Transcendental Meditation Can Help Treat PTSD

Posted on February 25, 2019

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Meditation practices have been evidenced to have a significant positive effect on one’s mental health and is a useful way to cope with stress. The benefits of meditation in mental health has been of increasing interest in recent years and a new study conducted has suggested that a type of meditation can counteract PTSD and lower depression. This meditation is known as transcendental meditation and it involves chanting and focusing on mantras with the aim of achieving serenity.

Researchers from around world, worked together with a pool of 68 student participants who were diagnosed with PTSD and depression. Half of them agreed to practice transcendental meditation, while the other half acted as the control group, receiving no treatments or partook in any form of meditations during the study. The full study took place over the course of 3.5 months, and researchers started by obtaining a baseline score of their PTSD symptoms using the PTSD Checklist – Civilian Version (PCL-C) test. All participants obtained a score of 44 that indicates a high likelihood of developing PTSD and were formally diagnosed with PTSD by mental health professionals.

After the intervention phase, participants were assessed on the PCL-C test again, and results indicated that majority of the participants that practiced transcendental meditation had a reduction in their PTSD symptoms with a PCL-C score below 34, the threshold for a PTSD diagnosis. Additionally, these participants also experienced improvements in depressions symptoms as well. The control group on the other hand, reported no improvements.

PTSD symptoms include nightmares, flashbacks to the traumatic events and a perpetual state of fear and anxiety resulting in hypervigilance. To cope with these symptoms, the participants reported experiencing emotional numbness, violent outburst and even turning to alcohol and drugs. These can greatly cause dysfunction to one’s daily lives. This study has showed that a short period of practiced transcendental meditation can help individuals step out of PTSD, and this form of treatment also appears more sustainable in the long run to provide more long-term results and prevention of relapse. It serves as a useful alternative in the treatment of PTSD and of depression as well.

Category(s):Depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) / Trauma / Complex PTSD

Source material from Medical News Today