Affluenza is a contagious disease effecting both individuals and society typified by excess consumption, waste and overload, due to the selfish pursuit of wealth and excess.

[from aff(luent) + (in)fluenza]

Affluenza is a pandemic effecting the affluent (hence its name) causing excess consumerism, bloating, over consumption, and waste, it is an all consuming gout effecting predominantly English speaking countries and the Western world.

For people in these endemic societies it creates anxiety, depression, low self esteem, worthlessness and un-fulfillment all created by swollen expectations, within an environment of abundance.

The root cause for affluenza is a dissatisfaction of worth, this results in excess materialism consumerism and this then leads to rampant capitalism, the resulting discontent causes those effected to focus on status, money, possessions, appearance and fame.

When too much is not enough, the debt caused by attaining status and materialistic gain causes workaholism, anxiety and stress. This unsatisfied need for more has caused institutions to have an unsustainable addiction to economic growth, causing both the banking crisis and the resultant credit crunch where society remains in debt to this day.

Those afflicted by affluenza look for temporary cures, this has created the prozac generation, whilst others seek short lived relief in further ‘retail therapy’ and other methods of instant gratification, however this superficial papering over of the cracks like Botox is short lived and the debt of retail therapy will still be there tomorrow.

The cure for affluenza and the gout it causes in our society is not to look at a cure that reduces the inflammation and the overall effect. Instead the cure for affluenza is to look at the cause, we need to control excess, to prevent waste, to prevent overload and focus on what is really important around us.

We are at an afflux where the effect of abundance, excess and affluenza has caused an obesity in our society.

Perhaps the only real cure is as individuals is to know when we have enough, to stop chasing materialism and to ‘downshift’ our lives before it becomes impossible to carry the weight and debt affluenza has caused.