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Crazy like Us by Watters Ethan - Admission/Application Essay Example

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This paper seeks to review one of his books, Crazy like Us in details, giving its summary and analyzing his arguments. Watters, in Crazy like Us, aims to demonstrate how America’s perception of mental illness has been transferred to the remaining part of the world…
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Crazy like Us by Watters Ethan
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Ethan Watters is an American journalist cum author of many books and articles in various magazines. He has also graced many other media outlets, thus gaining popularity for his works. He is known for his articles that are featured in various magazines and newspapers like the New York Times, Spin, the San Francisco Chronicle, Details, Mother Jones among others. This could probably be attributed to the fact that America as a nation has dominated the world, and thus highly influenced the rest of the nations. This, he points out, is because the rest of the world has homogenized the mental state of everyone in the world. He acknowledges the role of Americans in the generation of therapeutic and treatment, as well as theories explaining the human psychology. Drugs meant for relieving mental illnesses are exported from the States to other nations, as well as categories of mental disorders and their characteristics. In so doing, America has defined mental disorders and health (Watters, 2010). What is now clear is that this changes the world’s perception of mental illness as well as the illnesses themselves by defining them. Traditionally, there existed local beliefs that had shaped the perception of mental illness. However, Americanization has discounted these beliefs, changing them rapidly. Watters emphasizes that the American way of perception and treatment of these mental illnesses is only spreading the disorders further. According to him, mental illnesses do not present themselves similarly in different countries as people perceive. Watters provides various examples to illustrate his arguments from all over the world. For instance, Westerners counseled Tsunami victims in Sri Lanka who were traumatized by the catastrophe. This is because the locals were grieving due to the losses and destruction and needed psychological healing to go on with life. Instead of helping the post tsunami victims, the counselors trampled on the local expression of suffering, grief and healing. He further provides more examples from Hong Kong, where an epidemic of ‘America’s anorexia nervosa’ was sparked by the death of a teenager (Watters, 2010). He also points out how an American drug company has campaigned for the change in how Japanese view depression, in the process marketing the disease as well as the drugs. What Americans do not understand, according to Watters, is that mental illnesses like eating disorders manifested themselves differently in different countries, up until the 80s. The cases changed completely after that, a fact that could be related to the widespread publications of western research on mental illnesses. By presenting these texts and arguments, Watters aims to provide America with a reflective look on their own culture and its effect on other cultures. By doing this America will realize that they have, over time, shaped and created mental illness and health ideas. Being a dominant nation, it has taken the role of providing solutions to the world’s problems, including being therapists. From this argument, Watters suggest that Americans learn from other cultures instead of discounting their beliefs. There are some theories that have been suggested to explain the occurrences of mental illnesses and health issues. These theories are categorized into sociological, biological, and psychological aspects. Sociological perspective of mental illnesses suggests that causes of these diseases include the external factors of a person, be it the person’s social situation or his or her environment. These theories are further divided into three groups, depending on the causal factors, into stress, structural strain, and labeling theories. This paper seeks to look at the stress ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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