2010 Abstracts Stage 2

Depression on the Increase in Britain! Is “Affluenza” a Contributor?

Wendy Wheatley, 2010, Stage 2

We are truly in a bad way emotionally …Selfish Capitalism is not a good way to run things, if you care about people’s emotional well-being. [Affluenza, 2007]

These are the words spoken by Oliver James in his book Affluenza. In his book James suggests that the virus he names Affluenzais a set of standards which boost our defencelessness against psychological distress: we are now placing a high value on needing money and possessions, we want to look good in front of our fellow man and are coveting fame. James suggests that the studies he has made in his book show not only is the epidemic at pandemic proportions but is also on the increase.

My aim within this project is too show that depression has risen in Britain since the 1970’s. My hypothesis’ will be that because of the “Affluenza”, we are ignoring our natural instincts and desires, we are constantly feeding our ‘Id’ and because we cannot always feed our ‘Id’ we become dissatisfied and depressed.

In 1905 Freud published three essays on the theory of sexuality; these essays were where Freud developed his sexuality theories and also where he put forth his psychosexual development theory. It is important that we understand these theories as we will have a clearer view of how when we are not allowed to develop as Freud said was necessary, that we lose ourpersonal identity and also our social evolution as individuals.If this is correct then the problem is greater than just a rise in depression since the 70’s it also shows us that the future will be very bleak for our future generations as if we now are wrapped up in ‘selfish capitalism’and susceptible to Affluenza, how will we help our future generations to develop?, when we ourselves have been stunted

When James talks of people in his book we notice that these people have many of the above habits which can eventually lead to depression, but the correlation between Freud and Olive’s Affluenzais that by wanting to satisfy our ‘id’constantly because of such things as consumerism we are indeed destroying our personalities and our mental health. We are not meant to constantly satisfy our ‘id’ the ‘id’ works in conjuncture with the ‘ego’ and ‘super id’ according to Freud.

I will Be using Freud, and looking at his psychosexual development theory, to show how when we can become warped as humans if we do not satisfy our needs and are well rounded. I will be using Freud in conjunction with the writer Oliver James and will be referring to the problem named in his book as “Affluenza”. In my Project I will include statistical data to show that depression has risen in Britain. I will also be talking about the impact that “Affluenza” will have on our future generations. We must satisfy our needs and self-reflect, replacing our intrinsic needs with possessions will ultimately lead to our downfall!

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