Impact of Transcendental Meditation on Psychotropic Medication Use Among Active Duty Military Service Members With Anxiety and PTSD

Mil Med. 2016 Jan;181(1):56-63. doi: 10.7205/MILMED-D-14-00333.


The purpose of the study was to determine whether the regular practice of Transcendental Meditation (TM) decreased the need for psychotropic medications required for anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) management and increased psychological wellbeing. The sample included 74 military Service Members with documented PTSD or anxiety disorder not otherwise specified (ADNOS), 37 that practiced TM and 37 that did not. At 1 month, 83.7% of the TM group stabilized, decreased, or ceased medications and 10.8% increased medication dosage; compared with 59.4% of controls that showed stabilizations, decreases, or cessations; and 40.5% that increased medications (p < 0.03). A similar pattern was observed after 2 (p < 0.27), 3 (p < 0.002), and 6 months (p < 0.34). Notably, there was a 20.5% difference between groups in severity of psychological symptoms after 6 months, that is, the control group experienced an increase in symptom severity compared with the group practicing TM. These findings provide insight into the benefits of TM as a viable treatment modality in military treatment facilities for reducing PTSD and ADNOS psychological symptoms and associated medication use.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anxiety / therapy*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meditation / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Military Personnel / psychology*
  • Occupational Diseases / psychology
  • Occupational Diseases / therapy*
  • Psychotropic Drugs / therapeutic use*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / therapy*
  • United States
  • Young Adult


  • Psychotropic Drugs