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Publisher's Summary

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 that 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.

©2010 Ethan Watters (P)2016 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Mental-health professionals should pay attention, and shrewd investors in pharmaceuticals may take interest in Watters's guess as to what disorder is likely to be big in the near future." ( Kirkus)

What members say

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Ever wonder?

Excellent breakdown of how mental irregularities are displayed in different cultures. Last part of the book details how companies profit off of exporting the American DSM definition of mental illnesses

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Worth listening to

A great blend of story and research to examine the role of American psychology and psychiatrics on the rest of the world. Good narrator. I finished this book in just a few days.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Enlightening Look

I thought this book was excellently written! Well put together and good documentation of research, but told as interesting stories to help the reader understand the issues. Very relevant to understanding American culture of mental health and how it relates to other cultures!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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world-view changing

As a mental health professional, I found this book wildly helpful. I think lay people would get a lot out of it as well. it was an emotionally heavy read, and sometimes I had to take breaks to emotionally process the material. I'm so glad I did and not only will this change my practice, but enriched my understanding of humanity.

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He is a reporter...

... and not a mental health expert. As a mental health expert, I believe this book marginalizes mental illness and discredits and ignores the many causes behind the development of disorders. His use of quotes from those who believe PTSD is rooted in our society’s move away from a lack of belief system, specifically religion, is so offensive it is laughable.

I could go on with examples, there are so many. Please take this book for what it is — an opinion piece on mental illness.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful