Improve Female Sexual Dysfunction with Mindfulness

Improve Female Sexual Dysfunction with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

No amount of talking about sex is going to diminish the mystery of the experience of it. Sex is Sacred, Not Secret.” ― Christine Laplante

 

Sex is a very important aspect of life. Problems with sex are very common and have negative consequences for relationships. While research suggests that sexual dysfunction is common, it is a topic that many people are hesitant or embarrassed to discuss. Women suffer from sexual dysfunction more than men with 43% of women and 31% of men reporting some degree of difficulty. Hence, sex has major impacts on people’s lives and relationships. Greater research attention to sexual activity and sexual satisfaction and the well-being of the individual is warranted.

 

Mindfulness trainings have been found to improve relationships and to be useful in treating sexual problems.  In today’s Research News article “Behavioral Therapies for Treating Female Sexual Dysfunctions: A State-of-the-Art Review.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9144766/ ) Mestre-Bach and colleagues review and summarize the published research studies on the effectiveness of psychotherapeutic for the treatment of female sexual dysfunction disorders including female orgasmic disorder, female sexual interest/arousal disorder, and genito-pelvic pain/penetration disorder.

 

They report that the published research demonstrate that psychotherapeutic treatments are effective for female sexual dysfunctions. But Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) have been shown to be especially effective. Women with these disorders appear to helped by mindfulness and cognitive therapy allowing for more satisfying sexual relations.

 

We are the embodiment of the Love behind and beyond lovemaking.” – Michael Mirdad

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Mestre-Bach G, Blycker GR, Potenza MN. Behavioral Therapies for Treating Female Sexual Dysfunctions: A State-of-the-Art Review. J Clin Med. 2022 May 16;11(10):2794. doi: 10.3390/jcm11102794. PMID: 35628920; PMCID: PMC9144766.

 

Abstract

Many possible factors impact sexual wellbeing for women across the lifespan, and holistic approaches are being utilized to promote health and to address sexual concerns. Female sexual dysfunction disorders, including female orgasmic disorder, female sexual interest/arousal disorder and genito-pelvic pain/penetration disorder, negatively impact quality of life for many women. To reduce distress and improve sexual functioning, numerous behavioral therapies have been tested to date. Here, we present a state-of-the-art review of behavioral therapies for female sexual dysfunction disorders, focusing on empirically validated approaches. Multiple psychotherapies have varying degrees of support, with cognitive-behavioral and mindfulness-based therapies arguably having the most empirical support. Nonetheless, several limitations exist of the studies conducted to date, including the frequent grouping together of multiple types of sexual dysfunctions in randomized clinical trials. Thus, additional research is needed to advance treatment development for female sexual dysfunctions and to promote female sexual health.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9144766/

 

Improve the Psychological Well-Being of Patients with Parkinson’s Disease with Mindfulness

Improve the Psychological Well-Being of Patients with Parkinson’s Disease with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“People with Parkinson’s reported that stress worsened both motor and non-motor symptoms, especially tremor and anxiety. More than 38 percent of respondents found mindfulness helped manage their stress and improved motor and non-motor symptoms, including anxiety and depressed mood.” – Christina Destro

 

Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is an incurable progressive degenerative disease of the central nervous system. The condition is caused by the death of nerve cells in the brain that produce the neurotransmitter dopamine. There are around seven million people worldwide and one million people in the U.S. living with PD and about 60,000 people are diagnosed with PD every year. PD is associated with aging as most patients are diagnosed after age 50. In fact, it has been speculated that everyone would eventually develop PD if they lived long enough.

 

Its physical symptoms include resting tremor, slow movements, muscle rigidity, problems with posture and balance, loss of automatic movements, and slurring of speech. PD itself is not fatal but is often associated with related complications which can reduce life expectancy, such as falls, choking, and cardiovascular problems. PD also has psychological effects, especially cognitive decline, anxiety, and depression. Balance is a particular problem as it effects mobility and increases the likelihood of falls, restricting activity and reducing quality of life.

 

There are no cures for Parkinson’s Disease (PD) or even treatments to slow its progression. There are only treatments that can produce symptomatic relief. So, there is a need to discover new and different treatments. Mindfulness training has been found to improve the psychological symptoms and the quality of life with PD patientsMindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) involves mindfulness training, containing sitting, walking and body scan meditations, and cognitive therapy that attempts to teach patients to distinguish between thoughts, emotions, physical sensations, and behaviors, and to recognize irrational thinking styles and how they affect behavior. So, there is a need to further investigate the effectiveness of mindfulness training in the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease (PD).

 

In today’s Research News article “). Online Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for People with Parkinson’s Disease and Their Caregivers: a Pilot Study.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9059916/ ) Seritan and colleagues recruited patients with Parkinson’s Disease who also had symptoms of anxiety and depression and their caregivers and provided them with 8 weekly 2.5 hour online sessions of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) along with home practice. They were measured before and after treatment for mindfulness, anxiety, depression, and caregiver burden.

 

They found that after Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) training there were significant reductions in anxiety and depression and significant increases in mindfulness regardless of whether the patients were high in anxiety or high in depression before treatment. Hence, online mindfulness training improves the psychological well-being of patients with Parkinson’s Disease.

 

like regular physical activity, mindfulness meditation can serve as the cornerstone for self-care that people with PD can use to manage their symptoms.” – Emily Delzell

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Seritan, A. L., Iosif, A. M., Prakash, P., Wang, S. S., & Eisendrath, S. (2022). Online Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for People with Parkinson’s Disease and Their Caregivers: a Pilot Study. Journal of technology in behavioral science, 1–15. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41347-022-00261-7

 

Abstract

Anxiety and depression are common non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Caregivers of people with PD may experience severe caregiver burden. This study explored the feasibility and potential benefits of an online mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) intervention for improving anxiety and depressive symptoms in people with PD and their caregivers (ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04469049, 7/8/2020). People with PD or parkinsonism and anxiety and/or depressive symptoms and caregivers of people with PD participated in one of three online MBCT groups. Demographic variables, pre- and post-MBCT behavioral measures (GAD-7, PHQ-9, Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire — FFMQ-15, Caregiver Self-Assessment Questionnaire — CSAQ), and satisfaction surveys were collected. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize data. Pre- and post-MBCT behavioral scores were compared using mixed-effect models. Fifty-six potential participants were assessed for eligibility. Twenty-eight entered MBCT groups; all but one completed the intervention. The overall sample analyzed (22 people with PD, 4 caregivers) showed significant GAD-7 and PHQ-9 score reductions and FFMQ-15 total and observing and non-reactivity subscale score increases (all p’s < 0.05). Participants with PD and anxiety symptoms (n = 14) had a significant GAD-7 score reduction; those with PD and depressive symptoms (n = 12) had a significant PHQ-9 score reduction (both p’s < 0.05). Participants with PD also had a significant FFMQ-15 observing subscale score increase (p < 0.05). The caregiver sample was too small to be analyzed separately. Online MBCT is feasible (as measured by high attendance, completion rate, and participant satisfaction) and may be effective in improving anxiety and depressive symptoms in people with PD.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9059916/

 

Alter Cognition of Patients with Anxiety with Mindfulness

Alter Cognition of Patients with Anxiety with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Anxiety can mentally exhaust you and have real impacts on your body. But before you get anxious about being anxious, know that research has shown you can reduce your anxiety and stress with a simple mindfulness practice.” – Mandy Ferreira 

 

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting 40 million adults, or 18% of the population. A characterizing feature of anxiety disorders is that the sufferer overly identifies with and personalizes their thoughts. The sufferer has recurring thoughts, such as impending disaster, that they may realize are unreasonable, but are unable to shake. Anxiety disorders have generally been treated with drugs. But there are considerable side effects, and these drugs are often abused. There are several psychological therapies for anxiety. But, about 45% of the patients treated do not respond to the therapy. So, there is a need to develop alternative treatments. Recently, it has been found that mindfulness training can be effective for anxiety disorders.

 

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) has been shown to be effective in treating anxiety disordersMBCT involves mindfulness training, containing sitting, walking and body scan meditations, and cognitive therapy that attempts to teach patients to distinguish between thoughts, emotions, physical sensations, and behaviors, and to recognize irrational thinking styles and how they affect behavior. But how MBCT affects the thought processes in anxiety disorders needs further investigation.

 

In today’s Research News article “Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy: A Preliminary Examination of the (Event-Related) Potential for Modifying Threat-Related Attentional Bias in Anxiety.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9159034/ ) Gupta and colleagues recruited adults with high levels of anxiety and randomly assigned them to receive 8 weekly 2.5 hour sessions of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) along with home practice presented either online of in-person. Before and after training they were measured for anxiety, depression, and perceived stress. In addition, the participants had their electroencephalogram (EEG) recorded while performing a task to measure threat-related attentional bias.

 

They found that after Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) there were significantly lower levels of anxiety, depression, and perceived stress. In addition, after MBCT EEG responses and response times to pictures of faces showing emotions were reduced. Hence, mindfulness training improved the psychological well-being of anxious adults in association with reduced brain responses to emotional faces.

 

As you become more mindful, you will also notice that you will become more centered, happier, and less depressed and this in turn has a direct positive effect on your anxiety.” – Stefan G. Hofmann

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Gupta, R. S., Kujawa, A., Fresco, D. M., Kang, H., & Vago, D. R. (2022). Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy: A Preliminary Examination of the (Event-Related) Potential for Modifying Threat-Related Attentional Bias in Anxiety. Mindfulness, 1–14. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-022-01910-x

 

Abstract

Objectives

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) can reduce anxiety and depression symptoms in adults with anxiety disorders, and changes in threat-related attentional bias may be a key mechanism driving the intervention’s effects on anxiety symptoms. Event-related potentials (ERPs) can illuminate the physiological mechanism through which MBCT targets threat bias and reduces symptoms of anxiety. This preliminary study examined whether P1 ERP threat–related attentional bias markers in anxious adults change from pre- to post-MBCT delivered in-person or virtually (via Zoom) and investigated the relationship between P1 threat–related attentional bias markers and treatment response.

Methods

Pre- and post-MBCT, participants with moderate to high levels of anxiety (N = 50) completed a dot-probe task with simultaneous EEG recording. Analyses focused on pre- and post-MBCT P1 amplitudes elicited by angry-neutral and happy-neutral face pair cues, probes, and reaction times in the dot-probe task and anxiety and depression symptoms.

Results

Pre- to post-MBCT, there was a significant reduction in P1-Probe amplitudes (d = .23), anxiety (d = .41) and depression (d = .80) symptoms, and reaction times (d = .10). Larger P1-Angry Cue amplitudes, indexing hypervigilance to angry faces, were associated with higher levels of anxiety both pre- and post-MBCT (d = .20). Post-MBCT, anxiety symptoms were lower in the in-person versus virtual group (d = .80).

Conclusions

MBCT may increase processing efficiency and decreases anxiety and depression symptoms in anxious adults. However, changes in threat bias specifically were generally not supported. Replication with a comparison group is needed to clarify whether changes were MBCT-specific.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9159034/

 

Improve Anxiety and the Gut Microbiome with Mindfulness

Improve Anxiety and the Gut Microbiome with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“A healthy gut can be different iterations of bacteria for different people, because it is this diversity that maintains wellness.” – Jennifer Wolkin

 

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting 40 million adults, or 18% of the population. A characterizing feature of anxiety disorders is that the sufferer overly identifies with and personalizes their thoughts. The sufferer has recurring thoughts, such as impending disaster, that they may realize are unreasonable, but are unable to shake. Anxiety disorders have generally been treated with drugs. But there are considerable side effects, and these drugs are often abused. There are several psychological therapies for anxiety. But, about 45% of the patients treated do not respond to the therapy. So, there is a need to develop alternative treatments. Recently, it has been found that mindfulness training can be effective for anxiety disorders.

 

The GI tract contains intestinal micro-organisms, flora, bacteria, known as the microbiome, that have major effects throughout the body through the bacteria-intestinal-brain axis. This can affect overall health and well-being including anxiety. So, it would make sense to investigate the relationship of mindfulness practice with anxiety and intestinal micro-organisms.

 

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) has been shown to be effective in treating anxiety disorders. MBCT involves mindfulness training, containing sitting, walking and body scan meditations, and cognitive therapy that attempts to teach patients to distinguish between thoughts, emotions, physical sensations, and behaviors, and to recognize irrational thinking styles and how they affect behavior. But whether MBCT affects both anxiety and the microbiome has not been investigated.

 

In today’s Research News article “Gut Microbiota Associated with Effectiveness And Responsiveness to Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy in Improving Trait Anxiety.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8908961/ ) Wang and colleagues recruited young adults with high anxiety levels and a similar control group with normal anxiety levels. The high anxiety group were provided with 8 weekly 2.5 hour sessions of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). They were measured before and after treatment for anxiety, depression, resilience, and mindfulness. In addition, their feces were measured for microbiota.

 

They found that after Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) there were significant decreases in anxiety and depression and significant increases in resilience and mindfulness. The gut microbiome significantly differed between the high anxiety group and the controls before trteatment in that the high anxiety participants had less bacterial diversity in the gut. But after MBCT the bacterial diversity levels increased to the levels of the healthy controls.

 

Hence, mindfulness training improves the psychological health of highly anxious young adults and simultaneously normalizes the deficiency in the bacterial diversity in the gut.

 

Mindfulness training is good for both physical and mental health.

 

During stress, an altered gut microbial population affects the regulation of neurotransmitters mediated by the microbiome and gut barrier function. Meditation helps regulate the stress response, thereby suppressing chronic inflammation states and maintaining a healthy gut-barrier function.” – Ayman Mukerji Househam

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Wang, Z., Liu, S., Xu, X., Xiao, Y., Yang, M., Zhao, X., Jin, C., Hu, F., Yang, S., Tang, B., Song, C., & Wang, T. (2022). Gut Microbiota Associated With Effectiveness And Responsiveness to Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy in Improving Trait Anxiety. Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 12, 719829. https://doi.org/10.3389/fcimb.2022.71982

 

Abstract

Objective

Mindfulness-based interventions have been widely demonstrated to be effective in reducing stress, alleviating mood disorders, and improving quality of life; however, the underlying mechanisms remained to be fully understood. Along with the advanced research in the microbiota-gut-brain axis, this study aimed to explore the impact of gut microbiota on the effectiveness and responsiveness to mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) among high trait anxiety populations.

Design

A standard MBCT was performed among 21 young adults with high trait anxiety. A total of 29 healthy controls were matched for age and sex. The differences in gut microbiota between the two groups were compared. The changes in fecal microbiota and psychological indicators were also investigated before and after the intervention.

Results

Compared with healthy controls, we found markedly decreased bacterial diversity and distinctive clusters among high trait anxiety populations, with significant overgrowth of bacteria such as Streptococcus, Blautia, and Romboutsia, and a decrease in genera such as Faecalibacterium, Coprococcus_3, and Lachnoclostridium. Moreover, MBCT attenuated trait anxiety and depression, improved mindfulness and resilience, and increased the similarity of gut microbiota to that of healthy controls. Notably, a high presence of intestinal Subdoligranulum pre-MBCT was associated with increased responsiveness to MBCT. Decreases in Subdoligranulum post-MBCT were indicative of ameliorated trait anxiety. The tryptophan metabolism pathways were significantly over-represented among high responders compared to low responders.

Conclusion

The significantly increased diversity post-MBCT added evidence to gut-brain communication and highlighted the utility of mycobiota-focused strategies for promoting the effectiveness and responsiveness of the MBCT to improve trait anxiety.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8908961/

 

Improve Depression by Changing the Brain with Mindfulness

Improve Depression by Changing the Brain with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is just as effective as medication in preventing depression relapse among adults with a history of recurrent depression, and in reducing depressive symptoms among those with active depression.” – Deborah Yip

 

Clinically diagnosed depression is the most common mental illness, affecting over 6% of the population. Major depression can be quite debilitating. Depression can be difficult to treat and is usually treated with anti-depressive medication. But, of patients treated initially with drugs only about a third attained remission of the depression. After repeated and varied treatments including drugs, therapy, exercise etc. only about two thirds of patients attained remission. But drugs often have troubling side effects and can lose effectiveness over time. In addition, many patients who achieve remission have relapses and recurrences of the depression. Even after remission some symptoms of depression may still be present (residual symptoms).

 

Being depressed and not responding to treatment or relapsing is a terribly difficult situation. The patients are suffering, and nothing appears to work to relieve their intense depression. Suicide becomes a real possibility. So, it is imperative that other treatments be identified that can relieve the suffering. Mindfulness training has been shown to be an effective treatment for depression and its recurrence and even in the cases where drugs fail.

 

The most used mindfulness technique for the treatment of depression is Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT).  MBCT involves mindfulness training, containing sitting and walking meditation and body scan, and cognitive therapy to alter how the patient relates to the thought processes that often underlie and exacerbate psychological symptoms. MBCT has been shown to be as effective as antidepressant drugs in relieving the symptoms of depression and preventing depression reoccurrence and relapse. In addition, it appears to be effective as either a supplement to or a replacement for these drugs. It is unclear, however if MBCT is also effective in treating late life depression in the elderly.

 

In today’s Research News article “Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy Regulates Brain Connectivity in Patients With Late-Life Depression.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8882841/ ) Li and colleagues recruited older adults (over 60 years of age) with late life depression and randomly assigned them to receive 8 weekly sessions of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) with daily home practice or treatment as usual. They were measured before and after training and 3 months later for depression, anxiety, and cognitive function, they also underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

 

They found that in comparison to baseline and the treatment as usual group, those that received Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) had significantly lower depression after training and at the 3 month follow-up. In addition, the greater the amount of home meditation practice the greater the reductions in depression. They also found that after treatment there was a significant increase in functional connectivity between the amygdala and cerebral cortex. In addition, the greater the increase in functional connectivity, the greater the reductions in depression.

 

These findings suggest that Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is a safe and effective treatment for late life depression. But they also suggest that changes in the connectivity between brain areas may underlie the improvements in depression.

 

So, change the brain to improve late life depression with mindfulness.

 

MBCT (combined with antidepressants or delivered alongside antidepressant tapering/discontinuation) is comparable to maintenance antidepressants alone in preventing subsequent relapse.” – Oxford Mindfulness Centre

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Li, H., Yan, W., Wang, Q., Liu, L., Lin, X., Zhu, X., Su, S., Sun, W., Sui, M., Bao, Y., Lu, L., Deng, J., & Sun, X. (2022). Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy Regulates Brain Connectivity in Patients With Late-Life Depression. Frontiers in psychiatry, 13, 841461. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2022.841461

 

Abstract

Late-life depression (LLD) is an important public health problem among the aging population. Recent studies found that mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) can effectively alleviate depressive symptoms in major depressive disorder. The present study explored the clinical effect and potential neuroimaging mechanism of MBCT in the treatment of LLD. We enrolled 60 participants with LLD in an 8-week, randomized, controlled trial (ChiCTR1800017725). Patients were randomized to the treatment-as-usual (TAU) group or a MBCT+TAU group. The Hamilton Depression Scale (HAMD) and Hamilton Anxiety Scale (HAMA) were used to evaluate symptoms. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was used to measure changes in resting-state functional connectivity and structural connectivity. We also measured the relationship between changes in brain connectivity and improvements in clinical symptoms. HAMD total scores in the MBCT+TAU group were significantly lower than in the TAU group after 8 weeks of treatment (p < 0.001) and at the end of the 3-month follow-up (p < 0.001). The increase in functional connections between the amygdala and middle frontal gyrus (MFG) correlated with decreases in HAMA and HAMD scores in the MBCT+TAU group. Diffusion tensor imaging analyses showed that fractional anisotropy of the MFG-amygdala significantly increased in the MBCT+TAU group after 8-week treatment compared with the TAU group. Our study suggested that MBCT improves depression and anxiety symptoms that are associated with LLD. MBCT strengthened functional and structural connections between the amygdala and MFG, and this increase in communication correlated with improvements in clinical symptoms.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8882841/

 

Mindfulness Changes Neural Activity and Improves Major Depressive Disorder

Mindfulness Changes Neural Activity and Improves Major Depressive Disorder

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“People at risk for depression are dealing with a lot of negative thoughts, feelings and beliefs about themselves and this can easily slide into a depressive relapse. . . MBCT helps them to recognize that’s happening, engage with it in a different way and respond to it with equanimity and compassion.” – Willem Kuyken

 

Clinically diagnosed depression is the most common mental illness, affecting over 6% of the population. Major depression can be quite debilitating. Depression can be difficult to treat and is usually treated with anti-depressive medication. But, of patients treated initially with drugs only about a third attained remission of the depression. After repeated and varied treatments including drugs, therapy, exercise etc. only about two thirds of patients attained remission. But drugs often have troubling side effects and can lose effectiveness over time. In addition, many patients who achieve remission have relapses and recurrences of the depression. Even after remission some symptoms of depression may still be present (residual symptoms).

 

Being depressed and not responding to treatment or relapsing is a terribly difficult situation. The patients are suffering and nothing appears to work to relieve their intense depression. Suicide becomes a real possibility. So, it is imperative that other treatments be identified that can relieve the suffering. Mindfulness training has been shown to be an effective treatment for depression and its recurrence and even in the cases where drugs fail.

 

The most commonly used mindfulness technique for the treatment of depression is Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT).  MBCT involves mindfulness training, containing sitting and walking meditation and body scan, and cognitive therapy to alter how the patient relates to the thought processes that often underlie and exacerbate psychological symptoms. MBCT has been shown to be as effective as antidepressant drugs in relieving the symptoms of depression and preventing depression reoccurrence and relapse. In addition, it appears to be effective as either a supplement to or a replacement for these drugs. It is not known how MBCT produces its effects on major depression.

 

One way to observe the effects of MBCT on neural activity is to measure changes in the electroencephalogram (EEG), the rhythmic electrical activity that can be recorded from the scalp. The recorded activity can be separated into frequency bands. Delta activity consists of oscillations in the 0.5-3 cycles per second band. Theta activity in the EEG consists of oscillations in the 4-8 cycles per second band. Alpha activity consists of oscillations in the 8-12 cycles per second band. Beta activity consists of oscillations in the 15-25 cycles per second band while Gamma activity occurs in the 35-45 cycles per second band. Changes in these brain activities can be compared during different depths of meditation.

 

In today’s Research News article “Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy in Recurrent MDD Patients With Residual Symptoms: Alterations in Resting-State Theta Oscillation Dynamics Associated With Changes in Depression and Rumination.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8936084/ ) Wang and colleagues recruited patients with major depressive disorder being treated with drugs but with residual symptoms. They were provided with an 8-week program of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). Before and after training they were measured for mindfulness, depression, and rumination and had their resting state electroencephalogram (EEG) recorded.

 

After completing Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) there were significant reductions in depression which produced an 88% remission rate. There were also significant increases in mindfulness and reductions in brooding rumination. In addition, there was a significant increase in the theta rhythm power in the electroencephalogram (EEG). Finally, the greater the increase in theta power the greater the reductions in depression and rumination.

 

Hence, they found that Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is effective in treating depression even in patients under treatment with drugs. They also found that these improvements were related to increased theta power in the electroencephalogram (EEG). So, MBCT appears to change brain activity along with depression. The changes in the neural activity may be a mechanism by which MBCT helps improve depression symptoms.

 

mindfulness is added to the standard depression treatment protocols, relapse rates decline.” – Sara Altshul

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Wang, J., Ren, F., Gao, B., & Yu, X. (2022). Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy in Recurrent MDD Patients With Residual Symptoms: Alterations in Resting-State Theta Oscillation Dynamics Associated With Changes in Depression and Rumination. Frontiers in psychiatry, 13, 818298. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2022.818298

 

Abstract

Many patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) suffer from residual symptoms. Rumination is a specific known risk factor for the onset, severity, prolongation, and relapse of MDD. This study aimed to examine the efficacy and EEG substrates of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) in alleviating depression and rumination in an MDD population with residual symptoms. We recruited 26 recurrent MDD individuals who had residual symptoms with their current antidepressants to participate in the 8-week MBCT intervention. We evaluated the efficacy and changes in the dynamics of resting-state theta rhythm after the intervention, as well as the associations between theta alterations and improvements in depression and rumination. The participants showed reduced depression, enhanced adaptive reflective rumination, and increased theta power and phase synchronization after MBCT. The increased theta-band phase synchronizations between the right occipital regions and the right prefrontal, central, and parietal regions were associated with reduced depression, while the increase in theta power in the left parietal region was associated with improvements in reflective rumination. MBCT could alleviate depression and enhance adaptive, reflective rumination in recurrent MDD individuals with residual symptoms through the modulation of theta dynamics in specific brain regions.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8936084/

 

Improve Bipolar Disorder with Few Adverse Complications with Mindfulness

Improve Bipolar Disorder with Few Adverse Complications with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

[Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy] in [bipolar disorder] is associated with improvements in cognitive functioning and emotional regulation, reduction in symptoms of anxiety depression and mania symptoms.” – Sanja Bojic

 

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depressive disorder, is a mood disorder characterized by alternating states of extreme depression, relative normalcy, and extreme euphoria (mania). The symptoms of depression and mania are so severe that the individual is debilitated and unable to conduct their normal daily lives. The depression is so severe that suicide occurs in about 1% of cases of bipolar disorder. There are great individual differences in bipolar disorder. The extreme mood swings can last for a few days to months and can occur only once or reoccur frequently.

 

Bipolar disorder affects about 1% of the population throughout the world at any time. But about 3% to 10% of the population may experience it sometime during their lives. It is usually treated with drugs. But these medications are not always effective and can have difficult side effects. This disorder has generally been found to be very difficult to treat with psychotherapy. Hence, there is a great need for alternative treatments.

 

Mindfulness practices and treatments have been shown to be effective for major mental disorders, including  depression and anxiety disorders and to improve the regulation of emotions.  Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) was specifically developed to treat depression. MBCT involves mindfulness training, containing sitting, walking and body scan meditations, and cognitive therapy that attempts to teach patients to distinguish between thoughts, emotions, physical sensations, and behaviors, and to recognize irrational thinking styles and how they affect behavior. But whether MBCT may produce adverse events that may worsen bipolar disorder has not been well investigated.

 

In today’s Research News article “Adverse or therapeutic? A mixed-methods study investigating adverse effects of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy in bipolar disorder.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8568103/ ) Hanssen and colleagues recruited patients who were diagnosed with bipolar disorder and provided them with 8 weekly 2.5-hour group sessions of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) along with home practice. The patients completed weekly self-reports of adverse events; “any meditation related-effects that occurred during the course of MBCT, which patients indicated as having a negative valence or negative impact on daily functioning”. Patients who reported adverse events received structured interviews regarding the events.

 

They found that 38% of the patients reported at least one adverse event. These included in order of frequency reported self-related doubts, depression, anxiety, agitation, re-experiencing of traumatic affect, derealization, distrust, mania, depersonalization, unusual bodily sensations, and visual hallucinations. Over the course of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) treatment the number of patients reporting adverse events declined and the number of adverse events per patient declined. There were no serious adverse events leading to hospitalization or permanent damage. More than half of the patients found the adverse events challenging but thought that they were actually a beneficial part of their therapeutic process and the development of mindfulness skills.

 

This is important research as adverse events during mindfulness training even in normal individuals can produce adverse events. In seriously mentally ill individuals like those with bipolar disorder adverse event are quite common. So, understanding the nature and consequences of these events is important in calculating the risk-reward of engaging in therapy. It appears that even in these seriously mentally ill patients that the adverse events are generally mild and perceived as aiding in the therapeutic process. This suggests that the risks of therapy for these patients are small and the potential rewards great.

 

So, improve bipolar disorder with few adverse complications with mindfulness.

 

medication can help people with bipolar disorder in the short term, and that meditation is helpful in promoting a more balanced mood over a longer period of time.” – Anthony Watt

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are available on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Hanssen, I., Scheepbouwer, V., Huijbers, M., Regeer, E., Lochmann van Bennekom, M., Kupka, R., & Speckens, A. (2021). Adverse or therapeutic? A mixed-methods study investigating adverse effects of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy in bipolar disorder. PloS one, 16(11), e0259167. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0259167

 

Abstract

Background

Mindfulness-Based Interventions (MBIs) are widely used in clinical and non-clinical populations, but little attention has been given to potential adverse effects (AEs).

Aims

This study aimed to gain insight in the prevalence and course of AEs during Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) for patients with bipolar disorder (BD).

Method

The current mixed-methods study was conducted as part of a RCT on (cost-) effectiveness of MBCT in 144 patients with BD (Trial registered on 25th of April 2018, ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT03507647). During MBCT, occurrence of AEs was monitored prospectively, systematically, and actively (n = 72). Patients who reported AEs were invited for semi-structured interviews after completing MBCT (n = 29). Interviews were analysed with directed content analysis, using an existing framework by Lindahl et al.

Results

AEs were reported by 29 patients, in seven of whom the experiences could not be attributed to MBCT during the interview. AEs were reported most frequently up to week 3 and declined afterwards. Baseline anxiety appeared to be a risk factor for developing AEs. Seven existing domains of AEs were observed: cognitive, perceptual, affective, somatic, conative, sense of self, and social. Influencing factors were subdivided into predisposing, precipitating, perpetuating, and mitigating factors. With hindsight, more than half of patients considered the reported AEs as therapeutic rather than harmful.

Conclusions

Although the occurrence of AEs in MBCT for patients with BD is not rare, even in this population with severe mental illness they were not serious or had lasting bad effects. In fact, most of them were seen by the patients as being part of a therapeutic process, although some patients only experienced AEs as negative.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8568103/

 

Improve Food Related Cognitive Processing in Patients with Eating Disorders with Mindfulness

Improve Food Related Cognitive Processing in Patients with Eating Disorders with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

Practicing mindfulness techniques has proven to be extremely helpful in aiding individuals to understand the driving forces behind their eating disorder.” – Greta Gleissner

 

Around 30 million people in the United States of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder: either anorexia nervosa, bulimia, or binge eating disorder. 95% of those who have eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 26. Eating disorders are not just troubling psychological problems, they can be deadly, having the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. Two example of eating disorders are binge eating disorder (BED) and bulimia nervosa (BN). BED involves eating a large amount of food within a short time-period while experiencing a sense of loss of control over eating. BN involves binge-eating and purging (e.g., self-induced vomiting, compensatory exercise).

 

Eating disorders can be difficult to treat because eating is necessary and cannot be simply stopped as in smoking cessation or abstaining from drugs or alcohol. One must learn to eat appropriately not stop. So, it is important to find methods that can help prevent and treat eating disorders. Contemplative practices, mindfulness, and mindful eating have shown promise for treating eating disorders. It is not known however, what processes are affected by mindfulness training to improve eating disorders.

 

In today’s Research News article “Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy added to usual care improves eating behaviors in patients with bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder by decreasing the cognitive load of words related to body shape, weight, and food.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8668447/ ) Sala and colleagues recruited adult participants who were diagnosed with either bulimia nervosa or binge eating disorder. They were on a wait-list for 8 weeks and then received weekly 2-hour sessions over 8 weeks of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT).  MBCT involves mindfulness training, containing sitting and walking meditation and body scan, and cognitive therapy to alter how the patient relates to the thought processes that often underlie and exacerbate psychological symptoms. They were measured before and after therapy for mindfulness, eating behaviors, anxiety, and depression. In addition, the participants were presented cards printed in various colors with either neutral words or food related words and asked to name the color of the word as quickly as possible.

 

After Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) there were significant improvements in mindfulness, anxiety, depression and eating behaviors, including nonreactivity, cognitive restraint, disinhibition, and hunger. In addition, the reaction times to food-related words was significantly shorter after MBCT. Path analysis revealed that MBCT affected eating behavior indirectly by altering the responses to the food-related words.

 

These results are interesting, but the study lacked a comparison (control) condition limiting the strength of the conclusions. But previous controlled research has demonstrated that mindfulness training improves eating disorders. So, the present results are likely due to the effects of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and not to potential confounding variables.

 

The present study, though, has an interesting new finding. Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) appears to affect the cognitive processing involved with eating. This includes nonreactivity, cognitive restraint, disinhibition, and hunger. These changes predict more healthful eating behavior and a reduction in disordered eating. In addition, MBCT affected these cognitive processes only indirectly by altering responses to food-related cues (words). This suggests that MBCT improves eating disorders by changing the thought processes in response to food cues. In other words, mindfulness improves eating disorders by altering how the individual processes information related to food. This interesting finding needs further research.

 

So, improve food related cognitive processing in patients with eating disorders with mindfulness.

 

increasing mindful awareness of internal experiences and automatic patterns could be effective for the improvement of self-acceptance and emotional regulation, thereby reducing the problematic eating behaviors.” – Jinyue Yu

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are available on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Sala, L., Gorwood, P., Vindreau, C., & Duriez, P. (2021). Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy added to usual care improves eating behaviors in patients with bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder by decreasing the cognitive load of words related to body shape, weight, and food. European psychiatry : the journal of the Association of European Psychiatrists, 64(1), e67. https://doi.org/10.1192/j.eurpsy.2021.2242

 

Abstract

Background

This study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) as a complementary approach in patients with bulimia nervosa (BN) or binge eating disorder (BED), and to assess how the reduction of the cognitive load of words related to eating disorders (ED) could constitute an intermediate factor explaining its global efficacy.

Methods

Eighty-eight women and men participated in clinical assessments upon inscription, prior to and following 8-week group MBCT. Mindfulness skills were assessed using the five facet mindfulness questionnaire; eating behaviors were assessed using the Three Factor Eating Questionnaire (TFEQ); comorbid pathologies were assessed using the beck depression index and the state-trait anxiety inventory. The cognitive load of words associated with ED was assessed through a modified version of the Stroop color naming task.

Results

Mindfulness skills improved significantly (p < .05) after group MBCT. The improvement of TFEQ scores was accompanied by reduced levels of depressive mood and trait anxiety. The positive impact of MBCT on TFEQ score was directly related to an improvement of the performance in the Stroop task.

Conclusions

MBCT represents an interesting complementary therapy for patients with either BN or BED, at least when cognitive and behavioral domains are concerned. Such efficacy seems to be mediated by the reduction of the cognitive load associated with ED stimuli, which offers a possible explanation of how MBCT could reduce binge-eating behaviors. Other studies are needed, in independent centers, to focus more directly on core symptoms and long-term outcome.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8668447/

 

Reduce Depression with Mindfulness Training in Primary Care

Reduce Depression with Mindfulness Training in Primary Care

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

Mindfulness and other meditations, particularly combined with cognitive therapy, work just as well for anxiety or depression as the medications do, but they don’t have those side effects,” – Daniel Goleman

 

Clinically diagnosed depression is the most common mental illness, affecting over 6% of the population. Major depression can be quite debilitating. Depression can be difficult to treat and is usually treated with anti-depressive medication. But, of patients treated initially with drugs only about a third attained remission of the depression. After repeated and varied treatments including drugs, therapy, exercise etc. only about two thirds of patients attained remission. But drugs often have troubling side effects and can lose effectiveness over time. In addition, many patients who achieve remission have relapses and recurrences of the depression. Even after remission some symptoms of depression may still be present (residual symptoms).

 

Being depressed and not responding to treatment or relapsing is a terribly difficult situation. The patients are suffering, and nothing appears to work to relieve their intense depression. Suicide becomes a real possibility. So, it is imperative that other treatments be identified that can relieve the suffering. Mindfulness training has been shown to be an effective treatment for depression and its recurrence and even in the cases where drugs fail.

 

The most commonly used mindfulness technique for the treatment of depression is Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT).  MBCT involves mindfulness training, containing sitting and walking meditation and body scan, and cognitive therapy to alter how the patient relates to the thought processes that often underlie and exacerbate psychological symptoms. MBCT has been shown to be as effective as antidepressant drugs in relieving the symptoms of depression and preventing depression reoccurrence and relapse. In addition, it appears to be effective as either a supplement to or a replacement for these drugs. The research, however, has been performed in controlled settings. So, there is a need to determine if it’s effective in real world applications such as in primary care.

 

In today’s Research News article “The Effectiveness of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy in Primary Care and the Role of Depression Severity and Treatment Attendance.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8628140/ ) Elices and colleagues recruited patients through primary care physicians who had participated in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) for mental health issues. MBCT involved 8 weekly 2.5-hour sessions and included daily home practice. The patients were measured for personality, and depression.

 

They found that after Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) patients who were in the normal range for depression prior to therapy had small but significant reductions in depression while those who were classified as either mildly, moderately, or severely depressed prior to therapy had large and significant reductions in depression. Hence, in real world applications, .MBCT significantly reduced depression regardless of the initial state of depression.

 

Mindfulness training has been repeatedly shown to reduce depression in a wide range of ill and healthy participants. But most of the research involved systematic controlled research. The present study shows that even in the messy and uncontrolled situation of real world primary care applications, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is very effective treatment for depression.

 

So, reduce depression with mindfulness training in primary care.

 

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is a group program that is generally used to delay or prevent recurrence of major depression, but can also ameliorate acute depressive syndromes and symptoms.” – Zindel Segal,

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are available on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Elices, M., Pérez-Sola, V., Pérez-Aranda, A., Colom, F., Polo, M., Martín-López, L. M., & Gárriz, M. (2021). The Effectiveness of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy in Primary Care and the Role of Depression Severity and Treatment Attendance. Mindfulness, 1–11. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-021-01794-3

 

Abstract

Objectives

Evidence suggests the efficacy of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) to prevent depression relapse and decrease depressive symptoms during the acute phase. However, the effectiveness of MBCT in real-world heterogeneous samples treated in clinical health settings, including primary care, has received little attention. This study had two aims: (1) to evaluate the effectiveness of MBCT delivered in primary care considering pre-treatment depression scores and (2) to explore the role of participants’ characteristics on symptom improvement.

Methods

Data were obtained from 433 individuals who received MBCT. Participants completed the Personality Inventory for ICD-11 (PiCD) pretreatment and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II) pre- and post-treatment.

Results

Sixty percent presented moderate-to-severe depression according to scores on the BDI-II, 18.1% presented mild depression, and 21.7% were in the non-depressed range. The severity of pre-treatment depressive symptoms was associated with outcomes. Most individuals who lacked depressive symptoms at baseline remained in the non-clinical range after the treatment. Those in the severe group benefited the most from the intervention, since 35.6% were considered recovered. Rates of deterioration ranged from 2.1 to 2.7%, depending on the depression-baseline scores. Depression severity at the entrance, attendance, and age, but not personality traits, appear to be related to symptom improvement.

Conclusions

According to our results, MBCT can be effectively and safely delivered in primary care.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8628140/

 

Improve Anxiety Disorders with Mindfulness

Improve Anxiety Disorders with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“[Anxiety Disorders] primarily involves unrelenting worry. With meditation, you can learn to accept those worries without letting them upset you, which is likely to diminish your stress.” – Arlin Cuncic

 

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting 40 million adults, or 18% of the population. A characterizing feature of anxiety disorders is that the sufferer overly identifies with and personalizes their thoughts. The sufferer has recurring thoughts, such as impending disaster, that they may realize are unreasonable, but are unable to shake. Anxiety disorders have generally been treated with drugs. But there are considerable side effects, and these drugs are often abused. There are several psychological therapies for anxiety. But, about 45% of the patients treated do not respond to the therapy. So, there is a need to develop alternative treatments. So, there is a need to develop alternative treatments. Recently, it has been found that mindfulness training can be effective for anxiety disorders. There has developed a considerable volume of research on the effectiveness of mindfulness-based therapies for anxiety disorders. So, it is reasonable to summarize what has been learned.

 

In today’s Research News article “A systematic review and meta-analysis of acceptance- and mindfulness-based interventions for DSM-5 anxiety disorders.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8516851/ ) Haller and colleagues review, summarize, and perform a meta-analysis on the published research on the effectiveness of mindfulness-based therapies for anxiety disorders. They identified 23 randomized controlled trials including a total of 1815 patients with anxiety disorders; Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, and mixed anxiety diagnoses. Twelve studies employed Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), 3 ones Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), and 8 ones Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR).

 

They report that the published research studies found that Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) in comparison to treatment as usual produced significant reduction in anxiety either based on clinician or patient reports and also depression in these patients. ACT appeared to have superior effects, followed by MBCT, and lastly MBSR. These effects, however, were no longer significant at follow up 6- and 12-months after the interventions.

 

This analysis of the published research suggests that mindfulness-based therapies are effective in relieving anxiety and depression in patients with anxiety disorders. But they appear to be only effective over the short term. More work needs to be done to optimize the effectiveness of these therapies and to identify how to make the effects longer lasting.

 

So, improve anxiety disorders with mindfulness.

 

Mindfulness counters the overthinking and hypervigilance of anxiety. When we’re anxious, our minds are full of ruminations about the past and worries about the future, and the more anxiety pulls us away from the present moment, the more stressed and unhappy we are.  . . mindfulness offers a break from the worries and fears of anxiety.” – Tanya Peterson

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are available on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Haller, H., Breilmann, P., Schröter, M., Dobos, G., & Cramer, H. (2021). A systematic review and meta-analysis of acceptance- and mindfulness-based interventions for DSM-5 anxiety disorders. Scientific reports, 11(1), 20385. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-99882-w

 

Abstract

This meta-analysis systematically reviewed the evidence on standardized acceptance-/mindfulness-based interventions in DSM-5 anxiety disorders. Randomized controlled trials examining Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) were searched via PubMed, Central, PsycInfo, and Scopus until June 2021. Standardized mean differences (SMD) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated for primary outcomes (anxiety) and secondary ones (depression and quality of life). Risk of bias was assessed using the Cochrane tool. We found 23 studies, mostly of unclear risk of bias, including 1815 adults with different DSM-5 anxiety disorders. ACT, MBCT and MBSR led to short-term effects on clinician- and patient-rated anxiety in addition to treatment as usual (TAU) versus TAU alone. In comparison to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), ACT and MBCT showed comparable effects on both anxiety outcomes, while MBSR showed significantly lower effects. Analyses up to 6 and 12 months did not reveal significant differences compared to TAU or CBT. Effects on depression and quality of life showed similar trends. Statistical heterogeneity was moderate to considerable. Adverse events were reported insufficiently. The evidence suggests short-term anxiolytic effects of acceptance- and mindfulness-based interventions. Specific treatment effects exceeding those of placebo mechanisms remain unclear.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8516851/