Affluenza Season

With the proximity of Saturnalia celebrations already upon us, we are experiencing an early start to the affluenza season

Affluenza is a disease of environmental origin with no geographical boundaries or discernible genetic links. A disease exacerbated by hypercommercialisation; materialism; purchase fever; first-world problems (FWP); and the work-spend treadmill.

The original strain of affluenza has mutated to include the #me3 (me me me) subgroup. Spread no longer requires direct person-person contact instead relying on person-phone-person (PPP) transmission within the medium of a contextual social milieu.

Common manifestations include chronic stress, anxiety; situational acopia; and myriad non-pathological presentations. Given the PPP mode of viral transmission, emergency healthcare workers are not deemed at risk from direct contact with affected individuals.

Affluenza Investigations in Emergency

Bedside and laboratory tests lack sensitivity or specificity

Careful peripheral examination of radiological images can reveal specific manifestations of hypercommercialisation, label-addiction and the Obsessive Possession Disorder (OPD)

Acute affluenza CXR
Emergency Management

There is little that can be done in the emergency department.

Trials of socially appropriate medications such as Awareness® (4mg/kg IV); Empathy® (500mg PO stat); and Insight® (2mg/kg S/C) have limited effect in the acute setting.

  • Live, laugh, love
  • Cherish what matters most in the world – family, friendship and fun
  • Go tech-free and hike into the wilderness

This is a problem of appetites, and of narcissism, and of self-deceit. The planet is breaking, and it is breaking under the weight of our hunger for more. To reform the world, we must first reform ourselves.


BA MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM. Emergency physician, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.  Passion for rugby; medical history; medical education; and asynchronous learning #FOAMed evangelist. Co-founder and CTO of Life in the Fast lane | Eponyms | Books | Twitter |


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