Is meditation really enough to treat depression? The short answer is: It all depends on how severe your depression is, and how long it’s been going on. If you are severely depressed, or even mildly depressed, meditation alone might not be enough to get you back on track. Also, if you are clinically depressed, meditating to treat your depression might actually make things worse. If you are severely depressed and you want to use meditation to treat your depression, you should do so under the guidance of a professional counselor.
Here are some cues to look for to know if meditation is not enough to treat your depression, or if you need a professional counselor to guide you: You have thoughts about harming yourself; your depression has gotten worse since you began meditating; meditation causes you to focus on negative thoughts, such as self-hatred. If you are noticing any of these things, then that indicates you are not ready to use meditation on your own as a treatment for depression.
Also, let’s not forget that meditation requires practice, patience, and discipline. Most people who are depressed do not possess these qualities because of their depression. Even if you are not depressed, learning a new skill can be challenging, and even frustrating. When you’re depressed, you will find it difficult to find the motivation and determination to properly learn and practice meditation. In other words, if you are trying to use meditation for your depression but it’s just not working out, or you can’t get the hang of it, don’t give up; find a professional to instruct you.
If you have determined that meditation is not enough by itself to treat your depression that does not mean you should quit meditating all together and shift completely into another type of treatment. Meditation still works as a supplement to any other type of treatment for depression you might undergo. In fact, sometimes meditation is even more powerful when it is used to supplement another treatment, rather than being used as a cure-all.
I encourage you to try meditation if you are feeling depressed, but if you have serious depression, please do not expect immediate results. Also, keep in mind that it is not uncommon for a practitioner to feel their depression go away during and shortly after a meditation session, but then quickly return. That is because when you use meditation to help depression, you are only spending 20 to 30 minutes a day to try to correct years, or maybe even a lifetime, of bad mental habits. You must be patient and consistent to see long-lasting results.
Note: Specifically, with regards to medical issues, always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the Web site.