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Depression Promotion in Consumer Advocacy: Sick Brains, Scrutinized Behavior, and Self-Healing
Unformatted Document Text:  6 productivity is achieved through productive labor, which is achieved by working to secure one’s mental health. Ubiquitous health discourses encourage consumers to acquire a stronger will — one that evolves through self-scrutiny/realization and biopsychiatric-rooted technologies. The script fuses individual action toward more efficient mental health/mood and labor productivity with State desires for fewer employee sick days and use of state health resources, and increased labor productivity. One should not overlook the morality infused in this script—it contends that virtuous citizens work actively to fend off social problems, starting with their selves, specifically the state of their mood/behavior. Cultural activities sometimes contradict their purported values and goals of the script. Despite embracing biopsychiatry as science, for example, few NGO’s or partnerships hold the pharmaceutical industry to fair standards of conduct, and some NGO’s are pharmaceutical bedfellows. Quasi-political organizations promote biopsychiatric mental health ideology that dovetails with NIMH, FDA, and APA logic, 6 and fails to address the personal freedoms at stake in, for example, forced treatment laws. Other “organizations” are cultural cults that achieve fame or profit off the desires of individuals to heal or remake themselves. Consumer governance, then, is achieved not only through circulating the ubiquitous depression script, but by absorbing contradictions that, as impediments to free activity and self-description, would alarm consumers. The script functions efficiently because it appears to tout consumer choice and freedom. The question at hand is how, in what venues and in what ways, a variety of NGO groups and individuals, work in concert with State, pharma industries, and psychiatric researchers, to facilitate trends toward increased depression diagnosis, antidepressant usage and mental health self-governance, in a manner that is palatable to consumers, even as it constructs them as subjects recovering from depression. NAMI and its State and Pharmaceutical Bedfellows Also highly influential among mental health consumers are consumer advocacy groups, who, like the first ladies, appear to have wholly altruistic aims. The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill these norms, which are acts of self-governance. For further reading on the self-governance of behavior see Foucault (1961, 1966, 1988), Miller (1993, 1998), and Cruikshank (1999). 6 The acronyms represent the following NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health), FDA (Food and Drug Administration), APA (American Psychiatric Association).

Authors: Gardner, Paula.
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6
productivity is achieved through productive labor, which is achieved by working to secure one’s mental
health. Ubiquitous health discourses encourage consumers to acquire a stronger will — one that evolves
through self-scrutiny/realization and biopsychiatric-rooted technologies. The script fuses individual action
toward more efficient mental health/mood and labor productivity with State desires for fewer employee sick
days and use of state health resources, and increased labor productivity. One should not overlook the
morality infused in this script—it contends that virtuous citizens work actively to fend off social problems,
starting with their selves, specifically the state of their mood/behavior.
Cultural activities sometimes contradict their purported values and goals of the script. Despite
embracing biopsychiatry as science, for example, few NGO’s or partnerships hold the pharmaceutical
industry to fair standards of conduct, and some NGO’s are pharmaceutical bedfellows. Quasi-political
organizations promote biopsychiatric mental health ideology that dovetails with NIMH, FDA, and APA
logic,
6
and fails to address the personal freedoms at stake in, for example, forced treatment laws. Other
“organizations” are cultural cults that achieve fame or profit off the desires of individuals to heal or remake
themselves. Consumer governance, then, is achieved not only through circulating the ubiquitous depression
script, but by absorbing contradictions that, as impediments to free activity and self-description, would
alarm consumers. The script functions efficiently because it appears to tout consumer choice and freedom.
The question at hand is how, in what venues and in what ways, a variety of NGO groups and individuals,
work in concert with State, pharma industries, and psychiatric researchers, to facilitate trends toward
increased depression diagnosis, antidepressant usage and mental health self-governance, in a manner that is
palatable to consumers, even as it constructs them as subjects recovering from depression.
NAMI and its State and Pharmaceutical Bedfellows
Also highly influential among mental health consumers are consumer advocacy groups, who, like
the first ladies, appear to have wholly altruistic aims. The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill
these norms, which are acts of self-governance. For further reading on the self-governance of behavior see
Foucault (1961, 1966, 1988), Miller (1993, 1998), and Cruikshank (1999).
6
The acronyms represent the following NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health), FDA (Food and Drug
Administration), APA (American Psychiatric Association).


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