(Medical) Side Effects of Meditation

Of course there are different sorts of meditation (for example, I intend to experiment with this), but for some people their meditation seems to be worse than a waste of time (and certainly worse than a nap). Essentially every intervention (e.g. medicine) has some spuriously attributed “side effects”, so I’m not afraid of trying meditation unless the complaints are unusually severe or widespread.

Review of harmful side-effects of meditation:

This article reviews 75 scientific selected articles in the field of meditation, including Transcendental Meditation among others. It summarizes definitions of meditation, psychological and physiological changes, and negative side-effects encountered by 62.9% of meditators studied. While the authors did not restrict their study to TM, the side-effects reported were similar to those found in the “German Study” of Transcendental Meditators: relaxation-induced anxiety and panic; paradoxical increases in tension; less motivation in life; boredom; pain; impaired reality testing; confusion and disorientation; feeling ‘spaced out’; depression; increased negativity; being more judgmental; feeling addicted to meditation; uncomfortable kinaesthetic sensations; mild dissociation; feelings of guilt; psychosis-like symptoms; grandiosity; elation; destructive behavior; suicidal feelings; defenselessness; fear; anger; apprehension; and despair.