Is anyone genuinely surprised by the findings of this week’s report suggesting that mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT) is effective in treating depression and anxiety? Almost four years ago, I went to my GP, Jonty Heaversedge, because the anxiety that had dogged me all my life had reached a frightening level. Jonty – who, serendipitously, happened to have written a book about mindfulness – got me a place on a six-week, NHS-funded MBCT course at the Maudsley hospital in south London. And – there is no less cliched way of saying it – that course, and the meditation practice I’ve done every single day since, changed my life. I was always an anxious child, hurtling from one terror to another. I was afraid that the house would burn down. Or burglars would come. Or that a dress my mum liked me to wear would suffocate me as it was pulled over my head. For as long as it fitted me, the presence of that dress in my wardrobe haunted me. And it didn’t stop there. Darkness, water, wolves and ghosts, illness, poison and death. Standard child fears, perhaps, but I devoted serious time to them. Afraid to sit on toilets in case… Read full this story
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