Depression is the most common mental illness in the U.S, with first-line treatments including antidepressant medications complemented by talk therapy.
But now, research is showing a new program that can be added to the list of effective treatments—a treatment that is more accessible to more people: Mindful Mood Balance (MMB). MMB is an online therapy program that can help reduce the symptoms of depression if used in conjunction with standard first-line treatments. Mindful Mood Balance is an online version of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT).
According to a new study by the University of Toronto Scarborough, MMB can reduce depression and anxiety symptoms and provide a better quality of life. MMB uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to help patients use their thoughts to challenge their feelings in order to regulate emotions. It also leverages the practice of mindful meditation to help patients observe feelings, thoughts and sensations rather than acting on those feelings. This helps patients develop coping skills they can use throughout their entire life.
Though there are many effective first-line treatments for those with depression, there are many patients who have lingering symptoms: bad quality sleep, low energy levels, excessive worry. MMB is proven to help alleviate those lingering symptoms.
Coupled with traditional depression treatment, MBB can speed up the efficacy of traditional depression treatments, such as talk. therapy. The study showed that those who practiced MMB in addition to talk therapy and antidepressants vs. those who received just talk therapy and antidepressants, reported a much faster reduction in depressive symptoms.
While typical MBCT works as effectively as an antidepressant medication, it is still less accessible for those who don’t live near large cities. MBB is easily accessible online, narrowing the cost of travel and eliminating long wait times to see a psychologist. Overall, MMB is a highly viable option to help those who need care quicker and at a lower-cost than in-person therapy.
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