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Depression Promotion in Consumer Advocacy: Sick Brains, Scrutinized Behavior, and Self-Healing
Unformatted Document Text:  27 self-reflect—indeed, to self-manage their recovery. Emotions Anonymous have formed successful industries because they mimic the consumer-capitalist model, providing therapeutic responses to particular consumer needs. Support Coalition International stands out among these groups for providing a subversive model of action that challenges all groups whose paradigms conspire with the State-industry-science consortium on depression. Where most other advocacy groups misunderstand or fail to theorize resistance, Support Coalition demonstrates the activity of escape from dominating behavioral and mental health discourse. “One is not born, but becomes free.” (M. Foucault) The depression script operates by expanding to include all individuals at risk and contracting, to direct individuals to recovery choices of governance and self-governance. Through expansion and containment, the script promotes economic and personal productivity, and generates a cultural “confidence” in pharmaceutical recovery technologies and a market for new recovery products. The slippery biology/will script of depression denotes a paradigm of the healthy recovery subject who can be encouraged to improve via experts or self-action. In negotiating chaotic social occurrences such as rampage murders, depression science can, at times, be trumped by law and order. In most cases, however, particularly where profit or ideology are at stake—i.e. in non-governmental, consumer and cultural mental health organizations—the depression script can be manipulated, contradictions incorporated, the recovery subject molded. Because biopsychiatric science is ubiquitously spun and viewed as expert knowledge, the slippery logic of the depression script is viewed across North American culture as cogent rather than tenuous, and contradictory logics are forgotten or forgiven. To successfully recruit consumers, industries of recovery and technologies of subjectivity must conceal that a free subject cannot in fact exist in the standard behavioral health paradigm. Consumers are left to either embrace or critique a confounding set of assertions in the behavioral paradigm regarding the free subject. Paradigms abound that seem to offer solutions to healing mood distress, but actually entrap consumers in a “Catch-22” logic—the depression paradigm transposes troubled individuals into consumers of managed or self-managed mental health . Ubiquitous recovery solutions pose as scientific fact or self-

Authors: Gardner, Paula.
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self-reflect—indeed, to self-manage their recovery. Emotions Anonymous have formed successful
industries because they mimic the consumer-capitalist model, providing therapeutic responses to particular
consumer needs. Support Coalition International stands out among these groups for providing a subversive
model of action that challenges all groups whose paradigms conspire with the State-industry-science
consortium on depression. Where most other advocacy groups misunderstand or fail to theorize resistance,
Support Coalition demonstrates the activity of escape from dominating behavioral and mental health
discourse.
“One is not born, but becomes free.” (M. Foucault)
The depression script operates by expanding to include all individuals at risk and contracting, to
direct individuals to recovery choices of governance and self-governance. Through expansion and
containment, the script promotes economic and personal productivity, and generates a cultural “confidence”
in pharmaceutical recovery technologies and a market for new recovery products. The slippery biology/will
script of depression denotes a paradigm of the healthy recovery subject who can be encouraged to improve
via experts or self-action. In negotiating chaotic social occurrences such as rampage murders, depression
science can, at times, be trumped by law and order. In most cases, however, particularly where profit or
ideology are at stake—i.e. in non-governmental, consumer and cultural mental health organizations—the
depression script can be manipulated, contradictions incorporated, the recovery subject molded. Because
biopsychiatric science is ubiquitously spun and viewed as expert knowledge, the slippery logic of the
depression script is viewed across North American culture as cogent rather than tenuous, and contradictory
logics are forgotten or forgiven.
To successfully recruit consumers, industries of recovery and technologies of subjectivity must
conceal that a free subject cannot in fact exist in the standard behavioral health paradigm. Consumers are
left to either embrace or critique a confounding set of assertions in the behavioral paradigm regarding the
free subject. Paradigms abound that seem to offer solutions to healing mood distress, but actually entrap
consumers in a “Catch-22” logic—the depression paradigm transposes troubled individuals into consumers
of managed or self-managed mental health . Ubiquitous recovery solutions pose as scientific fact or self-


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