Lynne's Reviews > Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche

Crazy Like Us by Ethan Watters
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Jan 14, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: health, history

A very readable and very interesting read (I also heard the author in a radio interview you can find here: http://www.madnessradio.net/madness-r...). It had never occurred to me that HOW mental illness and distress expresses itself is very tied in to one's culture, so that the same event (a flood, a death, whatever) requires different treatment, ritual, etc depending on one's culture. The USA has pushed western psychiatry's (and psychology's) theories all over the world, but done next to nothing to figure out how much damage it's done to local peoples and their culture. As the book says, "It turns out we have not only been changing the way the world talks about and treats mental illness -- we have been changing the mental illnesses themselves".

This is a book for you if you have any of the following interests:

- social justice (e.g., protection of indigenous and non-dominant western cultures)
- anthropology
- history of and efficacy of western psychiatry
- mental and/or physical health
- history and current events
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