Affluenza: Consumed, consuming

Societies in the developed countries of the world today are continually engrossed with buying more goods and services. They have been strongly encouraged and pressured to do so for many years, so much so that there is never enough.

Autos have become prominent status symbols along with luxurious homes. Styles are an arena of social competition - buy to keep up with what's 'in' - or feel inferior.

We desire and acquire as much as we can afford, and often more. Much of this brings no personal achievement or lasting happiness and often is unnecessary, useless, and wasteful.

This all affects our lives badly as we stress to earn more money to buy more stuff. Our health and family life may take a back seat as we work to gain purchasing power.

And this delirium is not going away soon when BUY is before our eyes at our every turn in our daily lives.

We have affluenza.

From Wikipedia: Affluenza, n. a painful, contagious, socially transmitted condition of overload, debt, anxiety and waste resulting from the dogged pursuit of more.

Proponents of the term consider the costs of prizing material wealth vastly outweigh the benefits. They claim those who become wealthy will find the economic success leaving them unfulfilled and hungry for more wealth. The condition is considered particularly acute amongst those with inherited wealth, who are often said to experience guilt, lack of purpose and dissolute behavior, as well as obsession with holding on to the wealth (John Levy's Coping with Inherited Wealth)

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, Moscow, Shanghai, Copenhagen and New York.

Read more about affluenza at Wikipedia.

"He who buys what he does not need steals from himself." - Unknown