Researchers at Northwest University’s School of Medicine (NU) have completed a pilot study, which analyzes an alternative method of treating depression and coping with stress.
Mindfulness training is the depression treatment method that the NU researchers analyzed in the pilot study. They also concluded that lower income black women are the most at risk of suffering from mental disorders, which are related to depression.
The 16-week NU study involved the participation of 31 black women. The women regularly used mindfulness training during their participation in the study and attended a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). After the women’s participation was complete, it was found that all of them had a decrease in depression symptoms.
One of the women who participated told the following to PsychCentral.com:
“We are always superwomen [and]we have to be able to do everything, and that brings out a lot of stress. …This helped me to reorganize and put [these stressful events]in the proper perspective and understand I have an opportunity to learn how to calm myself down and recognize what is going on.” (PsychCentral.com)
Dr. Inger Burnett-Zeigler was the lead researcher that conducted the NU study. Dr. Burnett-Zeigler praised the success of the women who participated in the study.
“Our study shows that there are alternatives to traditional mental health treatment, such as mind-body approaches, that effectively alleviate symptoms, and can be done autonomously in the comfort of their own home,” Dr. Burnett Zeigler told PsychCentral.com.
Mindfulness training may indeed be a better alternative to treating depression. There is a stigma attached to traditional depression treatment methods, such as the use of prescription drugs. Many of these drugs cause side effects that can even make patients experience worsening depression symptoms.
Yoga and other forms of meditation are some of the mindfulness training methods that were used in this study.