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Depression Promotion in Consumer Advocacy: Sick Brains, Scrutinized Behavior, and Self-Healing
Unformatted Document Text:  10 of the facts of major depression are sacrificed in efforts to overdiagnose children. While this mishap might be due in part to NAMI’s intention to reduce underdiagnosis and suicide rates, it is surely due to a symptom of widespread enthusiasm for biopsychiatric depression science. Pharmaceutical companies, of course, have every reason to promote the same strategy, and do, as it broadens the market for antidepressant drug sales. 11 Indeed, the group provides a special web page — funded by an “educational grant” from Prozac producer Eli Lilly—offering free medication from psychopharmaceutical companies. Indeed, NAMI goes the extra leg to create children as subjects of recovery. It illustrates one State’s “Red Flags” school campaign that provides depression self-diagnosis tools to middle and high school students and educational resources to parents, and links the self-diagnosed to a school therapist. Additionally, NAMI offers a free 12-week “Family to Family” course, to teach family members how to employ biopsychiatric discourse to interpret, treat and cope with mental illness in their families, and to fight social stigma. NAMI in fact deploys “rights” discourse to associate healthy development with the “early detection” of depression in children, declaring “children and adolescents with brain disorders have the right to thrive in nurturing environments, and that “all children and adolescents with brain disorders deserve to have early diagnoses with appropriate treatments and services targeted to their specific needs.” (http://www.nami.org/update/unitedchildren.html). The association of rights and access to modern technology is so common in our cultural discourses that NAMI’s leaps of faith and contentious scientific information is presented as a reasonable basis for understanding and responding to behaviors ranging from childhood tempers and adolescent angst, to suicidal ideations and plans. Finally, NAMI reaches out. In efforts that normalize the widespread diagnosis of depression, NAMI’s media watch campaign provides email alerts to consumers, calling upon them to confront media portraits that stigmatize mental illness. NAMI also distributes its biopsychiatric script in Capital Hill lobbying, and recruits consumers to lobby via email alerts of upcoming Bills, providing legislative position papers, and on-line lobbying activities. The Group’s legislative platform in recent years has called for 11 Pharma companies have multitudinous ways to promote this strategy, in addition to providing NAMI financial support. For example, Pharma companies fund research that employs overly broad diagnostic tools, and promote off-label drug use (i.e. antidepressant drug prescriptions for children) by funding off-label marketing conferences and lobbying groups fighting the FDA for off-label use privileges.

Authors: Gardner, Paula.
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10
of the facts of major depression are sacrificed in efforts to overdiagnose children. While this mishap might
be due in part to NAMI’s intention to reduce underdiagnosis and suicide rates, it is surely due to a symptom
of widespread enthusiasm for biopsychiatric depression science. Pharmaceutical companies, of course,
have every reason to promote the same strategy, and do, as it broadens the market for antidepressant drug
sales.
11
Indeed, the group provides a special web page — funded by an “educational grant” from Prozac
producer Eli Lilly—offering free medication from psychopharmaceutical companies.
Indeed, NAMI goes the extra leg to create children as subjects of recovery. It illustrates one State’s
“Red Flags” school campaign that provides depression self-diagnosis tools to middle and high school
students and educational resources to parents, and links the self-diagnosed to a school therapist.
Additionally, NAMI offers a free 12-week “Family to Family” course, to teach family members how to
employ biopsychiatric discourse to interpret, treat and cope with mental illness in their families, and to fight
social stigma. NAMI in fact deploys “rights” discourse to associate healthy development with the “early
detection” of depression in children, declaring “children and adolescents with brain disorders have the right
to thrive in nurturing environments, and that “all children and adolescents with brain disorders deserve to
have early diagnoses with appropriate treatments and services targeted to their specific needs.”
(http://www.nami.org/update/unitedchildren.html). The association of rights and access to modern
technology is so common in our cultural discourses that NAMI’s leaps of faith and contentious scientific
information is presented as a reasonable basis for understanding and responding to behaviors ranging from
childhood tempers and adolescent angst, to suicidal ideations and plans.
Finally, NAMI reaches out. In efforts that normalize the widespread diagnosis of depression,
NAMI’s media watch campaign provides email alerts to consumers, calling upon them to confront media
portraits that stigmatize mental illness. NAMI also distributes its biopsychiatric script in Capital Hill
lobbying, and recruits consumers to lobby via email alerts of upcoming Bills, providing legislative position
papers, and on-line lobbying activities. The Group’s legislative platform in recent years has called for
11
Pharma companies have multitudinous ways to promote this strategy, in addition to providing NAMI
financial support. For example, Pharma companies fund research that employs overly broad diagnostic
tools, and promote off-label drug use (i.e. antidepressant drug prescriptions for children) by funding off-
label marketing conferences and lobbying groups fighting the FDA for off-label use privileges.


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