Showing posts from March, 2014

Looking East: Could meditation cure the west's addiction to antidepressants?

(Originally published by New Internationalist)

Each year millions of people around the world are diagnosed with depression and prescribed medication. With concerns mounting over a global surge in sales of pharmaceutical drugs,Mischa Wilmersasks leading researchers whether a popular form of meditation known as mindfulness can offer a safer, more effective alternative.

Over the past decade the west has experienced a mental health crisis on an unprecedented scale. Diagnosis rates for depression have risen steeply and charities inform us that in the course of a single year one in four people will suffer from a mental health problem. The standard line is that the pressures of modern life are to blame for this epidemic. We are told that rising unemployment, debt and relationship breakups - exacerbated by the economic crisis - have caused increasing numbers of people to fall ill.

Yet according to the author of a report published in the British Medical Journal in December, this nar…