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Depression Promotion in Consumer Advocacy: Sick Brains, Scrutinized Behavior, and Self-Healing
Unformatted Document Text:  19 called “Big Book” of philosophy and testimonials, and its companion “workbook” can be purchased to further assist individuals in working through the 12 steps. Demonstrating an embrace of the standard script, specific books are earmarked to alleged “at-risk” populations, including youth and Seniors. The EA and DA philosophies uphold the dominant script’s structuring of mood disorders as everyday activities, and not simply suicidal depressions--individuals socially shunned for violating behavioral mandates are welcome at EA and DA, providing they embrace the EA philosophy, repent and make efforts to repair their faulty behaviors. Members are expected to subscribe to the 12-step philosophy that recommends taking “One Day at a Time”, and that members “Let Go, Let God”. The religious-infused script proposes a non-medical type of self-help available to those who accept their imperfections, give up pain and fear to God, and take responsibility for their Selves. The 8 th step requires the individual to list those he/she harmed and make amends to them. The 6 th step: admitting shortcomings, is followed by the seventh: asking God to remove one’s shortcomings. Step 10 requires self-scrutiny—the ongoing “personal inventory” of one’s wrongs, followed by Step 11, requiring prayer to obtain knowledge of God’s will for the self. Like the depression script, scrutiny of one’s behaviors and responsibility/repentance are key to the Anonymous recovery model. As such, each disseminates the ethic of self-management –to those who don’t define as mentally ill but who do fit in the gray pre-diagnostic category of individuals with risky mood or behavior. By encouraging lay diagnosis and self-management, EA and DA help to fashion consumers who are likely to be highly receptive to the dominant mood disorders script. Finally, Step 12 requires a spiritual awakening—an elevated state of consciousness that as Marianne Valverde (1998) comments—makes feeling illnesses into stepping stones toward elevated humanity. 25 This claim is similar to what Peter Kramer (1993) defines as Prozac’s success: to make people better than they can achieve on their own. The EA model helps people to help themselves achieve an enlightened self, by guiding consumers in negotiating self-governance via the 12 steps. Like the work ethic inherent to the consumer-capitalist paradigm, and the depression script, the reward offered here is personal prosperity. 25 Valverde’s project examines the historic activities and assumptions of Alcoholics Anonymous. Valverde makes the case that unhealthy feelings linked to behaviors have long been considered problematic and requiring risk to be identified and repair to follow. Her theory reifies this dissertation’s argument that unhealthy feelings are targeted as risk factors that can lead to behaviors associated with depression.

Authors: Gardner, Paula.
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19
called “Big Book” of philosophy and testimonials, and its companion “workbook” can be purchased to
further assist individuals in working through the 12 steps. Demonstrating an embrace of the standard script,
specific books are earmarked to alleged “at-risk” populations, including youth and Seniors.
The EA and DA philosophies uphold the dominant script’s structuring of mood disorders as
everyday activities, and not simply suicidal depressions--individuals socially shunned for violating
behavioral mandates are welcome at EA and DA, providing they embrace the EA philosophy, repent and
make efforts to repair their faulty behaviors. Members are expected to subscribe to the 12-step philosophy
that recommends taking “One Day at a Time”, and that members “Let Go, Let God”. The religious-infused
script proposes a non-medical type of self-help available to those who accept their imperfections, give up
pain and fear to God, and take responsibility for their Selves. The 8
th
step requires the individual to list those
he/she harmed and make amends to them. The 6
th
step: admitting shortcomings, is followed by the seventh:
asking God to remove one’s shortcomings. Step 10 requires self-scrutiny—the ongoing “personal inventory”
of one’s wrongs, followed by Step 11, requiring prayer to obtain knowledge of God’s will for the self.
Like the depression script, scrutiny of one’s behaviors and responsibility/repentance are key to the
Anonymous recovery model. As such, each disseminates the ethic of self-management –to those who don’t
define as mentally ill but who do fit in the gray pre-diagnostic category of individuals with risky mood or
behavior. By encouraging lay diagnosis and self-management, EA and DA help to fashion consumers who
are likely to be highly receptive to the dominant mood disorders script. Finally, Step 12 requires a spiritual
awakening—an elevated state of consciousness that as Marianne Valverde (1998) comments—makes
feeling illnesses into stepping stones toward elevated humanity.
25
This claim is similar to what Peter
Kramer (1993) defines as Prozac’s success: to make people better than they can achieve on their own. The
EA model helps people to help themselves achieve an enlightened self, by guiding consumers in negotiating
self-governance via the 12 steps. Like the work ethic inherent to the consumer-capitalist paradigm, and the
depression script, the reward offered here is personal prosperity.
25
Valverde’s project examines the historic activities and assumptions of Alcoholics Anonymous. Valverde
makes the case that unhealthy feelings linked to behaviors have long been considered problematic and
requiring risk to be identified and repair to follow. Her theory reifies this dissertation’s argument that
unhealthy feelings are targeted as risk factors that can lead to behaviors associated with depression.


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