The tenfold increase in unipolar depression in the industrial nations during the postwar era surely qualifies as an epidemic, if a silent one. According to the World Health Organization, there are a hundred million people alive today, most of them in the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan and the European Union, who are clinically depressed. – Gregg Easterbrook; The Progress Paradox, How Life Gets Better While People Feel Worse
That’s right, since the end of World War II western civilization has made tremendous strides forward in technology, economic growth, security and general well-being. But we are more depressed and anxious than ever, especially in the most wealthy and heavily industrialized nations in the world.
Maybe because it’s Halloween this week or maybe I’m just hyper aware of things because of some of my own experiences but I’ve noticed a lot of talk this past week about Fear, Depression and Mental Illness. This article in particular caught my eye – “Americans Biggest Financial Fears” , as did this one “Retirement Saving A Big Worry Among Survey Respondents”
Fear in and of itself can be a natural, healthy response to a stimulus. Healthy fear leads to action. It’s the fight or flight response to a present danger. Embrace that kind of fear, go with it, it could save your life. It’s the other kind of fear, a generalized anxiety with no immediately identifiable source of danger that leads to depression and paralyzes us from making sound decisions and moving out of harm’s way. That kind of fear kills.
One of my favorite Bible verses says:
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. [2 Timothy 1:7]
Some translations substitute the word fear for timidity which I think get’s at the essence of what is meant here a bit better. Unhealthy fear can make us timid, it prevents us from taking action. That verse also points out what the antidote for unhealthy fear is; power, love and a sound mind. In other words, the knowledge and the ability to make decisions based on that knowledge, drives out fear.
Part of my mission is to Educate and Empower people when it comes to their relationship with finances, because fear can cause you to make bad decisions or paralyze you and hold you in a bad situation. Knowledge is power and it drives out unhealthy fear and depression. If you’re worried about your finances, the bill collectors are calling or you just don’t know if you’ll ever have enough to retire, drop me a line, that’s what I’m here for.
What are you afraid of? How can you gain knowledge and healthy take action?