Causes And Effects Of Affluenza

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Causes And Effects Of Affluenza

Affluenza, a mixture of the words ‘affluence’ and ‘influenza’ affects more and more people in the western society. Victims of this ‘disease’ receive feelings of unhappiness and unease caused by the ongoing pursuit of more, which affects people across all age groups, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. The problem with these people is that they feel a need to purchase a large amount of goods to copy the lifestyles of the rich and famous. I will be talking about the causes of affluenza, how it affects individuals, societal problems and benefits of affluenza and if it is a global benefit or problem.Causes And Effects Of Affluenza

What are the causes of this special ‘disease’?
Supporters of the affluenza theory specify that people plagued follow the idea that money can buy happiness. But soon they have to realize that striving for wealth raids them from their personal fulfillment and leaves them unsatisfied. Therefore they have difficulties to blend into normal society and differentiate between right and wrong. They live in their own world of privileges and wealth, which disconnects them from the rest of the world and lack sympathy for people who are poor.Causes And Effects Of Affluenza


How does affluenza affect individuals?
There are several problems of affluenza which affect individuals. Firstly, people expect to receive material goods in abundance without carrying any responsibility. Secondly, this leads to the fact that they show no interest to receive anything that requires effort and therefore they have a very low motivation level. Thirdly, life activities don’t consist of a daily struggle or effort to survive therefore their life is unreal and they feel that nothing matters much. Fourthly, they have a very low self esteem, self worth, and loss of self confidence as they believe that personal values do not count in life but people are only judged by their possessions. Lastly, people affected by affluenza display difficulty believing that people like them for themselves rather than for possessions and status, which may lead to the inability to trust and it prevents true friendships.

One powerful quote portraying the effect affluenza has on individuals is shown below: “We place all our faith in external things to make us happy. The danger here is that we lose sight of inner happiness…We forget how to be happy”.Causes And Effects Of Affluenza

Societal problems
There are many societal problems associated with affluenza like depression, obsession, greed and debts. Affluenza can lead to depression and feelings of dissatisfaction if the person fails to meet its severe need to spend money on unneeded objects. This creates an obsession and leads to greed and lastly the person plunges into self absorption. A great percentage of the American population suffers from this disease, which is fueled by advertisements and commercials convincing the vulnerable population to consume further.

Personally, I believe that affluenza is a global problem, due to the over consumption of unnecessary goods, the societal problems it generates as well as the how it negatively affects individuals. For example, although Americans consist of only 5% of the world’s population, in 1996 Americans consumes almost ⅓ of the world’s resources and created nearly ½ of its unsafe and dangerous waste. A shocking fact is that the average North American consumes five times as much as the average Mexican, 10 times as much as an average Chinese and 30 times as much as the average person in India. Causes And Effects Of Affluenza