Transforming Fear to Joy

Goodbye Depression, Hello Purpose, Curiosity & Commitment

Depression has actually now surpassed HIV/AIDS, malaria, diabetes and
war as the leading cause of disability worldwide.     Rebecca Brachman

For several years, the World Health Organization has predicted the rise of depression to its current status as a priority mental health condition. As recently as 2010, this mood disorder, in concert with PTSD, reached a global cost of $2.5 trillion and is expected to climb to $6 trillion by 2025. In her recent TedTalks, Rebecca Brachman states “we still have no cures for any mood disorders, just drugs that suppress symptoms.”

Given no pharmaceutical cures exist for depression and the drugs used do not treat its source cause, we will continue to view this upward trend. However, from someone who cured herself of depression, I attest it is possible to heal depression without drugs. Furthermore, treating a disease’s symptoms only with drugs merely exacerbates societal dependency. As Brachman herself states, “antidepressants only suppress symptoms, and that is why you basically have to keep taking them for the life of the disease, which is often the length of your own life.”

Tragically, the not-so-new drug Brachman is researching for depression, Calypsol (ketamine) carries another name, Special K, and is considered an abused ‘club drug.’   Ketamine clinics already exist across the country where people with depression can receive an IV dose. Additionally, Johnson and Johnson are working to complete development of a nasal spray for the same purpose. Unfortunately, ketamine’s current form is addictive with less known of its other side effects (though the list is impressive), but clearly the medical and pharmaceutical industries appear to be betting on its efficacy.

So, where does that leave those who suffer depression and want to heal themselves from its devastating presence, once and for all? For starters, likely outside the traditional medical system. Although we know this mood disorder affects the entire body, not only the mind, rarely is it treated from a holistic perspective — spiritually, physically, intellectually, socially and emotionally. Most of us already know that equally exercising our self-awareness, physical body and cognitive intelligence enables us to build healthy, meaningful, loving lives. It is that simple, but not as easy as popping a pill.

Becoming a content, contributing, happy person requires attention and intention. We can begin by discovering what purpose our life is calling out for us to fulfill. Then, it is a matter of letting our curiosity lead us forward and committing to follow through on our discoveries.

Purpose is all that separates adversity from adventure, boredom from
profound motivation.    Jeff Saltz

As Cathy Wild professes, in Wild Ideas: Creativity from the Inside Out, purpose is revealed to us when we respond to the push of passion instead of the pull of fear. When we love what we do and know it matters, we are on purpose. Consider some of these questions to help you discover or reaffirm your own reason for being on this planet.

  • What did your child-self love most?
  • What do you truly want to express — spiritually, physically, intellectually, socially and emotionally?
  • What energizes you — spiritually, physically, intellectually, socially and emotionally? That is, what brings you joy?
  • What are you already gifted with?
  • How can you use your gifts to bring joy into the world?

Once you have reflected on and answered the above questions, let your curiosity about the mysteries in life take over.

Curiosity is the wick in the candle of learning.     William Arthur Ward

We know our curiosity is leading us when we have less answers than questions. As Albert Einstein once advised, never stop questioning what is. Such as,

  • What is my secret dream?
  • Am I curious enough to risk asking ‘dumb’ questions?
  • Am I cautious and critical rather than curious and questioning?
  • What one step can I take in a direction that excites me?

Finally, all meaningful healing, learning and growth asks you to confront your fears and commit to doing so as you align these commitments to your passion and purpose.

Concerning all acts of creation, there is one elementary truth: the moment
one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.    W. H. Murray

Once again, reflect on the questions below as you consider what commitment is required for your lifelong well-being.

  • What are you committed to creating in your life?
  • In making room for this commitment, how does your body feel?
  • To make room, what do you need to Stop Doing?
  • What do you need to Keep Doing?
  • What do you need to Start Doing?
  • What do you need to heal to build your capacity for this commitment?

A sense of purpose, curiosity and commitment provide a strong foundation for those times when we feel disheartened, unmotivated and insignificant. These feelings of self-doubt, helplessness and hopelessness are all precursors to chronic depression. Beginning the life-long work of self-discovery is a sure way to stay connected when we most want to flee from our life. And in the learning about oneself, we learn about the world at large making it a much less scary experience.

The universe gestures to us all the time. If we learn how to read those
gestures, we become more literate, more able to follow the signs that
really matter.   Carlos Castaneda

For more on self-healing and transforming fear into joy, click here.


Picture of Author: Helen Maupin

Author: Helen Maupin

Helen is passionate about transforming fear into love — from her, for her, for all. She expresses her commitment to transformation through writing poetry, self-awareness and yoga books, co-designing organizations into adaptive enterprises and deepening her daily meditation and yoga practices.


Recent Posts by Helen Maupin