yoga practice for major mental illnesses.

 

In today’s Research News article “Role of Yoga and Mindfulness in Severe Mental Illnesses: A Narrative Review.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6329226/), Sathyanarayanan and colleagues reviewed and summarized published research studies of the effects of mindfulness and yoga practices for the treatment of major mental illnesses including schizophrenia, psychosis, major depression, and bipolar disorder. They identified 49 published studies.

 

They report that the research finds that yoga practice is effective in improving the symptoms of schizophrenia including reducing emotional and social withdrawal, and improving flat emotions, rapport, spontaneity, and cognitive functions, including attention and cognitive flexibility. There were also significant improvements in social and occupational functioning, quality of life, achieving functional remission, subjective well-being, personal hygiene, life skills, interpersonal activities, and communication. Mindfulness-Based treatments were also effective in improving the symptoms of schizophrenia including stress, anxiety, depression, obsession, anger, impulsivity, lack of concentration, agoraphobic symptoms, awareness of the psychotic experiences and helps individuals to articulate their distress.

 

Yoga and mindfulness practices have been shown to significantly improve bipolar disorder including improvements in cognitive, emotional, and physical domains. Yoga and mindfulness practices have also been shown to improve the symptoms of major depressive disorder, including significant reductions in depression and anxiety and increases in activation. They have also been shown to reduce depression in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

 

In most of the reviewed studies the patients continued drug treatments and yoga and mindfulness trainings were provided in addition to the drug treatments. This suggests that both yoga and mindfulness practices are safe and effective adjunctive treatment for major mental illnesses. This is particularly significant as these illnesses are particularly difficult to treat. Hence, the additional benefits of yoga and mindfulness practices are very important and welcome in the treatment of these debilitating conditions.

 

So, improve major mental illnesses with mindfulness and yoga.

 

“Yoga is incredible in terms of stress management. It brings a person back to homeostasis [or equilibrium]. For people who have anxieties of many kinds, yoga helps lower their basic physiological arousal level.” – Eleanor Criswell

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Sathyanarayanan, G., Vengadavaradan, A., & Bharadwaj, B. (2019). Role of Yoga and Mindfulness in Severe Mental Illnesses: A Narrative Review. International journal of yoga, 12(1), 3–28. doi:10.4103/ijoy.IJOY_65_17

 

Abstract

Background:

Yoga has its origin from the ancient times. It is an integration of mind, body, and soul. Besides, mindfulness emphasizes focused awareness and accepting the internal experiences without being judgemental. These techniques offer a trending new dimension of treatment in various psychiatric disorders.

Aims:

We aimed to review the studies on the efficacy of yoga and mindfulness as a treatment modality in severe mental illnesses (SMIs). SMI includes schizophrenia, major depressive disorder (MDD), and bipolar disorder (BD).

Methods:

We conducted a literature search using PubMed, Google Scholar, and Cochrane Library with the search terms “yoga,” “meditation,” “breathing exercises,” “mindfulness,” “schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders,” “depressive disorder,” and “bipolar disorder” for the last 10-year period. We also included relevant articles from the cross-references.

Results:

We found that asanas and pranayama are the most commonly studied forms of yoga for schizophrenia. These studies found a reduction in general psychopathology ratings and an improvement in cognition and functioning. Some studies also found modest benefits in negative and positive symptoms. Mindfulness has not been extensively tried, but the available evidence has shown benefits in improving psychotic symptoms, improving level of functioning, and affect regulation. In MDD, both yoga and mindfulness have demonstrated significant benefit in reducing the severity of depressive symptoms. There is very sparse data with respect to BD.

Conclusion:

Both yoga and mindfulness interventions appear to be useful as an adjunct in the treatment of SMI. Studies have shown improvement in the psychopathology, anxiety, cognition, and functioning of patients with schizophrenia. Similarly, both the techniques have been established as an effective adjuvant in MDD. However, more rigorously designed and larger trials may be necessary, specifically for BD.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6329226/