The Hidden Treasure

Where Ancient Wisdom Meets Contemporary Psychology

Breaking Free of Depression

Written By: Vic Rebman Ph.D - Jun• 28•17
Contemplation #22 

Positive News About Depressing Facts


A recent large-scale study published in the journal Translational Psychiatry compiled data from over 100,000 children through personal interviews between the years 2009 – 2014. We have known for some time that prevalence rates for depression and anxiety are rapidly increasing among children and adolescents. This recent study, published just last month, found that by age 17, 13% of boys and an alarming 36% of girls had, or were, experiencing significant clinical depression.

There are many factors which contribute to the sharp increase in depression rates over the last several decades. One is, of course, the pharmaceutical companies’ contention that depression is all about “chemical imbalance”, even though there is no research to support this claim.  It has been known for some time that over 75% of the positive effects of antidepressant medications are pure placebo (Irvin Kirsch, 1998). The simple fact is that most clinical depression is psychologically driven.

When we look at the psychological factors which contribute to the rapid rise in depression rates, one variable is no doubt the attitudes of entitlement which seem to be so prevalent in our society today. Entitlement is a self-destructive belief that because we desire something we deserve it, and we must have it now!

Entitlement beliefs are self-destructive because they support the illusion that happiness comes from the fulfillment of worldly desires. No amount of possessions or accomplishments can lead to lasting contentment or inner peace. Knowing this is what led Jesus to encourage his followers not to pursue earthly treasures, but rather to “store up treasures in heaven” (Matthew 6:20).

In the 7th verse of the Tao it is written:

“Serve the needs of others, and all your own needs will be fulfilled.”

A guaranteed formula for breaking free of depression involves challenging oneself to get up, get out, and do something positive for others. By being of service to others, we can break free from the depression that binds us. The positive power of serving rests in the old spiritual law of giving and receiving:  we reap what we sow (Matthew 7:2).  We are at our best when we give ourselves fully in service to others:


“Through selfless action, fulfillment is attained.”

(The Tao, Verse #7)

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