Ethan Watter's 'The Mega Marketing Of Depression In Japan'

1320 Words 6 Pages
Do I perceive the same exact color red as you do? If not, does that mean color is impossible to standardize? These abstractions help paint the complexity of the human state of mind, or rather, our understanding of it. Ethan Watter’s “The Mega Marketing of Depression in Japan” narrates how western medicine and perceptions of depression encroached into the Japanese culture, and in particular, how pharmaceutical companies attempt to generalize this phenomenon despite cultural differences. Elephants and humans share even larger structural differences in Charles Siebert’s “An Elephant Crackup,” yet, elephants are taught to heal from trauma the same way humans do. Perception and expression of mental illness can certainly diverge across cultures, but the ailment stems from the same fundamental roots of trauma that can allow us to standardize the healing process. If the fundamental …show more content…
The same way that you could see a different color red than me, depression and trauma could be perceived very differently amongst different cultures. In “The Mega Marketing of Depression,” the Japanese associate completely different connotations for the word “depression.” A study discovered that “the Japanese, in short, were looking outward to describe yuutsu, and the Americans were looking inward to describe depression” (Watters 522). For the same condition, the Japanese viewed depression more with the outward consequences of the feeling, associating it with words such as suicide, tiredness, and worries. The Americans perceived the same condition as an inner mental state, associating it with words such as sadness, moody, and loneliness. The dichotomous word

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