Happy Lifestyle Essay

1399 Words 6 Pages
Every individual has a different definition for a happy lifestyle. Some say that a happy lifestyle depends on a person’s work ethic and wealth. Others think that a happy lifestyle depends on a healthy diet and good exercise. Similarly to how different individuals have a distinct definition of a happy lifestyle, every culture has separate definitions of the meaning of sadness. In the Western world, depression is described as a mental state and set of behaviors that relate to a loss of connectedness to others or a decline in social status or personal motivation. Ethan Watters, writer of the essay “The Mega-Marketing of Depression in Japan”, describes how cultural differences highly influence the way people understand depression. The company GlaxoSmithKline …show more content…
In Japan, depression was not considered common or normal until American ads changed the societal norms. Capitalism is the face of Western culture, especially in America. In order to sell more products, American companies use inaccurate scientific studies to further their business. Americans and others who are affected by these fake science ads tend to believe what they see in advertisements as the truth about their mental condition. “Westerners may have lost their sense of moral authority in many areas of human endeavor, but we can still get our blood up defending our science… if the science is overblown, skewed, or downright wrong, then the moral certainty that fuels the charge into other cultures becomes suspect” (Watters 528-529). Watters shows examples of how American companies had both good and bad intentions when trying to advertise anti-depressants in Japan. The United States has some of the most advanced scientific research and studies in the world, so they aim to share their knowledge and research to other countries. However, because the aim was specifically to produce sales of Paxil, the intention of the cultural shift on depression is immoral. Rather than leaving Japanese to deal with depression in their own ways, Americans decide to bring deceitful advertisements to cheat their way of making profit. It is also later revealed that “SSRIs don’t bring a patient’s brain chemistry back into balance, but rather broadly alter brain chemistry… the idea that SSRIs restore a natural balance of serotonin is a theory without evidence” (529). This “junk science” was widely spread within America and Japan as the truth through advertisements on television and online. Even the websites to the brand name anti-depressants explain the whole

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