Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Short but Continuous Natural Pain during Meditation Sittings for Depression Treatment: A Case Report

Version 1 : Received: 28 May 2018 / Approved: 30 May 2018 / Online: 30 May 2018 (11:35:26 CEST)
Version 2 : Received: 30 May 2018 / Approved: 31 May 2018 / Online: 31 May 2018 (09:56:35 CEST)

How to cite: Huang, M. Short but Continuous Natural Pain during Meditation Sittings for Depression Treatment: A Case Report. Preprints 2018, 2018050451 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201805.0451.v1). Huang, M. Short but Continuous Natural Pain during Meditation Sittings for Depression Treatment: A Case Report. Preprints 2018, 2018050451 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201805.0451.v1).

Abstract

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a common mental disorder, which results in seriously impaired condition in the patients and great global disability burden. In light of its quite diverse etiologies, comorbidity with many other diseases, and complex underlying pathology, it has been a great challenge to understand the physiological basis of MDD, which may be a complex of related diseases, rather than a single one. In addition to the partial understanding of MDD, the individual heterogeneities among patients may render the development of a universal treatment an elusive goal. But studying how each of currently available treatments affects the disease can generate useful information to stratify patients into different subtypes for individualized treatments. In this case report, we present the first report of repeated success of using meditation as the only treatment of MDD, compared to initial success but no remission with other conventional antidepressants on the same patient. We hypothesized that the short but continuous natural pain during one-hour meditation sittings has the therapeutic effect to treat depression in the case of this patient and potentially others with MDD. This special opportunity of eliminating tremendous heterogeneity among different individuals has enabled us to probe deeply into the potential mechanism of depression treatments and the complex physiology of depression itself, both of which have likely profound implications in the treatment of other MDD patients as well. More importantly, this case report helps us to dissect one specific component of meditation for its long-known and well-established benefit against depression.

Subject Areas

pain; depression; treatment; meditation; synaptic plasticity and homeostasis; nerve stimulation

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