Dharma Gates

A Semester of Contemplative Training

Anxiety and depression

“A review study last year at Johns Hopkins looked at the relationship between mindfulness meditation and its ability to reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, and pain. Researcher Madhav Goyal and his team found that the effect size of meditation was moderate, at 0.3. If this sounds low, keep in mind that the effect size for antidepressants is also 0.3, which makes the effect of meditation sound pretty good.”


When taking into account the cost of antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications and the often debilitating side effects, it is incredible that mindfulness meditation has the capability of relieving symptoms just as well as these often harmful drugs.

In a major Kabat-Zinn study : “Significant decrease in Beck and Hamilton scores for depression and anxiety from pre- to poststudy, and maintenance of these changes at 3-month follow-up. Half as many patients reported panic attacks in the last week of the course compared to the week prior to the start of the course”(Kabat-Zinn et al. (1992))

In treating depression: “At 1-year follow up, patients in the MBCT(mindfulness) group had a significantly reduced rate of recurrence or relapse compared to TAU(treatment as usual)” (Teasdale et al. (2000))

“MBCT (mindfulness) group had half the rate of relapse or recurrence (of depression) compared to TAU”(Ma and Teasedale (2004))”