Friday, May 21, 2010

Crazy Like Us

Woah man, I loved Crazy Like Us. Seriously, the whole time I was reading it, I couldn’t help saying, “This is so fascinating,” (sometimes even out loud), and I wouldn’t shut up about it to my family and friends.

The book, written by Ethan Watters, chronicles the globalization of American mental disorders and their treatments. Crazy Like Us is separated into four parts, each of which focuses on a particular disorder and geographic area: Anorexia in Hong Kong, PTSD in Sri Lanka, Schizophrenia in Zanzibar, and Depression in Japan. Each section is broken into smaller parts, where Watters focuses on individual cases, discusses how the American disorder (or mentality about the disorder) came to be in the area at hand, and a brief description about the disorder itself. The organized nature of the text, coupled with Watters’s easy to understand prose, makes the book an easy one to put down and pick up. But, if you’re anything like me, you’ll be so interested, you can’t help but read entire sections at a time.

Though Watters’s opinion and voice carries through the text, making it read easier than articles in Psychology journals, he does not let it overwhelm the content. And it is the content that made me so enthralled by Crazy Like Us. Though I could regurgitate all the knowledge I gained from reading the book, instead, I will tell you to read the book and learn it for yourself. It’ll give you a new insight both on the cultural differences in dealing with disease and disorder and on the mental disorders in the United States. As you may have guessed, I’m giving Crazy Like Us a 5/5.

Watch Jon Stewart’s interview with Ethan Watters

Buy the Book

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