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The dark side of meditation and mindfulness: Treatment can trigger mania, depression and psychosis, new book claims


Theory is that techniques help relieve stress and live for the moment
But 60% of us have apparently suffered at least one negative side effect
Experts: Shortage of rigorous statistical studies into the negative effects of meditation is a ‘scandal’


PUBLISHED: 05:56 EST, 22 May 2015 | UPDATED: 11:20 EST, 22 May 2015

Meditation and mindfulness is promoted by celebrities including Gwyneth Paltrow and Russell Brand, who boast of its power to help people put stress out of their minds and live for the moment.

But the treatment can itself trigger mania, depression, hallucinations and psychosis, psychological studies in the UK and US have found.

The practice is part of a growing movement based on ancient Eastern traditions of meditation.

However, 60 per cent of people who had been on a meditation retreat had suffered at least one negative side effect, including panic, depression and confusion, a study in the US found.

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