The researchers conducted a randomized trial of 166 patients ages 18 to 65 at 2 outpatient clinics in Canada who met criteria for major depressive disorder, and focused on the 84 who achieved remission. These patients were assigned to one of 3 groups: antidepressant maintenance therapy, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, or placebo.
* come off their medication and receive a placebo, or
* stay on their medication.
Now, what follows is most important. The researchers stressed that their findings highlighted how important it was for recurrently depressed patients whose remission is unstable to stay on at least one active long-term treatment. Further, if you want to stop taking an antidepressant, speak with your medical practitioner first and be guided by his or her advice. Do not stop taking any antidepressant abruptly without consulting with your medical practitioner who may recommend weaning your body off the medication gradually. People who stop an antidepressant too quickly may trigger antidepressant discontinuation syndrome which may result in rebound depression and other potentially serious problems.
Here is an abstract of the journal article, entitled “Antidepressant Monotherapy vs Sequential Pharmacotherapy and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, or Placebo, for Relapse Prophylaxis in Recurrent Depression”, by Zindel V Segal, Peter Bieling, Trevor Young, Glenda MacQueen, Robert Cooke, Lawrence Martin, Richard Bloch and Robert D Levitan, and published in Archives of General Psychiatry 2010 Dec; 67(12):1256-1264.
This post sets out a simple form of mindfulness sitting meditation.