Mindfulness could be good way to battle depression when medication is not an option

Lynne Adkins
May 27, 2019 - 4:00 am
Mindfulness.

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The nation's opioid crisis has resulted in a sharp increase of the number of pregnant women with addiction problems. There is now an effort to help the moms without harming the babies.

Depression is big issue for people recovering from opioid addiction, according to Dr. Karen Alexander, assistant professor at Jefferson College of Nursing. While pregnant women can safely take medication to wean them off of the opioid, the drugs for depression should be avoided, and her study looked at the benefits of mindfulness.

"Align or perspective on the present moment and have the ability to stay in that present moment without judgment and with compassion on yourself and hopefully others. So it's really an orientation of the mind. It also has many physical benefits that scientists are all trying to uncover," said Alexander. 

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Her project included a 12-week course teaching the women the skills needed to handle the anxiety, depression and stress related to their situations. 

The four-year study shows mindfulness is effective.