I recently saw an OTD [Off the Derech] case claim that many of them are happy and fulfilled.
I have serious reservations as to his first claim. Most of them go through serious crises as they lose their families, friends, faith [which are three of the main hallmarks of happiness in this world]. They require a lot of emotional support and if you see interviews with them they walk around with tremendous amount of pain, anger and other emotions that are less than conducive to happiness.
As far as fulfillment is concerned - how can one be fulfilled without a G-d? Without Him, there is no intrinsic meaning in ANYTHING. Everything is just contrived, a figment of one's imagination. I can decide tomorrow that collecting toenails is meaningful and fulfilling but that doesn't mean that it is [no matter how big my collection becomes]. I just decided that it is but tomorrow I can decide otherwise. Some find meaning in their sports team or in their material possessions but that is also not for real. There is no intrinsic meaning in the Mets, my house, car or job [if I am Godless, G-d forbid.]. If one rejects G-d, we are just living in a chaotic world with no meaning which was just an incredible accident. If someone dies it is just an overdeveloped monkey from this large zoo we call the Planet Earth who croaked. What is the big deal?
Many sefarim define a person who lives with spirituality as an "animal". Animals eat - he eats. Animals defecate - he defecates. Animals copulate - he copulates. No difference. Just that he was endowed with a soul and an intellect and he is not using it to reach the right conclusions so he is WORSE than an animal.
I am not being critical or judging people who stop being religious. They often went through great trauma and abuse. I can't judge such people. But it is clear that the decision to throw off the yoke of heaven is very damaging to anyone who takes that path [not to mention his family members and friends].
We must appreciate how fortunate we are to have true, intrinsic meaning in our lives. We are surrounded by mitzvos, have constant opportunities to improve our middos, and believe that all that looks evil will ultimately be shown to be good. Everything and everybody has meaning. Life is not chaos.
ברוך אלקינו שבראנו לכבודו והבדילנו מן התועים ונתן לנו תורת אמת וחיי עולם נטע בתוכנו!!