With two days until Christmas a surprising number of articles are being revisited which show depression is steeply on the rise in both adults and children. These articles and several studies show that this rise in depression is directly related to consumerism.
Researchers suggest “Modern focus on products and shopping in contrast to a greater concentration on human relationships and families experienced in the early twentieth century may be damaging the mental health of modern youth.”
In a study of youth between the ages of nine and twelve “Depressed children were more likely to believe that happiness was something achieved through the acquisition of money, fame and beauty.”
At the same time, we see those who escape the consumerist mindset and give up the material possessions they previously believed proved they were successful have found a calmness, happiness even, they didn’t know was possible.
Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus, the Minimalists, while having the career, homes, cars and plenty of money faced divorces and the feeling that life wasn’t measuring up. It was only after walking away from the status symbols that they found contentment.
Other bloggers who have talked frequently on the benefits from health to improved relationships after seeing the failures of consumerism as well.
With only one shopping day left before Christmas why not avoid the malls and start a new tradition that puts family and relationships over gifts. Give of yourself instead.