Guided Imagery and Meditation Blog | Health Journeys

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27 Mar

"Dear BR,

I've been enjoying reading about how guided imagery has been helping the military. Having experienced a lifetime of depression, I want to tell you that your Depression imagery has been the most valuable tool I have found. With that and medication, the last 7 years of my life have been my very best by far.

I am 58. In my case, life began at 50!

My husband and I are enjoying a wonderful life as retirees near Hilton Head, SC. One year ago, shortly after retirement, my husband was diagnosed with celiac disease, an auto-immune condition where one cannot tolerate gluten, which is in wheat, oats, barley, and rye.

With help from an excellent GI specialist, a mentor, and finding a newly organized support group in Savannah, we are managing just fine. I actually enjoy cooking more now with this challenge than I ever did before when we could both eat anything.

19 Mar

Researchers from Duke University, Loma Linda University, the University of Maryland, University College in London and King Abdulaziz University in Saudi Arabia examined the relationships between religiosity, depressive symptoms, and positive emotions in people with major depression and chronic illness.

Investigators recruited 129 people who were at least somewhat religious/spiritual into a clinical trial to evaluate the effectiveness of religious vs. secular cognitive behavioral therapy. They used standard measures to assess at baseline the relationships between religious involvement and depressive symptoms, purpose in life, optimism, generosity, and gratefulness using standard measures.

03 Mar

Dear Ms. Naperstak [sic],

About a year ago, I was going contemplating leaving my marriage (which I eventually did) and I was very depressed. I used your guided imagery CD which was helped some. I have since had ups and downs and right now am quite down again. However, using the CD now actually brings me back to last year when I was at my lowest instead of helping me. I cannot listen to the CD without it bringing up very bad memories now. Any suggestions?

Thanks.
Donald

20 Feb

I just stumbled on this story written by a good friend of mine, Anne Simpkinson, in a blog called Wellness Warrior. She talks about practicing "Mouth Yoga" or deliberate smiling as a proactive choice for shifting her mood.

Now, keep in mind as you read this, there is nothing fake or phony or saccharine about my friend Anne. She's a very authentic sort of person. So this is more like acting "as if" until it's not acting any more. ...Kind of like doing affirmations – affirmations of the face (☺).

Of course, when you practice this, just as Anne describes, there's the added bonus of getting smiles back from others you come across, who are responding to your smile in the first place, and that reinforces the whole set-up, and really makes you smile.

Check it out. Thich Nhat Hanh made this practice popular here and abroad. It's good advice.

www.wellnesswarrior.org

08 Jan

Researchers from Stanford University, the University of New Mexico and New York University conducted a randomized, controlled trial to evaluate 6-month outcomes from a skills-based intervention designed to reduce symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression in mothers of preterm infants.

One hundred five mothers of preterm infants were randomly assigned to (1) a 6- or 9-session intervention based on principles of trauma-focused cognitive behavior therapy with infant redefinition or (2) a 1-session active comparison intervention based on education about the NICU and parenting of the premature infant.

Outcome measures included the Davidson Trauma Scale, the Beck Depression Inventory II, and the Beck Anxiety Inventory. Participants were assessed at baseline, 4 to 5 weeks after birth, and 6 months after the birth of the premature infant.

01 Jan

Investigators from University College in Dublin, Ireland, evaluated the effectiveness of the computerized Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (cCBT) program, MoodGYM, for the reduction in symptoms of general psychological distress (the primary outcome), depression, anxiety, stress, and impaired daily functioning.

Participants for this randomized controlled trial, with a waiting list control condition, were 149 public mental health service users (aged 18-61 [M = 35.3 years; SD = 10.3]) waiting for interventions.

18 Dec

Researchers from the University of Almeria and Poniente Hospital in Almeria, Spain, evaluated the effects of guided imagery as a nursing intervention for pain management and depression in patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia.

In this 8-week, quasi-experimental study, patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia, aged 18 to 70 years (n = 60), were randomly assigned to a guided imagery group (n = 30) or a control group (n = 30).

The pain outcomes were measured by the McGill Pain Questionnaire long form (MPQ-LF) and the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS). Depression was measured by the Beck Depression Inventory and the VAS for depression. Scores were examined at baseline, post-intervention (4th week), and at the end of the study (8th week).

20 Nov

Researchers from the University of Siena in Italy and Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital/Harvard Medical School studied the neuro-anatomical and psychological impact of an 8-week mindfulness based stress reduction program (MBSR) on 23 subjects who were new to meditation.

The investigators analyzed several morphometric indexes at both cortical and subcortical brain levels, as well as multiple psychological dimensions, before and after the 8-week training, comparing the meditators to age-gender matched subjects.

06 Nov

Researchers from the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Learning at the Swedish Institute for Disability Research at Linköping University in Sweden, performed a follow-up study to evaluate the outcome of an 8-week, internet-delivered cognitive behavioral therapy (ICBT) program for major depression, completed 3.5 years previous. Prior to this study, the longest length of post-treatment time for follow-up was 1.5 years.

A total of 88 people with major depression were randomized to either guided self-help or e-mail therapy in the original trial. One-third was initially on a waiting-list.
Treatment was provided for eight weeks and in this report long-term follow-up data were collected. Also included were data from post-treatment and six-month follow-up.

23 Oct

Researchers from the UCLA School of Nursing evaluated a program of early, home based cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) program to remediate depression in patients recovering from cardiac surgery.

They conducted a randomized controlled trial and enrolled 808 patients who were screened for depressive symptoms, using the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) in the hospital and 1 month later. Patients were also interviewed using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV; those who met criteria for clinical depression (n = 81) were randomized to CBT (n = 45) or usual care (UC; n = 36). After completion of the UC period, 25 individuals were offered later CBT (UC + CBT).

The outcomes were evaluated after 8 weeks. Compared with the Usual Care group, the CBT group had greater decline in depression scores and greater remission of clinical depression.