Psychophysiological Effects of Increasing Awareness of Nondual Consciousness and the Natural State in Young Adults with Depression And Anxiety Milena Braticevic (Integral Health, California Institute for Human Science, Toronto, ON Canada) C12
Young adults increasingly suffer from anxiety and depression during the time of transition into adulthood. This study measured the psychophysiological effects of increasing awareness of nondual consciousness and the natural state in young adults who were experiencing various levels of anxiety and depression and were not taking medication. Participants included 17 young adults 18-29 years of age (ave. 23.5) from Toronto, Canada, and were experiencing symptoms of depression and anxiety between 6 months and 14 years (ave. 5.4 years). The methodology was mixed-method and included four 1-hour group-based sessions over 4 weeks. Depression and anxiety scores were measured using the Beck Depression Inventory and GAD-7 Questionnaires before and after the study, as well as at 30 days and 6 months after completion. Increasing awareness of nondual consciousness and the natural state through educational, experiential, and behavioural components resulted in reduction in the average depression score from 19.4 (borderline clinical depression) to 10 (normal), and reduction in the average anxiety score from 12.7 (moderate) to 6.9 (mild). Participants reported increased mental, emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing, reduced worry, higher sense of interconnectedness, clarity, creativity, confidence, and agency. At 30-days and 6-months, the average depression score was further reduced by 12% and 17% respectively, while the anxiety score was reduced by 22% and 27% respectively. Increasing awareness of nondual consciousness and the natural state could contribute to mental health literacy programs, prevention and early intervention for depression and anxiety, decreased need for medication, and reduction of stigma.