Crazy Like Us

The Globalization of the American Psyche

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Author: Ethan Watters

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 9781416587194

Category: Psychology

Page: 320

View: 3441

It is well known that American culture is a dominant force at home and abroad; our exportation of everything from movies to junk food is a well-documented phenomenon. But is it possible America's most troubling impact on the globalizing world has yet to be accounted for? In Crazy Like Us, Ethan Watters reveals that the most devastating consequence of the spread of American culture has not been our golden arches or our bomb craters but our bulldozing of the human psyche itself: We are in the process of homogenizing the way the world goes mad. America has been the world leader in generating new mental health treatments and modern theories of the human psyche. We export our psychopharmaceuticals packaged with the certainty that our biomedical knowledge will relieve the suffering and stigma of mental illness. We categorize disorders, thereby defining mental illness and health, and then parade these seemingly scientific certainties in front of the world. The blowback from these efforts is just now coming to light: It turns out that we have not only been changing the way the world talks about and treats mental illness -- we have been changing the mental illnesses themselves. For millennia, local beliefs in different cultures have shaped the experience of mental illness into endless varieties. Crazy Like Us documents how American interventions have discounted and worked to change those indigenous beliefs, often at a dizzying rate. Over the last decades, mental illnesses popularized in America have been spreading across the globe with the speed of contagious diseases. Watters travels from China to Tanzania to bring home the unsettling conclusion that the virus is us: As we introduce Americanized ways of treating mental illnesses, we are in fact spreading the diseases. In post-tsunami Sri Lanka, Watters reports on the Western trauma counselors who, in their rush to help, inadvertently trampled local expressions of grief, suffering, and healing. In Hong Kong, he retraces the last steps of the teenager whose death sparked an epidemic of the American version of anorexia nervosa. Watters reveals the truth about a multi-million-dollar campaign by one of the world's biggest drug companies to change the Japanese experience of depression -- literally marketing the disease along with the drug. But this book is not just about the damage we've caused in faraway places. Looking at our impact on the psyches of people in other cultures is a gut check, a way of forcing ourselves to take a fresh look at our own beliefs about mental health and healing. When we examine our assumptions from a farther shore, we begin to understand how our own culture constantly shapes and sometimes creates the mental illnesses of our time. By setting aside our role as the world's therapist, we may come to accept that we have as much to learn from other cultures' beliefs about the mind as we have to teach.

Crazy Like Us

The Globalization of the Western Mind

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Author: Ethan Watters

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 1849019126

Category: Psychology

Page: 160

View: 5425

It is well known that US culture is a dominant force and its exportation of everything from movies to junk food is a world-wide phenomenon. But it is possible that its most troubling export has yet to be accounted for? In Crazy Like Us, Ethan Watters reveals that the most devastating consequence of the spread of US culture has been the bulldozing of the human psyche itself: it is in the process of homogenizing the way the world goes mad. America has been the world leader in generating new mental health treatments and modern theories of the human psyche. It exports psychopharmaceuticals packaged with the certainty that its biomedical knowledge will relieve the suffering and stigma of mental illness. It categorises disorders, thereby defining mental illness and health, and then parades these seemingly scientific certainties in front of the world. The outcome of these efforts is just now coming to light: It turns out that the US has not only been changing the way the world talks about and treats mental illness -- it has been changing the mental illnesses themselves. For millennia, local beliefs in different cultures have shaped the experience of mental illness into endless varieties. Crazy Like Us documents how American interventions have discounted and worked to change those indigenous beliefs, often at a dizzying rate. Over the last decades, mental illnesses popularized in America have been spreading across the globe with the speed of contagious diseases. Watters travels from China to Tanzania to bring home the unsettling conclusion that the virus is the US. As Americanized ways of treating mental illnesses are introduced it is in fact spreading the diseases. In post-tsunami Sri Lanka, Watters reports on the Western trauma counselors who, in their rush to help, inadvertently trampled local expressions of grief, suffering, and healing. In Hong Kong, he retraces the last steps of the teenager whose death sparked an epidemic of the American version of anorexia nervosa. Watters reveals the truth about a multi-million-dollar campaign by one of the world's biggest drug companies to change the Japanese experience of depression -- literally marketing the disease along with the drug. But this book is not just about the damage the US has caused abroad he also examines how US culture constantly shapes and sometimes creates the mental illnesses of our time. By setting aside its role as the world's therapist, the US may come to accept that it has as much to learn from other cultures' beliefs about the mind as it has to teach.

Crazy Like Us

the globalisation of the American psyche

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Author: Ethan Watters

Publisher: Scribe Publications

ISBN: 9781921753206

Category: Psychology

Page: 320

View: 4300

In Crazy Like Us, Ethan Watters reveals that the most devastating consequence of the spread of American culture has not been its golden arches or bomb craters, but the bulldozing of the human psyche itself: it is in the process of homogenising the way the world goes mad. For the past 30 years, America has been the world leader in mental-health research, and Western definitions of mental illness are prevailing over indigenous beliefs around the globe. In this book, journalist Ethan Watters travels from China to Tanzania to bring home an unsettling conclusion: as America introduces Westernised ways of treating mental illnesses, it is in fact spreading the diseases. In post-tsunami Sri Lanka, Watters reports on the Western trauma counsellors who, in their rush to help, inadvertently trampled local expressions of grief, suffering, and healing; in Japan, Watters reveals the truth about a multi-million-dollar campaign by one of the world’s biggest drug companies to change the Japanese experience of depression — literally marketing the disease along with the drug. By examining the Western impact on the psyches of people in other cultures, Watters forces us to take a fresh look at our own approaches to mental health and healing. It turns out that we may have as much to learn from other cultures’ beliefs about the mind as we have to teach them.

Pathologies of the West

An Anthropology of Mental Illness in Europe and America

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Author: Roland Littlewood

Publisher: Cornell University Press

ISBN: 9780801487439

Category: Medical

Page: 286

View: 5492

Psychiatry conventionally regards spirit possession and dramatic healing rituals in non-European societies as forms of abnormality if not mental illness. Roland Littlewood, a psychiatrist and social anthropologist, argues that it is necessary to take into account both social process and personal cultural meaning when explaining psychiatric illness and "deviant" behavior. Littlewood brings anthropological and psychiatric literature to bear on case studies of self-poisoning, agoraphobia, hysteria, chronic fatigue syndrome, post-traumatic stress, male sexual violence, and eating disorders. He contends that Western psychiatric illnesses are themselves "possession states"—patterns by which individual agency is displaced through an idiom of alien intrusion whether of a spirit or a disease.Pathologies of the West is simultaneously an original approach to psychiatric illness in its international perspective and an introduction to recent developments in the social anthropology of medicine. It examines critically the relevance of phenomenological, structural, and ethological approaches to understanding extreme personal experience. Littlewood argues that anthropology must not simply provide a cultural alternative to sociological critiques of medicine—psychiatry itself should take into account the ways in which cultural values are acted out by individuals.

A Disability of the Soul

An Ethnography of Schizophrenia and Mental Illness in Contemporary Japan

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Author: Karen Nakamura

Publisher: Cornell University Press

ISBN: 0801467985

Category: Social Science

Page: 256

View: 5143

Bethel House, located in a small fishing village in northern Japan, was founded in 1984 as an intentional community for people with schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders. Using a unique, community approach to psychosocial recovery, Bethel House focuses as much on social integration as on therapeutic work. As a centerpiece of this approach, Bethel House started its own businesses in order to create employment and socialization opportunities for its residents and to change public attitudes toward the mentally ill, but also quite unintentionally provided a significant boost to the distressed local economy. Through its work programs, communal living, and close relationship between hospital and town, Bethel has been remarkably successful in carefully reintegrating its members into Japanese society. It has become known as a model alternative to long-term institutionalization. In A Disability of the Soul, Karen Nakamura explores how the members of this unique community struggle with their lives, their illnesses, and the meaning of community. Told through engaging historical narrative, insightful ethnographic vignettes, and compelling life stories, her account of Bethel House depicts its achievements and setbacks, its promises and limitations. The print edition of the book is accompanied by a DVD containing two fascinating documentaries about Bethel made by the author-Bethel: Community and Schizophrenia in Northern Japan and A Japanese Funeral (winner of the Society for Visual Anthropology Short Film Award and the Society for East Asian Anthropology David Plath Media Award). The ebook contains a link to the site where readers can stream both films. A Disability of the Soul is a sensitive and multidimensional portrait of what it means to live with mental illness in contemporary Japan.

Urban Tribes

Are Friends the New Family?

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Author: Ethan Watters

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA

ISBN: 9781582344416

Category: Social Science

Page: 272

View: 4085

In his early thirties, Ethan Watters began to realize that none of his friends were following the paths of their parents. Instead of settling down in couples and starting families, they lived and vacationed in groups, worked together at businesses they'd started, and met every week for dinner. As he started to document this phenomenon, he encountered countless other "tribes," in cities all over the U.S. Watters explores why tribe members have embraced this structure and what kind of affection and stability they find there, and contends that the conventional wisdom painting Generation X as isolated, selfish slackers may hide an unexpected, much warmer picture.

Mad in America

Bad Science, Bad Medicine, and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill

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Author: Robert Whitaker

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0786723793

Category: Psychology

Page: 368

View: 2838

Schizophrenics in the United States currently fare worse than patients in the world's poorest countries. In Mad in America, medical journalist Robert Whitaker argues that modern treatments for the severely mentally ill are just old medicine in new bottles, and that we as a society are deeply deluded about their efficacy. The widespread use of lobotomies in the 1920s and 1930s gave way in the 1950s to electroshock and a wave of new drugs. In what is perhaps Whitaker's most damning revelation, Mad in America examines how drug companies in the 1980s and 1990s skewed their studies to prove that new antipsychotic drugs were more effective than the old, while keeping patients in the dark about dangerous side effects. A haunting, deeply compassionate book—now revised with a new introduction—Mad in America raises important questions about our obligations to the mad, the meaning of “insanity,” and what we value most about the human mind.

Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks

An Epic Quest for Reality Among Role Players, Online Gamers, and Other Dwellers of Imaginary Realms

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Author: Ethan Gilsdorf

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 0762766786

Category: Social Science

Page: 336

View: 8015

An amazing journey through the thriving worlds of fantasy and gaming What could one man find if he embarked on a journey through fantasy world after fantasy world? In an enthralling blend of travelogue, pop culture analysis, and memoir, forty-year-old former D&D addict Ethan Gilsdorf crisscrosses America, the world, and other worlds—from Boston to New Zealand, and Planet Earth to the realm of Aggramar. “For anyone who has ever spent time within imaginary realms, the book will speak volumes. For those who have not, it will educate and enlighten.” —Wired.com “Gandalf's got nothing on Ethan Gilsdorf, except for maybe the monster white beard. In his new book, Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks, Gilsdorf . . . offers an epic quest for reality within a realm of magic.” —Boston Globe “Imagine this: Lord of the Rings meets Jack Kerouac's On the Road.” —National Public Radio's “Around and About” “What does it mean to be a geek? . . . Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks tackles that question with strength and dexterity. . . . part personal odyssey, part medieval mid-life crisis, and part wide-ranging survey of all things freaky and geeky . . . playful . . . funny and poignant. . . . It's a fun ride and it poses a question that goes to the very heart of fantasy, namely: What does the urge to become someone else tell us about ourselves?” —Huffington Post

Creating Mental Illness

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Author: Allan V. Horwitz

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226353814

Category: Medical

Page: 289

View: 4883

In this surprising book, Allan V. Horwitz argues that our current conceptions of mental illness as a disease fit only a small number of serious psychological conditions and that most conditions currently regarded as mental illness are cultural constructions, normal reactions to stressful social circumstances, or simply forms of deviant behavior. "Thought-provoking and important. . .Drawing on and consolidating the ideas of a range of authors, Horwitz challenges the existing use of the term mental illness and the psychiatric ideas and practices on which this usage is based. . . . Horwitz enters this controversial territory with confidence, conviction, and clarity."—Joan Busfield, American Journal of Sociology "Horwitz properly identifies the financial incentives that urge therapists and drug companies to proliferate psychiatric diagnostic categories. He correctly identifies the stranglehold that psychiatric diagnosis has on research funding in mental health. Above all, he provides a sorely needed counterpoint to the most strident advocates of disease-model psychiatry."—Mark Sullivan, Journal of the American Medical Association "Horwitz makes at least two major contributions to our understanding of mental disorders. First, he eloquently draws on evidence from the biological and social sciences to create a balanced, integrative approach to the study of mental disorders. Second, in accomplishing the first contribution, he provides a fascinating history of the study and treatment of mental disorders. . . from early asylum work to the rise of modern biological psychiatry."—Debra Umberson, Quarterly Review of Biology

The Invisible Plague

The Rise of Mental Illness from 1750 to the Present

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Author: Edwin Fuller Torrey,Judy Miller

Publisher: Rutgers University Press

ISBN: 9780813530031

Category: Medical

Page: 416

View: 4252

In The Invisible Plague, E.Fuller Torrey and Judy Miller examine the recordes on insanity in England, Ireland, Canada, and the UNited States over a 250 year period, concluding, through both qualitative and quantatative evidence, that insanity is, and continues to be, an unrecognized modern-day plague.

Mental Health Worldwide

Culture, Globalization and Development

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Author: S. Fernando

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1137329602

Category: Social Science

Page: 210

View: 8021

Offers a perceptive critique of the universalized model of psychiatry and its apparent exportation from the West to the developing world. Rooted in detailed analysis of the problems this causes, the book proposes new suggestions for advancing the field of mental health and wellbeing in a way that is ethical, sustainable and culturally sensitive.

THERAPY'S DELUSIONS

The MYTH of the UNCONSCIOUS and the EXPLOITATION of TODAY'S WALKING WORRIED

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Author: Ethan Watters,Richard Ofshe

Publisher: Scribner

ISBN: N.A

Category: Psychology

Page: 288

View: 2321

Two authors attest that Freudian-based psychotherapy and therapeutic dependence on the subconscious mind are totally ineffective, and embrace instead a rigorous bio-medical approach to mental health.

Mental Health in America

A Reference Handbook

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Author: Donna R. Kemp

Publisher: ABC-CLIO

ISBN: 1851097899

Category: Medical

Page: 315

View: 2736

Presents a history of mental health in the United States and looks at its current status, covering treatments available, costs, research, legislation, and the role of government.

Agnes's Jacket

A Psychologist's Search for the Meanings of Madness.Revised and Updated with a New Epilogue by the Author

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Author: Gail A. Hornstein

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1351535951

Category: Psychology

Page: 326

View: 9561

In a Victorian-era German asylum, seamstress Agnes Richter painstakingly stitched a mysterious autobiographical text into every inch of the jacket she created from her institutional uniform. Despite every attempt to silence them, hundreds of other psychiatric patients have managed to get their stories out, or to publish them on their own. Today, in a vibrant network of peer-advocacy groups all over the world, those with firsthand experience of emotional distress are working together to unravel the mysteries of madness and to help one another recover. Agnes’s Jacket tells their story, focusing especially on the Hearing Voices Network (HVN), an international collaboration of professionals, people with lived experience, and their families and friends who have been working to develop an alternative approach to coping with voices, visions, and other extreme states that is empowering and useful and does not start from the assumption that such people have a chronic illness. A vast gulf exists between the way medicine explains psychiatric conditions and the experiences of those who suffer. Hornstein’s work helps us to bridge that gulf, guiding us through the inner lives of those diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar illness, depression, and paranoia, and emerging with nothing less than a new model for understanding one another and ourselves.

The Culture of Mental Illness and Psychiatric Practice in Africa

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Author: Emmanuel Akyeampong,Allan G. Hill,Arthur Kleinman

Publisher: Indiana University Press

ISBN: 0253013046

Category: Psychology

Page: 362

View: 3967

In many African countries, mental health issues, including the burden of serious mental illness and trauma, have not been adequately addressed. These essays shed light on the treatment of common and chronic mental disorders, including mental illness and treatment in the current climate of economic and political instability, access to health care, access to medicines, and the impact of HIV-AIDS and other chronic illness on mental health. While problems are rampant and carry real and devastating consequences, this volume promotes an understanding of the African mental health landscape in service of reform.

The Protest Psychosis

How Schizophrenia Became a Black Disease

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Author: Jonathan M. Metzl

Publisher: Beacon Press

ISBN: 0807085936

Category: Psychology

Page: 272

View: 9208

A powerful account of how cultural anxieties about race shaped American notions of mental illness The civil rights era is largely remembered as a time of sit-ins, boycotts, and riots. But a very different civil rights history evolved at the Ionia State Hospital for the Criminally Insane in Ionia, Michigan. In The Protest Psychosis, psychiatrist and cultural critic Jonathan Metzl tells the shocking story of how schizophrenia became the diagnostic term overwhelmingly applied to African American protesters at Ionia—for political reasons as well as clinical ones. Expertly sifting through a vast array of cultural documents, Metzl shows how associations between schizophrenia and blackness emerged during the tumultuous decades of the 1960s and 1970s—and he provides a cautionary tale of how anxieties about race continue to impact doctor-patient interactions in our seemingly postracial America. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Decolonizing Global Mental Health

The psychiatrization of the majority world

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Author: China Mills

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1135080437

Category: Psychology

Page: 178

View: 6944

Decolonizing Global Mental Health is a book that maps a strange irony. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Movement for Global Mental Health are calling to ‘scale up’ access to psychological and psychiatric treatments globally, particularly within the global South. Simultaneously, in the global North, psychiatry and its often chemical treatments are coming under increased criticism (from both those who take the medication and those in the position to prescribe it). The book argues that it is imperative to explore what counts as evidence within Global Mental Health, and seeks to de-familiarize current ‘Western’ conceptions of psychology and psychiatry using postcolonial theory. It leads us to wonder whether we should call for equality in global access to psychiatry, whether everyone should have the right to a psychotropic citizenship and whether mental health can, or should, be global. As such, it is ideal reading for undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as researchers in the fields of critical psychology and psychiatry, social and health psychology, cultural studies, public health and social work.

Anatomy of an Epidemic

Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America

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Author: Robert Whitaker

Publisher: Broadway Books

ISBN: 9780307452436

Category: Psychology

Page: 416

View: 8927

Now with bonus material, including a new foreword and afterword with updated research In this astonishing and startling book, award-winning science and history writer Robert Whitaker investigates a medical mystery: Why has the number of disabled mentally ill in the United States tripled over the past two decades? Every day, 1,100 adults and children are added to the government disability rolls because they have become newly disabled by mental illness, with this epidemic spreading most rapidly among our nation’s children. What is going on? Anatomy of an Epidemic challenges readers to think through that question themselves. First, Whitaker investigates what is known today about the biological causes of mental disorders. Do psychiatric medications fix “chemical imbalances” in the brain, or do they, in fact, create them? Researchers spent decades studying that question, and by the late 1980s, they had their answer. Readers will be startled—and dismayed—to discover what was reported in the scientific journals. Then comes the scientific query at the heart of this book: During the past fifty years, when investigators looked at how psychiatric drugs affected long-term outcomes, what did they find? Did they discover that the drugs help people stay well? Function better? Enjoy good physical health? Or did they find that these medications, for some paradoxical reason, increase the likelihood that people will become chronically ill, less able to function well, more prone to physical illness? This is the first book to look at the merits of psychiatric medications through the prism of long-term results. Are long-term recovery rates higher for medicated or unmedicated schizophrenia patients? Does taking an antidepressant decrease or increase the risk that a depressed person will become disabled by the disorder? Do bipolar patients fare better today than they did forty years ago, or much worse? When the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) studied the long-term outcomes of children with ADHD, did they determine that stimulants provide any benefit? By the end of this review of the outcomes literature, readers are certain to have a haunting question of their own: Why have the results from these long-term studies—all of which point to the same startling conclusion—been kept from the public? In this compelling history, Whitaker also tells the personal stories of children and adults swept up in this epidemic. Finally, he reports on innovative programs of psychiatric care in Europe and the United States that are producing good long-term outcomes. Our nation has been hit by an epidemic of disabling mental illness, and yet, as Anatomy of an Epidemic reveals, the medical blueprints for curbing that epidemic have already been drawn up.

All We Have to Fear

Psychiatry's Transformation of Natural Anxieties Into Mental Disorders

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Author: Allan V. Horwitz, PhD,Jerome C. Wakefield

Publisher: OUP USA

ISBN: 0199793751

Category: Medical

Page: 304

View: 6699

Argues that anxiety and fear are a part of everyone's life, and that the medical industry has created an epidemic out of over-diagnosing these conditions.

Mental Health, Race and Culture

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Author: Suman Fernando

Publisher: Macmillan International Higher Education

ISBN: 1137266155

Category: Social Science

Page: 248

View: 398

This powerful text offers a unique analysis of the impact of race and culture on contemporary issues in mental health. Drawing on extensive international experience, Fernando challenges the traditional ideas that inform practice in clinical psychology and psychiatry in order to promote new and alternative ways of thinking. Covering both theoretical perspectives and practical implications, this insightful text discusses perceptions of ethnicity and identity, compares practices around the world and looks at racism in mental health services. Topics new to the third edition include: ■ Trauma and psychosocial support ■ The new discourses in mental health of recovery, spirituality and well-being ■ The mental health of refugees ■ Specific developments in low-income countries, including Asia and Africa This fully revised, expanded and updated edition of a seminal text offers students and practitioners alike a comprehensive and reliable study of both western and non-western psychiatry and mental health practices.