What Others Are Saying...

"In her practice, seminars and workshops, O'Neill addresses the myths and realities of money... O'Neill's main point is that American society in general is obsessed with money."


-- The Business Journal

What Is Affluenza?

Woman With Hands Full of MoneySimply put, affluenza is a harmful or unbalanced relationship with money or its pursuit. Clinically, Jessie defines affluenza in the individual as the collective addictions, character flaws, psychological wounds, neurosis and behavioral disorders caused or exacerbated by the presence of or desire for wealth.


Globally affluenza is a back up of the flow of money, resulting in a polarization of classes, and loss of economic and emotional balance. The Affluenza Project was established to further awareness and understanding of affluenza, its symptoms and solutions in individuals, organizations and globally.


The Affluenza Project seeks to provide the public and professional communities with information and resources concerning affluenza, the psychology of money and related issues. The project promotes understanding, education and healing in our individual and business relationships with money. We are committed to helping people of all economic classes build a new American dream.


What are the symptoms of affluenza?

In individuals, symptoms of affluenza can include: workaholism; an addiction to chaos; low self-esteem; depression; a loss of future motivation; an inability to delay gratification or tolerate frustration; a false sense of entitlement. Affluenza is frequently accompanied by all manners of addictive/compulsive behaviors. 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. One of the major causes of climate change, loss of biodiversity and the "legacy" we threaten to leave our children and grandchildren, is affluenza.


What causes affluenza?

The assumption that money can, should and does buy happiness -- what I call the myth of the American dream. As a nation, we have developed the false sense of entitlement as well as an inability to delay gratification, which is characteristic of affluenza. Far from guaranteeing happiness, wealth or the single-minded pursuit of it can destroy happiness, or -- at the least -- exacerbate existing problems. 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.


What about a treatment and cure?

Affluenza can be successfully treated. The most important step is the first one -- to bring the condition out of hiding, to name it, to de-mystify it. With insight, we can begin to create more balanced expectations and employ money in more appropriate ways. The process involves awareness, education and change. With personal insight into the potentially crippling effects that money, or its blind pursuit, can have on every aspect of our lives -- professionally and personally. As business owners and employees we can learn how to create emotional balance around financial matters in the work environment resulting in a more successful business--and most importantly--a more balanced and successful lifestyle. The definition of success is much broader than the financial bottom line.