Affluenza is a social condition, a non-communicable disease, that effects people’s perception of self-worth; leading to the accumulation of wealth or prestige to fill emotional, social or spiritual emptiness. The usual results of this, skewed perception of society or person, often leads to debt, anxiety and waste, sometimes called the "Western disease". An unsustainable addiction to economic growth.
How it works
Affluenza can affect people on any social or economic. Level, where it is most prevalent and its symptoms seem to create the most damage is within the area of society that borders between wealth and poverty. Although there are cases where Affluenza has been the reason for people to fall into poverty, or it effect their decision making to the point that it keeps them in poverty. Poverty, itself is not the result of Affluenza. There are far more reasons for people to live in poverty other than Affluenza.
With people suffering from Affluenza, the obsession for using money to project a certain social image, or to acquire more stuff, can far exceed the amount of money they have to support their basic needs. This can lead to increasing debt, long work hours and anxiety. Whole industries spring up to feed the demand of people buying things they don’t really need. Affluenza is not consumerism nor is it commercialism, but it needs both to sustain it.