Women suffer from depression twice as often as men. This statistic has been shown to be true, not only for American women, but for women in eleven other countries as well. This high statistic for depression among women exists regardless of racial and ethnic background or economic status.
Can depression in women be prevented and treated? Of course it can, but we need to shift our thinking away from medications and talk therapy toward more workable solutions. We need to make this shift because approximately half of all people treated for depression with only the conventional treatment methods (medications and talk therapy) show virtually no improvement. In addition, of all Americans who experience a major depressive episode during their lifetime and use only medications and talk therapy to deal with them 50 percent will have a recurrent episode. Seventy percent of those who experience a second episode are likely to have a third.
It seems that pills and talk do not address the root cause of depression.
In order to prevent and treat depression we need to utilize a technique which tugs and pulls at the intertwined roots of the disorder. These roots are created by stress which can be triggered through genetic predisposition, individual situations and the difficulties incurred in everyday living.
Stress is basically “gunk” in the nervous system which blocks the flow of life energy. It is like weeds in the garden. Just as we remove weeds to allow flowers the freedom to flourish we must weed out the stress which blocks the free flow of our energy, intelligence and creativity.
Weeding out these deep-rooted stresses requires profound rest. The Transcendental Meditation technique has been shown to offer this opportunity by giving the kind of rest which removes stress from the mind, body, and spirit.
During meditation, the physiology is in a deep state of rest—much deeper than it is during ordinary sleep. This deep state of rest purifies stress from the nervous system and creates stability and balance. The changes continue after the meditation session ends.
Purification of stress from the nervous system positively affects the mind. People who practice meditation begin to shed negativity, they make room for positive thoughts and emotions. Meditation practitioners experience an increase in self-confidence, tolerance, orderliness of thinking, and self-esteem. This is partly because the Transcendental Meditation technique also reverses the effects of anxiety, which is associated with the impairment of functioning in almost all areas of life: physiological, perceptual-motor, intellectual, and emotional.
In the past 50 years women have come a long way toward equality. With the regular practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique we can, in very short order, close the gap on the statistics on our higher rate of depression.