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Depression Promotion in Consumer Advocacy: Sick Brains, Scrutinized Behavior, and Self-Healing
Unformatted Document Text:  20 Citizens who have failed to be rehabilitated via some therapy or the legal system, or those needing peer assistance are embraced in EA and DA. The groups provides a place where anyone—especially those who are society’s worst offenders, or those who suffer stigma—can find salvation, behavioral repair technologies such as confession, and recovery leading to ideal, even elevated subjectivity. The ideal EA/DA consumer-citizen respects a governing social authority. The State has long bound itself to God, thus citizens embracing EA or DA revere both God and the State, while simultaneously acting to achieve prosperity for the self. EA activities are broader versions of the diagnosis-recovery script— diagnosis is more vague and more broadly inclusive than the DSM. The consumer’s (self-chosen) route to healing (though it might include medication) is primarily the self who scrutinizes and repairs his/her poor behavior. What the diagnosis-recovery model achieves via the governmentality by the depression script, EA achieves through behavioral self-governance. Governance via Freedoms By working on our selves via self-diagnosis (via EA or DA, a depression questionnaire or other recovery tool), we are, as Nikolas Rose (1990) argues, not governed against but via our freedoms. And if a dysfunctional emotion or mood is construed by consumers as an imprisoning disease, subjects of anonymous groups only need “flexibility” to “do battle with inner slavery” (Valverde, 1998, p.16) --to exchange freedom of thought and self-determination for salvation. In actions of self-management, consumers work upon their behaviors and relationships to allegedly break the chains, even while the enslaving discourse of self-management enlists consumers in activities of self-discipline. Like many therapeutic regimes, the “Anonymous” recovery model ironically perpetuates repetitive self-scrutiny for healing—addictive behavior that Sigmund Freud viewed as compulsion to repeat our traumas. This model of confessional therapy in fact requires on-going participation of anonymous members, therapy becoming a habitual and even addictive practice— and one in keeping with the mood disorders script that encourages a cycle of self-scrutiny, self-diagnosis and self-managed treatment. By encompassing behaviors such as alcohol consumption or emotional troubles within illness, Valverde contends that terms such as behavioral or alcoholic illness tend to lose nearly all their power and

Authors: Gardner, Paula.
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Citizens who have failed to be rehabilitated via some therapy or the legal system, or those needing
peer assistance are embraced in EA and DA. The groups provides a place where anyone—especially those
who are society’s worst offenders, or those who suffer stigma—can find salvation, behavioral repair
technologies such as confession, and recovery leading to ideal, even elevated subjectivity. The ideal
EA/DA consumer-citizen respects a governing social authority. The State has long bound itself to God, thus
citizens embracing EA or DA revere both God and the State, while simultaneously acting to achieve
prosperity for the self. EA activities are broader versions of the diagnosis-recovery script— diagnosis is
more vague and more broadly inclusive than the DSM. The consumer’s (self-chosen) route to healing
(though it might include medication) is primarily the self who scrutinizes and repairs his/her poor behavior.
What the diagnosis-recovery model achieves via the governmentality by the depression script, EA achieves
through behavioral self-governance.
Governance via Freedoms
By working on our selves via self-diagnosis (via EA or DA, a depression questionnaire or other
recovery tool), we are, as Nikolas Rose (1990) argues, not governed against but via our freedoms. And if a
dysfunctional emotion or mood is construed by consumers as an imprisoning disease, subjects of
anonymous groups only need “flexibility” to “do battle with inner slavery” (Valverde, 1998, p.16) --to
exchange freedom of thought and self-determination for salvation. In actions of self-management,
consumers work upon their behaviors and relationships to allegedly break the chains, even while the
enslaving discourse of self-management enlists consumers in activities of self-discipline. Like many
therapeutic regimes, the “Anonymous” recovery model ironically perpetuates repetitive self-scrutiny for
healing—addictive behavior that Sigmund Freud viewed as compulsion to repeat our traumas. This model
of confessional therapy in fact requires on-going participation of anonymous members, therapy becoming a
habitual and even addictive practice— and one in keeping with the mood disorders script that encourages a
cycle of self-scrutiny, self-diagnosis and self-managed treatment.
By encompassing behaviors such as alcohol consumption or emotional troubles within illness,
Valverde contends that terms such as behavioral or alcoholic illness tend to lose nearly all their power and


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