UK scientists have suggested that Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) may be a new alternative for many people with continuing depression relapse despite on anti-depressant pills.

The therapy trains people at the risk of relapse to understand that negative thoughts may come and go, as it makes them focus their minds.

After an experimental course, which had about 212 people at risk of further depression in enrolment, to determine the effectiveness of MBCT, it was found that it could provide a much-needed alternative for people who cannot or do not wish to take long-term drugs.

It was tested against anti-depressant pills and the result was as similar. Experts however insist that drug therapy is still essential for many.

One of the course participants, Nigel reed, said, “Mindfulness puts me in charge, allowing me to take control of my own future, to spot when I am at risk”

The report concluded that MBCT 'may be a new choice for millions of people with recurrent depression on repeat prescriptions.'

In an independent comment on the study, a Psychiatrists at Royal College, Dr Gwen Adshead said: "These findings are important from the point of view of people living with depression who are trying to engage in their own recovery.

"And it provides evidence that MBCT is an intervention that primary care physicians should take seriously as an option."

Adshead however warned that the research does not suggest MBCT is useful for all types of depression or that it should be a replacement for anti-depressant treatment for people with severe disorders.

Long-term anti-depressant drugs are usually prescribed to patients who have had recurrent clinical depression to prevent further reoccurrences.

Doctors in wales and England are reportedly already encouraged to offer the therapy.