: English 102

With headers for each section, explain what you hope to show through your essay:
Step 1
Theme/ General Area of Interest: (Example: consumerism in the US; consumerism and mental health; happiness in simple living,…]
Topic: (Example: teenagers and consumerism in the USA)
Who is impacted by the issues related to your topic? (Example: teenagers; their families; their schoolmates, etc)
Your personal experience with the topic and any personal context areas you think shape your perspective: (Example: my younger sister /I spent too much money shopping, was always wanting money and wanting things)
Your current opinion on the issue: (Example: We need to provide better role models for teenagers in terms of how they should live happy and productive lives)
Step 2, Research:
Your main issue question, to provide better understanding of the issue:
At least 5 information questions related to your topic, to provide any essential information about this topic that will help inform your own position on it:
Search terms you will use for your research:
Complete and correctly formatted MLA citations for sources accessed through library databases and written for a general audience on your topic.
Complete and correctly formatted MLA citations for three SCHOLARLY sources accessed through library databases.
Your updated position on the issue:


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Area of Interest: Consumerism and Mental health

Effects of Consumerism on Mental Health and Wellbeing

Consumerism refers to the idea that material acquisition and services in more massive amounts are an economically desirable goal. This behavior is linked to a person’s happiness, wellbeing, and status in society. We mostly feel a sense of accomplishment, great pleasure, happiness, and satisfaction when we shop and acquire new clothes, home appliances, shoes, and sports gears, among others. This essay argues the affected people are shoppers and their immediate family; it taps on the inner insecurities among people, stems from life in-satisfaction, and affects an individual socially, financially, and psychologically, which all adversely affect the mental health and wellbeing of people.

Our consumerism behavior and culture present mental health issues for our immediate families and ourselves. The association of a person’s life happiness, satisfaction, and social status on material possession has made many people live stressful lives wondering how to finance their consumerism behavior to prove financial achievement, success, identity projection, and high social status (Fergie). People are exposed to diverse social media platforms and advertising platforms, where new products are always provided and displayed, which is what capitalism wants (Fergie). If an individual lacks financial resources to finance or maintain their excessive consumption, they may fall into depression, anxiety on what ‘will people say,’ increased stress, and low self-esteem. Families are affected when, if the individual is a parent, financial constraints and huge debts are incurred. Financial issues and debts make family members susceptible to mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, feeling out of control, and constrained living.

Consumerism and Mental Health is an area of interest as I resonate with. In most cases, I experience anxiety, frustrations, and excessive worry whenever I see the influx of advertisements on television, billboards, and schoolmates with newer and better clothes, cars, phones, and jewelry. Black Friday sales is one weakness I have. On about 3 Fridays in a month, I spend a lot than planned and end up exhausting personal savings and credit on new clothes to keep up with the trend. When stressed and deeply angered, I go for ‘stress shopping’ that costs more than five months upkeep. In the beginning, the thought is reviving and relieving, the new products make me overwhelmingly happy, and I long to show them off to friends and families. However, I am stressed about the financial status with time and experience mental disturbance episodes and uncontrolled worry.

In the modern world, consumerism in the USA is a normal trend. People present diverse reasons for increased material acquisition and possession and the effects being both beneficial and adverse. Consumerism is not a solution, nor is it wrong; it is good but requires to be built on the right reasons, grounds and be controlled, as we do not realize the effects this behavior when prolonged affects our wellbeing and mental health (Large). It is unnecessary to chase materials such as wealth for appearances that, in the end, alter our social life, exploit our insecurities, and makes us vulnerable to mental issues.

According to Large (2018), the excessive value placed on materials is due to insecurities people have from early in life, linked to low self–esteem and life dissatisfaction (Large). He describes materialistic people as unhappy in their lives and must affirm their social status or show societal assimilation through increased consumption behavior. The exposure to excessive consumption, with the need to show power and success, antisocial behavior, and depressive traits, are instigated (Bauer, Wilkie and Kim). This shows the social, financial, and psychological effects, which all adversely affect people’s mental health and wellbeing.



Works Cited

Bauer, Monika A., et al. “Cuing Consumerism: Situational Materialism Undermines Personal and Social Well-Being.” Journal of Psychological Science (2012): Vol 23(5), pp; 517-523. 10.1177/0956797611429579.

Fergie, Lois. “Consumerism is Making Us Sick, But That’s Just What Capitalism Wants.” A Student Journal on Contemporary Sociological Issues (2019): 1-5.

Large, Chris. Rethinking consumerism for the sake of young people’s mental health (and the planet). 24 May 2018. https://www.greenfunders.org/2018/05/24/rethinking-consumerism-for-the-sake-of-young-peoples-mental-health-and-the-planet/. 14 November 2020.



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