Download Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche by Ethan Watters PDF

By Ethan Watters

Publish 12 months note: First released December seventh 2009

It is celebrated that American tradition is a dominant strength at domestic and overseas; our exportation of every thing from videos to junk foodstuff is a well-documented phenomenon. yet is it attainable America's such a lot troubling influence at the globalizing international has but to be accounted for? In Crazy Like Us, Ethan Watters unearths that the main devastating end result of the unfold of yankee tradition has no longer been our golden arches or our bomb craters yet our bulldozing of the human psyche itself: we're within the technique of homogenizing the way in which the area is going mad.

America has been the area chief in producing new psychological well-being remedies and sleek theories of the human psyche. We export our psychopharmaceuticals packaged with the understanding that our biomedical wisdom will relieve the anguish and stigma of psychological affliction. We categorize issues, thereby defining psychological ailment and health and wellbeing, after which parade those probably medical certainties in entrance of the area. The blowback from those efforts is simply now coming to mild: It seems that we've got not just been altering the way in which the area talks approximately and treats psychological affliction -- we now have been altering the psychological health problems themselves.

For millennia, neighborhood ideals in several cultures have formed the event of psychological affliction into never-ending varieties. loopy Like Us records how American interventions have discounted and labored to alter these indigenous ideals, frequently at a dizzying expense. during the last many years, psychological health problems popularized in the US were spreading around the globe with the rate of contagious illnesses. Watters travels from China to Tanzania to convey domestic the unsettling end that the virus is us: As we introduce Americanized methods of treating psychological health problems, we're actually spreading the diseases.

In post-tsunami Sri Lanka, Watters reviews at the Western trauma counselors who, of their rush to assist, inadvertently trampled neighborhood expressions of grief, affliction, and therapeutic. In Hong Kong, he retraces the final steps of the teen whose loss of life sparked a virulent disease of the yank model of anorexia nervosa. Watters finds the reality a few multi-million-dollar crusade via one of many world's largest drug businesses to alter the japanese adventure of melancholy -- actually advertising the ailment besides the drug.

But this booklet isn't just concerning the harm we've triggered in remote locations. taking a look at our effect at the psyches of individuals in different cultures is a intestine payment, a fashion of forcing ourselves to take a clean examine our personal ideals approximately psychological healthiness and therapeutic. after we research our assumptions from a farther shore, we commence to appreciate how our personal tradition regularly shapes and infrequently creates the psychological health problems of our time. by means of environment apart our function because the world's therapist, we may perhaps come to just accept that we've got as a lot to benefit from different cultures' ideals concerning the brain as we need to teach.

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Extra resources for Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche

Sample text

Having been brought up from the age of five in Borneo, a culture that prays five times a day and where everything revolves around religion and superstition and one that depends more on prayer and faith than on modern beliefs, it was inevitable that I looked to God for answers. I had an idyllic childhood, full of sunshine and love. At the age of five I left behind 65, Foley Road, Birmingham 8, England where I had been living with my Mum, Nanna and Poppa. Mum was divorced from my real father, an Irishman from Sligo who had nice hands and loved poetry and classical music – and that’s all I know about him.

It was like being stuck in a small room with no lights and no oxygen and footsteps were approaching. In the dark, something was coming. I wanted to run away but was too scared to leave. I wanted to be on my own but was afraid something would happen. The hospital seemed like the best bet. Everything was there if they needed to resuscitate me. Eventually a doctor did arrive and I managed, in between sobs, to tell him my symptoms. To reassure me I was given an ECG and my blood pressure was taken. Everything was normal – but of course in my mind that was not true.

Flex your muscles? qxd 1/25/2007 11:55 AM Page 20 20 The Cow jumped over the Moon bare teeth while balancing a horse on your shoulders? What? Was I expected to swallow a tin of spinach and yodel ‘I’m Popeye the sailor man’? Being strong had nothing to do with it as far as I was concerned – I had to be vigilant. Vigilant and alert! And as for ‘cheering up’ – you’re kidding me, right? I mean please, keep your little ‘bumper sticker’ advice to yourself before I slap you on the forehead, and the same goes for ‘look on the bright side’.

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