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Science of Meditation

Can meditation help treat ADD, OCD, and depression?

A recent study by Emory University neuroscientists suggests that Zen Buddhist meditation may help treat depression, attention deficit disorder, and anxiety, reports The Kansas City Star. Obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression are characterized in part by “excessive rumination” or runaway thoughts,...

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A recent study by Emory University neuroscientists suggests that Zen Buddhist meditation may help treat depression, attention deficit disorder, and anxiety, reports The Kansas City Star.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression are characterized in part by “excessive rumination” or runaway thoughts, said Giuseppe Pagnoni, a neuroscientist at Emory in Atlanta.

Zen meditation can help patients avoid distracting or harmful preoccupations, Pagnoni said. His paper, “Thinking About Not-Thinking: Neural Correlates of Conceptual Processing During Zen Meditation,” was published in September by PLoS ONE ( www.plosone.org).

But Mark Epstein, author of Psychotherapy without the Self: A Buddhist Perspective, said “the more entrenched the condition is — like severe OCD or major depression — the less helpful meditation will be. We should not talk about meditation as a panacea for all that stuff because it’s just setting people up for disappointment.”

What do you think? Has meditation alone helped you or a loved one? If not, what else was needed to treat OCD, ADD, or depression?