General Article Affluenza

Topic Selected: Consumerism
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'Mindless consumerism' is fuelling emotional health problems, clinical psychologist Oliver James claims.

In his new book Affluenza, the television psychologist argues that the middle-class pursuit of material 'success' is fuelling problems like depression and anxiety.

James toured seven nations interviewing 240 people from Cornwall to Cambridge and Singapore to Sydney, before concluding that 'selfish capitalism' has run riot.

He found that the middle class rigorously pursue consumer goals, such as a larger house, promotion or new car.

But James told Reuters: 'Studies in lots of different nations show that if you place high value on those things, you are more likely to suffer depression, anxiety, addictions and personality disorders.'

Affluenza warns that people in English-speaking nations are now twice as likely to suffer from poor emotional health as those in mainland western European nations.

However, James is hopeful that the mood is right for change, pointing ...

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