Wednesday, May 10, 2006



Its Symptoms, Causes & Cures

"Anyone--regardless of their net worth--who believes that they must be rich, that more is always better, is a self-condemned prisoner of the 'golden ghetto'."-- Jessie H. O'Neill

Simply defined, Affluenza, is a dysfunctional relationship with money/wealth, or the pursuit of it. Globally it is a back up in the flow of money resulting in a polarization of the classes and a loss of economic and emotional balance.

We can see the symptoms of affluenza throughout our culture:in those around us who have wealth; in those who are pursuing wealth; and in varying degrees within ourselves.
Psychotherapist and affluenza authority, Jessie H. O'Neill M.A. has refined her clinical definition of affluenza as:
The collective addictions, character flaws, psychological wounds, neuroses, and behavioral disorders caused or exacerbated by the presence of, or desire for money/wealth.
In corporations and businesses it manifests as a loss of personal and professional productivity; high turn-over rate among CEO's and employees, and an increase in sick days.
In individuals, it takes the form of a dysfunctional or unhealthy relationship with money, regardless of one's socio-economic level. It manifests as behaviors resulting from a preoccupation with --or imbalance around-- the money in our lives.
The psychological dysfunctions of affluenza within the family are generational, and frequently passed from parent to child.
Among the symptoms of affluenza which O'Neill has defined are:
A loss of personal and professional productivity
A loss of future motivation
An inability to delay gratification or tolerate frustration
A false sense of entitlement
Low self-esteem
Low self-worth
Loss of self-confidence
Preocupation with externals
High regard for outer self/low regard for inner self
"Survivor's" guilt/shame
Sudden wealth syndrome
Sudden poverty syndrome
Other compulsive-addictive behaviors: i.e. rampant materialism and consumerism
The psychological dynamics of affluenza are more complex, and more harmful, than one popularized definition of affluenza as merely "a rich person's disease." People across all socio-economic levels buy into the overriding value within our culture that money solves all problems, thus denial of money-related difficulties is supported by society. Many sufferers of affluenza hesitate to seek help.

Teaching tools----Order the DVD! Great piece of work for Bullfrog films.

AFFLUENZA is a groundbreaking film that diagnoses a serious social disease - caused by consumerism, commercialism and rampant materialism - that is having a devastating impact on our families, communities, and the environment. We have more stuff, but less time, and our quality of life seems to be deteriorating. By using personal stories, expert commentary, hilarious old film clips, and "uncommercial" breaks to illuminate the nature and extent of the disease, AFFLUENZA has appealed to widely diverse audiences: from freshmen orientation programs to consumer credit counseling, and from religious congregations to marketing classes.
With the help of historians and archival film, AFFLUENZA reveals the forces that have dramatically transformed us from a nation that prized thriftiness - with strong beliefs in "plain living and high thinking" - into the ultimate consumer society.
The program ends with a prescription to cure the disease. A growing number of people are opting out of the consumer chase, and choosing "voluntary simplicity" instead. They are working and shopping less, spending more time with friends and family, volunteering in their communities, and enjoying their lives more.DVD version: The DVD contains the following special features updating the information provided by the original film: * 3 filmed interviews with filmmaker John de Graaf, voluntary simplicity expert Cecile Andrews, and economist Peter Dorman * 7 Adbusters "Uncommercials" * Teacher's Guide and separate Viewer's Guide in PDF format on the DVD-ROM portion of the disc.

No comments: