Affluenza – The Need To Buy More and More Material Goods – Do You Suffer From It?

Affluenza Documentary - Need to consume more

As defined by Wikipedia:

Affluenza, – painful, contagious, socially transmitted condition of overload, debt, anxiety and waste resulting from the dogged pursuit of more.


Affluenza – 1. The bloated, sluggish and unfulfilled feeling that results from efforts to keep up with the Joneses.
2. An epidemic of stress, overwork, waste and indebtedness caused by the pursuit of the American Dream.
3. An unsustainable addiction to economic growth.

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The Affluenza Theory

British psychologist Oliver James asserts that there is a correlation between the increasing nature of affluenza and the resulting increase in material inequality: the more unequal a society, the greater the unhappiness of its citizens. Referring to Vance Packard’s thesis (The Hidden Persuaders) on the manipulative methods used by the advertising industry, James relates the stimulation of artificial needs to the rise in affluenza. To highlight the spread of affluenza in societies with varied levels of inequality, James interviewed people in several cities including Sydney, Singapore, Auckland, Moscow, Shanghai, Copenhagen and New York.

James also believes that higher rates of mental disorders are the consequence of excessive wealth-seeking in consumerist nations. He cites World Health Organization data that English-speaking nations have twice as much mental illness as mainland Europe: 23% vs 11.5% suffered in the twelve months of the study. James defines affluenza as ‘placing a high value on money, possessions, appearances (physical and social) and fame,’ and this becomes the rationale behind the increasing mental illness in English-speaking societies. He explains the greater incidence of affluenza as the result of ‘Selfish Capitalism,’ the Market Liberal political governance found in English-speaking nations as compared to the less selfish capitalism pursued in mainland Europe. James asserts that societies can remove the negative consumerist effects by pursuing real needs over perceived wants, and by defining themselves as having value independent of their material possessions.

Basically we all suffer from Affluenza from one degree to another. If you watch television, commercials and listen to your peers buying habits you have been programmed in a sense to seek more , seek better in order to in some way make you:

- feel better, look better
- feel important, fee significant
- look wealthier than you really are

Many people who suffer from Affluenza don’t even know why the feel the need to buy and upgrade more material goods. They often over extend themselves financially, get into debt for the luxury car or that must have $750 COACH purse / handbag.

This Affluenza documentary was made around 1985, over 24 years ago.  You will notice that not much has changed in terms of the amount of garbage that is being created and the impact on our environment from material things.
Download the Affluenza documentary from this link: Affluenza Documentary – .avi video
You may need to download VLC Media Player, which will play all video formats.
After watching this documentary, look into your own life and see how badly affected by Affluenza.

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