There are studies ongoing at U Wisconsin-Madison with veterans suffering depression and anxiety comorbid with PTSD, where meditation allowed some to get off of medication. However, these subjects were in a controlled environment, with trained clinicians and teachers, lead by Dr. Richard Davidson, a renowned clinician and meditator himself.tiltbillings wrote:The article really does not say much. "just as effective as antidepressant drugs in treating anxiety or depressions" It depends, of course, how severe the depression is.
Other studies with people with severe, chronic depression showed the introduction of ketamine to lift severe depression, suggesting the significant brain chemical component to chronic depression.
Meditation may not help people with severe depression any more than it may help people with a broken leg. Both illnesses require medical treatment by trained clinicians. Can meditation be effective, as was shown in Dr. Davidson's studies, in mitigating the need for medication for some sufferers? Absolutely. See http://vimeo.com/43626665
Robin Williams seems like such a complex personality. Intractable internal suffering mitigated by busyness, humor, and over the top expression. Kind of like the veteran in the "Free the Mind" documentary, who lifted weights and exercised constantly to avoid the depression and anxiety, and suicide ideation. Mr. Williams had pre-existing depression addictions, along with financial issues that he seemed to not manage appropriately. One day, the Black Dog took hold of him and wouldn't let go, and lacking the assistance of someone to help him, he decided to escape the only way that, at the moment, he saw fit. Tragic.