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Back and Neck Pain

Singing the Blues, Part X

Author| Barry Kerzin, MD

From the Dalai Lama's personal physician

We’ve talked around depression, discussing anger, hopelessness, anxiety, and fear, but we’ve not directly mentioned it.

Yet a common friend of chronic pain is often depression.

We can give up hope of ever being free from pain; sometimes even give up hope of living. Working on the emotional and cognitive levels of chronic pain with meditation can help reduce depression. Good research has demonstrated that depression relapse after nearly two years is much reduced with meditation compared to the control group receiving no intervention. Furthermore, meditation was equally effective at preventing depression relapse compared to SSRI’s (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors -- drugs to treat depression) [12].

12. Segal (2010). Antidepressant monotherapy vs sequential pharmacotherapy and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, or placebo, for relapse prophylaxis in recurrent depression. Arch Gen Psychiatry.2010 Dec; 67(12):1256-64.

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Continue to Part XI