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Meditation is sitting around trying to think about nothing and letting out the occasional ‘ommmm’.
They do lots of it in India and in parts of Islington where they eat granola, too.
OK, those are sweeping statements but you catch my drift.
I’m open-minded, but if you had asked me a few years ago whether I believed meditation could be an effective treatment for serious mental illness, I would have laughed.
It stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired and it's a reminder that when in these states, we should halt, and not make any sudden movements or rash decisions.
The issue of doctor-patient confidentiality is perhaps at its most polarised in the context of suicide prevention.
I’ve dabbled in alternative therapies but I take my health seriously and I would never consider replacing a conventional treatment that allows me to live my life as a journalist with something unproven.
So when it was suggested that meditation techniques could have measurable neurological effects – that they could be used as a treatment for mental illness such as mine, as well as depression – I was intrigued.
'Mammy, my tummy hurts, I don't want to go," says your little girl, giving you her most pleading eyes.
It’s not as dramatic it sounds – I’ve seen a psychiatrist about once every three months since I became ill, and my medication is managed by the GP. I ran out of pills before the weekend and thought I would be fine to wait to see my doctor on Monday. My illness makes me feel I’ve done something terribly wrong, although I’m not sure what that is.
At its worst, I ask friends if I’ve assaulted them, and refuse to leave my bed out of sheer terror.
It’s been around since the Seventies, but in the past decade there has been growing evidence that it is highly effective.
Researchers at Britain’s most respected medical centres have found that it can halve the risk of relapse for those with depression.