Affluenza is a term that was coined for a PBS special on television in the 90’s that explored the concept of materialism and overconsumption. It is defined as the guilt or lack of motivation experienced by people who have made or inherited wealth. This materialism is the impetus for accumulating wealth, but the feelings of guilt and isolation stem from the dysfunctional pursuit of wealth.
Two Community’s Of Thought
Although the medical community does not formally recognize affluenza as a disease, the legal community in a recent court case in Texas used the term as a partial defense for their teenage client’s poor behavior of driving drunk and killing four people and injuring two others. The attorney hired a psychologist expert witness to imply that his client’s wealth protected him from learning and understanding consequences for his actions. However, socioeconomic status is not an excuse for breaking the law.
Joyce Evans from Fox News Philly, explores this story and the concept of affluenza during the July 9, 2014 segment, which includes commentary from Dr. Abrams.
Ways To Prevent The Concept Of Affluenza
Proper parenting needs to take place regardless of socioeconomic status. This includes setting limits and providing consequences.
- Be a good role model.
- Do not overindulge, only buy your children what they need.
- Instill a work ethic that regardless of wealth or privilege , you expect them to succeed on their own.
- Teach the concept of delayed gratification.
- Try not to have a “Keep up with the Joneses” approach to life.
Money truly does not buy happiness.
People of all socioeconomic status suffer from depression,anxiety,substance abuse and many other behavioral health issues that can lead to personal/professionnal and legal troubles.
If you or a loved one is suffering and need help, please talk to a qualified professional.