I love how people somehow think depression is about being privilegied or not It s a chemical imbalance, and it happens regardless of money, status or skills.It s not like having the blues which you can shop your way out of I loved his book.Wurtzel does a brilliant job detailing the devastating depression she goes through In the closing, she said one of the hard things was justifying why she had to write this book, when there are so many other serious problems out there But depression is one of themit is a huge and growing problem and the author does a powerful job showing the ravaging, exhausting, all consuming effects of said depression The biggest insight I gained out of this book was that it as so damn hard being depressedthat it took all your energy to do anything, and when feeling like things will never get better, even eating can just seem to much One really does get a sense of the weight a chronic depressive carries on their shoulders.Looking back on the original review, I said her appearance, gender and race meant her experience meant it shouldn t be viewed as totemic for all of those who suffer from depression Now I wonder how her appearance impacted her depression Did her attractiveness mean it took longer to hit bottom because it was easier to not think about certain things Did her attractiveness mean she was subjected to negative crap than she would have if she just looked regular I honestly have no idea Does depression feel the same no matter your age, gender or appearance I have no idea I am simply grateful I haven t had to feel such things in my own life. Homesickness is just a state of mind for me I m always missing someone or someplace or something I m always trying to get back to some kind of imaginary somewhere My life has been one long longing Elizabeth WurtzelSo I m reading Prozac Nation right now, and the first thing that has become evident to me is that it is not, contrary to my expectations, really about Prozac at all I had it in my head that it was some kind of ideological expose on the sad state of our pop a pill, medicatedly numb populace, but apparently I was thinking of some other book Instead, Elizabeth Wurtzel s Prozac Nation is a very long memoir of yet another gifted girl s depression The second thing I am realizing is that perhaps I shouldn t be reading this right now, when I have already spent the last 5 days in my bed in my own depressive state My roommates haven t seen me for 2 days I listen to them vacuuming the hallway or letting the dogs out or cooking dinner and hope they will not knock on my door and make me face them in my despondency, and blessedly, they don t I am permitted to continue hiding, and finish 3 other depressing novels before picking up this one Probably a bad idea like the summer I spent with the curtains drawn reading Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, and Girl Interrupted, this is essentially just wallowing in it Anyway, I am having a little trouble deciding how to feel about the book First of all, in my memory, I have associated Wurtzel with the feminist culture wars of the early 90s a member, along with Naomi Wolf, Camille Paglia, and Katie Riophe, of the then new breed of anti feminism In those years, I was still riding the wave of old school radical feminism, studying Caroline MacKinnon, quoting Andrea Dworkin, and not shaving my legs At the time, I believed Wurtzel et al were trivializing the cause these pretty feminists with their nude book covers and appeals to pop culture were reducing the earlier generation of feminists to prudish caricatures who hated sex as much as they hated men For all I know, I might be wrongly associating her with this crowd, confusing her with someone else a hazard of reading a book that was once a cultural touchstone 15 years after its publication Who has the time now to go back and look up the critical reviews and discussion And yet, I want to know, what did other people think of this book What did the NY Times and publishing circles say about it Do other people think it is as whiny and self indulgent and repetitive as I do, even while it speaks so directly to my own experience with the weltschemrz of depression I don t know if I respect it or hate it, and I want to know what others think now, and what others thought then You just can t let years go by before you read something or you miss out on the conversation But according to Wikipedia, it seems the consensus is, yes, others do find Wurtzel as self absorbed as I do, as indicated by a 2002 interview with the author in Toronto s Globe and Mail, entitled, That s enough about me, now, what do you think of me It is impossible not to notice Wurtzel s ego I can t count the number of times she describes herself as full of promise She complains about her parents sending her to camp when she was young, I was special I had promise And instead they threw me away and tried to make me ordinary They threw me away with a bunch of normal kids who thought I was strange She insists in the sick competition of the victim that wherever she is, surrounded by the pain of others, no one s desperation came close to matching mine And then it bugs me how she makes all these grandiose pronouncements all the time, and all I can think is, you re fucking twenty five What do you know about anything Like how she insists time and time again that she doesn t have a substance abuse problem, complaining after months of boozing and pill popping and tripping, why the hell does everyone always think the problem is drugs I mean, maybe depression drives her to drink and use drugs, but it doesn t mean it s not still a problem And anyway, how can you believe, at 25, that you really have all the answers and make such insistent, unquestioning edicts about what is true and what isn t Where s the humility Has she found it yet, after battling cocaine, heroin, and Ritalin addictions in the years after Prozac Nation s publication But then, all of this is the nature of the beast really, for depression is nothing if not narcissistic If her descriptions of her suffering seem repetitive, it is only because that is how it feels I mean, I feel like I have nothing to say but the same old words every time depression rears its ugly head in my life again and again Nothing could be duller than the redundant passages in my diary over the past 30 years of oh how very depressed I am I am sure that everyone in my life is just as tired of hearing about my perpetual sadness as I am tired so very, very tired, of feeling it Whatever one might say about her, she absolutely hits the nail on the head, describing depression as pure dullness, involving a complete absence absence of affect, absence of feeling, absence of response, absence of interest I, too, want desperately to learn how to live in a world where the phone company doesn t care that you re too depressed to pay the phone bill I look to therapy and Prozac to equip me with the emotional resilience necessary to life, for without it, I can t go with the flow, can t stand steady while the boat rocks and rolls Years of depression have robbed me of that well, that give, that elasticity that everyone else calls perspective And yet, what bothers me most about this book is that essentially, I am jealous It s like fingernails on a chalkboard every time she complains of her terrible pain and ruined life, while writing yet another well received piece of published literature Yes, I am jealous that she was published in Seventeen magazine before she was even 17, won a Rolling Stone College Journalism Award, had a job with the Dallas Morning News, and wrote for the New Yorker Why can t I be so prolific in the throes of depression I can barely update my Myspace profile Here she is writing essays about feminism and Madonna and Edie Sedgwick, interviewing Poison and Tesla and the Butthole Surfers, and attending Willie Nelson s 4th of July picnic, all while supposedly suffering so greatly And yes, I am envious of her Harvard education, cushy hospitalizations, and her twice weekly intensive therapy sessions she went to Patti Smith s therapist for Christ s sake What I wouldn t have given for such attention and validation of my suffering And the way she owns her depression, wears it like an eccentric sweater, a quaint, if slightly oddball character trait Why can she unabashedly break down in tears on the bathroom floor in the middle of a party, as opposed to me, hiding my depression under a cloak, so deathly ashamed of my tired old grief and emptiness I d like to ask her if she has, as the media blurbs on the cover of the book attest, really come back from the dark side Has she actually found the magic medication combination that allows her not to suffer so greatly And if so, can she tell me the secret Or does she still find herself now, 20 years later, as I do, in remarkably the same position as she was in as a teenager, even after the years of Prozac After 6 years of the wonder drug, I no longer think it is working I don t want to live my life in a medicated haze, but I also don t want to experience these dehabilitating and crippling bouts of depression any So bring me the Prozac nation, or whatever pill will make me happy Please And then publish my memoir. this was the first book i read when i was given the diagnosis of depression and i immediately thought, i am so not depressed the book is full of self loathing and self indulgence elizabeth wurtzel is full of herself and attention getting and she blames the fact that everyone is depressed on broken homes what about those of us with happily married parents i wanted to shake her and ask, but why don t you feel guilty why are you blaming everyone else why are you making everyone watch you fall apart truthfully, she seems bi polar or BPD at least, major depressive with manic episodes than strict depression she s whiny and argumentative however, those diagnoses are even novel than depression, so ETA I meant all the statement above as separate not that the fact I found her whiny and argumentative as evidence for a different diagnosis I would like to point out though that she WAS later diagnosed with BPD I was also commenting on the context of the situation I was given the book depressed Here s a girl just like you which wasn t the case There is also the point to remember that when this came out, and when I read it, mental health was even poorer and much highly stigmatized than it is in 2016 We now acknowledge the idea of the functional depressive, and depression has become so common place the word is replacing sadness in our vernacular This was not the case 10 years ago So for this book to be the voice of depression, and her willingness even eagerness to capitalize on that really made it difficult for me to digest the truth is, too, that the pills helped her she seems to gloss over that fact, but she was a better, balanced person on prozac i can understand not wanting to take your meds, but don t make it sound like it s the fault of the medication what can i say she just pisses me off And I don t know, but I just don t see her writing this as a character of depression that we should all be repulsed by because she isn t She is largely okay with her behavior, except when it gets in the way of what she wants, usually in relationship terms Maybe she is a much talented writer than I am giving her credit for, but as a memoir, I am going with my gut reaction here I read it, I read her later books I would be interested to read what she thinks of this book today But I still can t recommend it. This is the first book I ever read Never read a book in elementary, middle, or high school, but I did read alot of cliffs notes and I saw Lord of the Flies on vhs VHS God, I m getting old Anyway I remember buying this book without anyones recomemdation or reading reviews I became enthralled with Elizabeth Wurtzel I felt like she was writing about me She understood my problems, she understood my pain, and she made the same choices, and really, the same mistakes as me This book made me understand that it was ok to have a bad day, hell, a bad decade and that no matter how bad you think you have it, there is somebody else out there who has it worse This book was the voice of a generation She conveyed an entire countries fears and shames better than Kurt Cobain or She s All That ever could She is a brilliant writer, insightful and honest while being witty and kind of a snotty snob If you re ever having a bad day, and think it can t get any worse, read this book and it will make your problems seem like nothing at all Bottom line, this book gave me hope. This book is just so important and powerful in showing what it s really like living with depression Truly raw and brutal, but so insightful and beautiful Trigger warning for anyone with depression, suicidal thoughts or self harm or any mental disorder should know that this book is definitely brutal and honest, so be aware of that But I honestly tabbed SO many things because I could relate to it so much What a memoir I don t think I ll ever, ever forget it. This book is some heavy reading I want to say I enjoyed it but that just doesn t seem like the right word Appreciated it is better I think The way Elizabeth Wurtzel wrote this book makes it seem like she is just sitting beside you telling you her story Her voice is an easy one to read As someone who struggles with depression everyday I found myself relating a lot to how Wurtzel described herself feeling I would recommend this book to people, especially young people, if you have depression It shines light on the fact that you re not alone, that you aren t crazy, and that what you re feeling isn t something to be ashamed of.Just a side note, before I started this book I read some of the reviews and I d just like to address something I saw in a lot of those reviews Many people called Wurtzel self indulgent and whiny If you ve read the book and thought that then you have obviously never been seriously depressed When you are seriously depressed all you are is self indulgent and whiny You re consumed with your depression, all your thoughts are about your depression You become completely self absorbed and I think Wurtzel is just being brutally honest in her description of depression I thought that was the best part of the book, how freaking honest it is about a disease that many people aren t comfortable being honest about. the following should be considered before reading this book 1 it is a memoir by nature, memoirs are self indulgent.2 it is a memoir about depression this book will be far indulgent than the regular memoir.this book is phenomenal at depicting the thoughts, moods, and turbulence found throughout a lifetime of depression it s certainly worth noting if the reader suffers from depression because the cyclical patterns she experiences are incredibly relatable the fact that she doesn t edit the experience for the reader who is incapable of understanding the experience means that she is being brutally honest and the honesty inspires the reader who suffers from depression the fact that a memoir is being written is, let s face it, to relate an experience to others and how the experience came to be a living author only writes a memoir about depression for two reasons to expose information on its prevalence, or to explain how the writer survived so the depressed reader is really expecting a hell of a gem resolution when the writer relays her experience with suicidal behavior she had me dangling by a thread, wondering what could possibly have been her savior I found her resolution of receiving medication to be incredibly lackluster I m not saying that medication is not a good option, or that I was anticipating a dramatic conclusion but depression, as she states, doesn t just go away after the medication is given she doesn t explain the experience of medication, or the physical and psychological consequences , the debates concerning whether or not a medication should be upped, or taken away, or changed she gives us an epilogue about how, apparently prozac is overmedicated what so not only is this different subject matter but now she s implying that medication is not the automatic response to depression that people should leap to I m not disagreeing with her, but the layout or development of these ideas near the end which are momentous and worth discussing are not given the length and emphasis that they are truly due in the process, they seem to negate the previously read sections of the memoir, and make me wonder what the whole point of reading it was. A Harrowing Story Of Breakdowns, Suicide Attempts, Drug Therapy, And An Eventual Journey Back To Living, This Poignant And Often Hilarious Book Gives Voice To The High Incidence Of Depression Among America S Youth A Collective Cry For Help From A Generation Who Have Come Of Age Entrenched In The Culture Of Divorce, Economic Instability, And AIDS, Here Is The Intensely Personal Story Of A Young Girl Full Of Promise, Whose Mood Swings Have Risen And Fallen Like The Lines Of A Sad Ballad People hate on this book because Elizabeth Wurtzel is so whiny, ungrateful, etc but she was writing a book on personal depression Depression can be a black hole where there is nothing except not being able to crawl out of bed, no end in sight You can t find the energy to shower, to talk, to care about anything Chemical imbalances are the scientific terms for this, but when you suffer through it, there seems to be no rhyme or reason You just don t care, or perhaps care too much and shut down as a result She writes a true portrait of chronic depression not the romantic melancholia of most books, but the rough reality of a disease how it follows you like a shadow, turns you into a dependent whirlwind of simultaneous highs and lows that cannot be predicted, and just how damn hard you make it for people to love you when you don t love yourself.However, her writing style is a bit condescending, and her problems really are first world problems, but so much of what she says has described the ways I ve felt before that I am almost creeped out by it I never went to Harvard or had may of the breaks she had, but being so full of promise only to crash and burn is what speaks to me.
Brought up Jewish, Wurtzel s parents divorced when she was young As described in Prozac Nation, Wurtzel s depression began at the ages of ten to twelve She attended Ramaz for high school and was described as an over achiever by her teachers, who expected her to become a nationally famous writer While an undergraduate at Harvard College, she wrote for The Harvard Crimson and the Dallas Morning N
- 368 pages
- Prozac Nation
- Elizabeth Wurtzel
- 10 June 2018 Elizabeth Wurtzel