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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 per 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.


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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 per 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.

30 review for Prozac Nation

  1. 5 out of 5

    tee

    Haha, so many people hate her for being so self-absorbed and whiney and I agree, she is - but I love her for it. I think it's honest; it's a fair depiction of what a lot of people feel when they're depressed and I thought it was powerfully written. Maybe I need to read it again now that I'm older but I do remember loving it several years ago. I'd like to add that there's another review on this website that slams this book for being whiny and that Wurtzel should 'just get over it' because there's Haha, so many people hate her for being so self-absorbed and whiney and I agree, she is - but I love her for it. I think it's honest; it's a fair depiction of what a lot of people feel when they're depressed and I thought it was powerfully written. Maybe I need to read it again now that I'm older but I do remember loving it several years ago. I'd like to add that there's another review on this website that slams this book for being whiny and that Wurtzel should 'just get over it' because there's people out there who have suffered more and are more entitled to being in emotional pain than she is. Er, wrong. Pain isn't something that is on a scale, you can't compare pain between people. The reviewer implies that depression and mental illness isn't real pain and that you have to be a war victim to know what real pain is. Bullshit. I've suffered from anxiety and depression and I've also suffered 'real' trauma as well and I'd give up everything to not have to deal with depression or anxiety ever again. Suffering from mental illness does not equate to *just* being whiny, self-pitying or attention seeking; it may look like that's all depressed people are on the outside but those things are just the scabs on a deeper, festering wound. You can't often tell that someone has cancer just by looking at them and you can't assume how they feel so why would being mentally ill be any different? If a cancer patient "whined" about how rough they were feeling you'd hardly berate them for doing so. Being stoic might be an admirable quality to some but to others, the pain that can be caused by psychic anguish is unbearable and they can't help but be visibly distressed, to speak of their discomfort, to ask for help or attention. I myself have never experienced anything worse and keeping quiet about my issues only led me straight to almost killing myself. Also, most people don't become drug addicts or alcoholics for the ~glamour~. These are real problems, just as real as anything else going on out there. Sure, some people that suffer from these problems may be privileged people. They may have, from what looks from the outside, to be 'easy' good lives. Doesn't change how fucking devastating mental illness can be. It's too variable to be able to compare one person's experience to another's. Whether you think Wurtzel herself is self-indulgent, whiny or attention-seeking is debatable. People with depression can read that way. People with depression can be downright unbearable but it's often not their fault. I don't know, it's so complicated.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    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 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!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Always Pouting

    I think I missed something while reading this because people keep talking about what a great and brilliant writer Wurtzel is but I don't get it? Is it just the fact that she manages to make tons of allusions, actually not even allusions but explicit references to things that are supposed to be signifiers of someone with a college education like Kant or Marx? This legitimately reminded me of that joke about the New Yorker being for people whose identity revolves around being well read college edu I think I missed something while reading this because people keep talking about what a great and brilliant writer Wurtzel is but I don't get it? Is it just the fact that she manages to make tons of allusions, actually not even allusions but explicit references to things that are supposed to be signifiers of someone with a college education like Kant or Marx? This legitimately reminded me of that joke about the New Yorker being for people whose identity revolves around being well read college educated types. I am not even going to talk about the mess that is her need for affirmation of her sickness and being sicker than everyone, which is completely explicit in the epilogue when she laments how many people are on prozac. And there was an afterword added in 2017 that somehow managed to make the election of Trump about progress and her role in it and the creation of the genre of memoir, which when I tried to back up with other things about the history of memoirs I couldn't find. I mostly just read this because I had bought it a while back but this was a mistake, I don't enjoy memoirs and I can't stand reading about mental illness any longer, especially as I concentrate on staying healthy myself. I know other people enjoyed it, and there are aspects of the book where I felt some of her experiences of being ill related to mine, but mostly I felt as if it was another plea for validation and to be seen and I just feel turned off when someone's only shtick is their illness. I will give her credit for acknowledging that she has that problem, but that doesn't mean much when she seems to have failed to have addressed it at all in two decades to be quite honest. So yeah this was totally not for me, especially not at this point in my life, maybe if I was like 13 I would've identified but now I'm just like this was a pointless thing to read that gave me zero new insight into anything. And like I said I don't see what about it makes it beautifully written, it wasn't even marginally okay writing, some of it just felt bad. The other reviews seem to be good though so maybe it's just me.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tamarasoo

    “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 Wurtzel So 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 nu “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 Wurtzel So 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 anymore. So bring me the Prozac nation, or whatever pill will make me happy. Please. And then publish my memoir.

  5. 5 out of 5

    stephanie

    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 y 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 more bi-polar or BPD (at least, major depressive with manic episodes) than strict depression. she's whiny and argumentative. however, those diagnoses are even more "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 more 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, more 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 more 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.)

  6. 5 out of 5

    Tony Cohen

    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 them...it 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 ha 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 them...it 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 depressed...that 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 more 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.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    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 m 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.

  8. 4 out of 5

    April (Aprilius Maximus)

    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 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.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Julia's Book Haven

    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 depressio 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.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    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 dow 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.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    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 more 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 "edi 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 more 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 more "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.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Xenia0201

    I almost felt like I needed Prozac after completing this. I couldn't imagine going through life being as emotionally unstable and clingy as the author. It's really incredible to me how certain events in our lives can trigger behavior and our mental well-being. Even more amazing is how all of the madness is tamed by this little pill. I did feel kind of unsettled by how quickly things come together by the books' end. I guess when things are so out of control and it's not reality, it really doesn't I almost felt like I needed Prozac after completing this. I couldn't imagine going through life being as emotionally unstable and clingy as the author. It's really incredible to me how certain events in our lives can trigger behavior and our mental well-being. Even more amazing is how all of the madness is tamed by this little pill. I did feel kind of unsettled by how quickly things come together by the books' end. I guess when things are so out of control and it's not reality, it really doesn't need much of a resolution then does it? I find myself wondering about Elizabeth and how she's doing now. Is she still taking Prozac? Has she found something better in any of the new drugs that have come out since this book, e.g. Lexipro? Has she been able to establish a career and a normal life? I also was very unsettled about her mother and how she was attacked by someone who robbed her outside her neighborhood. I know there were some permanent injuries sustained from this. This book just drew you in...which is why I have all of these follow up questions...

  13. 4 out of 5

    Chinawhite

    It has taken me 18months to read this book. It is exhausting. I picked up this book when my husband was diagnosed with depression and prescribed Prozac. I remember growing up in the 90's, all the contoversy surrounding anti depressants and the 'yuppy' sickness that was affecting generation Xers. This book was recommended as an insight into depression and the lifelong battle to manage depressive behaviours. Wurtzel has been sat on my shelf for several weeks, cast under my bed for months and I even It has taken me 18months to read this book. It is exhausting. I picked up this book when my husband was diagnosed with depression and prescribed Prozac. I remember growing up in the 90's, all the contoversy surrounding anti depressants and the 'yuppy' sickness that was affecting generation Xers. This book was recommended as an insight into depression and the lifelong battle to manage depressive behaviours. Wurtzel has been sat on my shelf for several weeks, cast under my bed for months and I even considered returning her to her original owner. There was nothing that motivated me to read on. Every triumph she had in her life she did not recognise, every opportunity that presented itself to her wasn't enough. I was angry, fed up, jealous and at times outraged by her seemingly selfish behaviour and in the end I just gave up. She was too exhausting and I just knew by the final chapter she would not become any easier to get along with. So I shelved her. But that's just it. It mirrored my relationship with my husband. I had the opportunity to go, stick it out, burn out with him or take it very slowly. The relationship I had built with her book also mirrored her own relationships. I began to recognise the dispair, vulnerability and isolation of her depression. With just one chapter to go, I was not prepared to become another let down in her life, someone who has given up on her. I can empathise with depression. I thought I could before Reading this book. Now, my empathy is more comprehensive. The parody of it all? It wouldn't ever have mattered to her if I had stuck with her to the end of the book or not, depression is a solitary mental health state, the whole world can be willing you on and all you can see is the darkness.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Tea Nicolae

    so i guess i relate to this (to her, mainly) too much for my own good

  15. 5 out of 5

    BAM Endlessly Booked

    A book for all Seasons: book I can identify with "How can you hide from what never goes away?"-Heraclitus A book for all Seasons: book I can identify with "How can you hide from what never goes away?"-Heraclitus

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dina

    When I decided I wanted to read this book, I didn't really know anything about it. Somehow, I had decided that it was going to be a mix between a memoir and a sociological look at how antidepressants are prescribed with little to no consideration of a patient's actual pathology. Oh, how wrong I was... Prozac Nation is just another whiny LiveJournal-esque blog about how horrible life is... just because. But when we're going to take a break from this oh-so-agonizing can't-put-my-finger-on-it pain, When I decided I wanted to read this book, I didn't really know anything about it. Somehow, I had decided that it was going to be a mix between a memoir and a sociological look at how antidepressants are prescribed with little to no consideration of a patient's actual pathology. Oh, how wrong I was... Prozac Nation is just another whiny LiveJournal-esque blog about how horrible life is... just because. But when we're going to take a break from this oh-so-agonizing can't-put-my-finger-on-it pain, we're going to blame it on a broken marriage. That sounds about right, doesn't it? Of course, this won't stop our author from crying for 'Mommy', well past the age of legality. Elizabeth Wurtzel can't make it through one page with out using about five Capital Letter Nouns to illustrate how intelligent she is, and isn't it a shame to see it all going to waste? Italicized rants are thrown in for the hell of it, without any rhyme or reason for the font change. In short, she is exhausting, repetitive, boring and a whole slew of other synonyms for atrocious that, maybe if I was as smart as the author, I could bore you with for 300-plus pages.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    "There was never enough money for anything..." Really? No money for anything but private schools, an apartment in the upper west side of NYC, summer camp for a month each summer, dance lessons, cruises, Betsy Johnson dresses, and private therapy five days a week. This book starts off as an insult to the truly poor and middle class. She then goes on to trivialize the depression of others. No one at Harvard has as black of days as she does and, later in the epilogue, the implication is that while "There was never enough money for anything..." Really? No money for anything but private schools, an apartment in the upper west side of NYC, summer camp for a month each summer, dance lessons, cruises, Betsy Johnson dresses, and private therapy five days a week. This book starts off as an insult to the truly poor and middle class. She then goes on to trivialize the depression of others. No one at Harvard has as black of days as she does and, later in the epilogue, the implication is that while she is truly in need of her drugs most others on Prozaz are mere depression dilettantes. Then there is the name and brand dropping. And the jobs. So sorry you had to worry so much about getting a summer job because the Chicago Tribune turned you down even though you had previously written for a Texas paper, Seventeen, and won a prestigious writing award. Too bad you ended up working at a coffee shop where you were obviously too smart for menial labor. Every so often Wurtzel steps back to remark on how shallow she seems; however, these few redeeming moments do little to mitigate the self-congratulatory tone of the book. I have no doubts about the truth and depth of her depression, unfortunately she turned it into a self-indulgent cliche.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ona

    DNF I didn't feel like this book captured what it's like to be depressed. Having depression myself, I can understand the self-worth and meaning of the life that comes with it, but Wurtzel's version of it is narcissistic and selfish. She is whiny and expects everyone in her life to care only for her. She doesn't appreciate anything her parents or other people around her do for her. I got through +/-100 pages and just couldn't anymore. I'm kind of mad at her because she's pushing everyone away and DNF I didn't feel like this book captured what it's like to be depressed. Having depression myself, I can understand the self-worth and meaning of the life that comes with it, but Wurtzel's version of it is narcissistic and selfish. She is whiny and expects everyone in her life to care only for her. She doesn't appreciate anything her parents or other people around her do for her. I got through +/-100 pages and just couldn't anymore. I'm kind of mad at her because she's pushing everyone away and saying no one is helping me, well if you won't accept it - how you will get it? I doubt this book can help for people who are looking for an answers or learning "what depressed person feels like" there's not a lot of thing to learn from the memoir.

  19. 5 out of 5

    ~Theresa Kennedy~

    There was so much to think about and be sad about while reading this exceptional book. What a lovely child-woman she was, but in certain respects she did not stand a chance in this world and if you read this book with sharp eyes, you can really see that. I can’t think of a case where a mother behaved more negligently, as a care giver to her only child than in the case of Elizabeth Wurtzel. Lynn Winters, Elizabeth Wurzel's mother, in a very concrete way destroyed her daughters life. She perverted There was so much to think about and be sad about while reading this exceptional book. What a lovely child-woman she was, but in certain respects she did not stand a chance in this world and if you read this book with sharp eyes, you can really see that. I can’t think of a case where a mother behaved more negligently, as a care giver to her only child than in the case of Elizabeth Wurtzel. Lynn Winters, Elizabeth Wurzel's mother, in a very concrete way destroyed her daughters life. She perverted a once sparkling life and her diabolical secrecy, deformity of character and incredible selfishness ultimately destroyed Elizabeth Wurtzel. I firmly believe this. Elizabeth's mother kept the identity of her real father from Wurtzel for the first fifty years of her life, only revealing the truth after the biological and presumed father had both died. Her biological father was known to Elizabeth as merely a family friend, and at one time he gave her a gift of $5,000, which puzzled her. The deadbeat, biological father ended up being the well known photographer, Bob Adelman, who was made famous for his photos of the civil rights movement of the sixties. The presumed father, the man who thought he was the father to Elizabeth Wurtzel, and who was hounded by Wurtzel's mentally disturbed and morally bankrupt mother, Lynn Winters, (for decades for having not done enough for Elizabeth) was the unfortunate Donald Wurtzel, who died thinking he was Elizabeth Wurtzel's father. WOW. I'm sorry but that is SOOOOOOOO reprehensible. What is the most sad to me is reading this book from the eyes of a mother of almost 55. I see so many things younger readers may well not see. Experience as a daughter, a sister and a mother gives me that ability. Elizabeth Wurtzel was 26 when the book was first published in 1994, still just a kid, so there is a definite naivety to much of her tone in the writing. She reveals a great deal about the dynamic between her mother and herself, without even meaning to, such as the fact that she addresses her as "Mommy" for most of her adult life. The perverse relationship is there for all to see. The ways in which the mother rewards her daughter and then punishes her with banishment when she does not perform. Yes, the book is well written, with her sparkling wit, humor and incredible vocabulary. It is a pleasure to read but on another level it is also such a melancholy experience at the same time. The ways in which Elizabeth Wurtzel did not understand why she became depressed at the age of 11, when again her mother tossed her away to summer camp, seem very clear to me. To go to summer camp for two weeks, that is something most people can relate to. I remember Outdoor School quite well. But for five years to abandon your child for TWO MONTHS at a stretch, and absolutely refuse to give in when the child wants to come back home requires a level of emotional distance, selfishness, an inability to understand genuine pain that is frankly, extremely disturbing. What this dynamic of not "listening" to your child does, is that it tells the child in a very concrete way that no, they do NOT matter. It tells them that their needs are NOT important. The parent who chooses NOT to listen to, or accept that perhaps their child knows something important that the parent should listen to and they still choose to ignore it, is guilty of a form of parental negligence that is tragic. It is tragic because it can express itself in many forms of unconscious emotional and spiritual abuse. This is what mother's do who know their daughters are being sexually abused. This is what mother's do who know their sons are being physically abused. They choose NOT to listen. They choose to turn away. This form of abandonment is a form of serious rejection. Elizabeth Wurtzel had to intuit that on an intellectual and emotional level her mother really, honestly did not want her around. And the anxiety that it produced burned itself on her brain. Her brain, while still developing was reconfigured in an abnormal way by the external forces she could not control. Two months every summer of abandonment by her primary care giver produced such anxiety in her that her brain would never be normal again and that anxiety would replay over and over for the rest of her life. You might think summer camp is no big deal but to a child like Wurtzel, it was a big deal. She needed to feel the safety of being at home, as many kids do. But her mother chose to ignore her needs to feel safe and abandoned her. What does Wurtzel say again and again to any boyfriend she has? "You're going to leave me, aren't you?!" She asks this desperately, angrily, again and again, for years. Who she is really asking this question to of course, is her mother! THIS is unconscious motivation. And the young Wurtzel doesn't even see it, at any time in the writing of this book, or apparently even after it was written. While reading the book, I felt I was on a quest. To do a "close reading" of course, which is what I was taught in college. Do a "close reading" my writing, poetry and English professors all told me. In the book, Elizabeth does a great job of making excuses for her mother, repeatedly, like a battered child does. In exactly the same way that a battered child runs back to its abuser, hoping that maybe finally, the relationship will be mended, she continues to accept that her mothers "issues" and problems, and/or needs are more important than her own. But in this text, the truth is revealed in key words. It tiny snippets, littered here and there. I don't need to know about "The Accidental Blowjob," or who she cheats with, betraying yet another girlfriend, because I understand that betrayal is something Elizabeth Wurtzel learned since the day she was born. And particularly for the five years she was dumped off at summer camp for an astounding two months per summer. WOW. When I was a kid, I heard of kids going for two to three weeks but two MONTHS? That's what preoccupied selfish mothers' did. Not loving mother's who wanted to make sure their kids were safe and happy. The truth of Wurtzel's life comes out in snippets. In the small sentences that stay with me, her history is revealed. She talks about being left to cry "alone in my crib." She talks about the five years her mother carts her off to summer camp. She talks about her mother's vindictive obsession with making her "father" miserable by attacking him for all that he does not do. But Donald Wurtzel was not Elizabeth's father? So, to read Prozac Nation is to go back in time, knowing something that the voice of the author does not know and it is a strange experience, stranger still knowing that the poor girl is now dead. And yet, those little snippets reveal themselves again and again. She writes about how her mother has "boyfriends" but does not elaborate much on that. Did Lynn Winters want free time to spend with these men when Wurtzel was at summer camp, so she could live with them, spend unencumbered time with them? Then, shockingly in the middle of the book, Wurtzel reveals a bombshell that one of her mother's boyfriends rapes her when she is 12. But it is simply revealed in one single sentence. Where a whole book could be written on that alone, she says nothing more about it. You are left astounded, wondering why she did not focus on that traumatic experience more. Another time she lets her selfish mother off the hook? Probably. But one has to wonder, how does a woman NOT know she is with a man who will rape a small child? Who was this man? Is he still alive? How could Elizabeth Wurtzel's mother NOT know that a man she was intimate with was also a child sex predator? And what happened after? Was the man every charged? Was this another secret Lynn Winters insisted on keeping, as status obsessed as she was with what other people might think of her? After reading Prozac Nation, for the first time this year, I did some research on Elizabeth Wurtzel and found out about her real father and her presumed father, both dead and both not able to discuss with her this most profound betrayal at the hands of her mother. That the presumed father had no idea of the reality of his ex-wife's lie, but also about a lie the biological father had willingly participated in too, at the behest of the mother, Lynn Winters. To learn these things, and to think back to the book Prozac Nation and all that it reveals is to see a most malignant woman, Lynn Winters. I am astounded that this woman could betray so many people and hurt her only child so profoundly in the process by doing all the despicable things she did. She is described by Wurtzel as "a very private person" and someone who's love is not unconditional but bound with endless conditions. When Elizabeth Wurtzel wrote about being told of this horrible betrayal later, after she found out the truth, she quoted her mother as saying, during an argument, "Oh, get over it!" I was astounded when I read those words. "OH, GET OVER IT." That is what someone says when they are discussing something that is irrelevant or unimportant. Not a betrayal of this magnitude. That is what a malignant narcissistic says. So, I'm left feeling extremely sad for the little girl Elizabeth Wurtzel used to be. She is continually rejected by her mother. In one form or another. If she changes her appearance, she is carted off to her aunts house "for a few days" as punishment for piercing her ears or coloring her hair. She learns to worry, to fear, to obsess about eventual abandonment because abandonment is something her mother has taught her to expect. This is a long review and I will probably come back and add to it over the next few weeks but just be sure that this is a most excellent book but for me, it was heart wrenching to read. Through the humor, the jaded self deprecating humor, I saw a brilliant girl who was "trying so hard" to please her neurotic mother, who was suffering so much because of things her mother had done to her. What life taught Elizabeth Wurtzel, what her mother taught her was that she could trust no one. Not even herself.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Rating: 4 stars "Prozac Nation" by Elizabeth Wurtzel is a memoir of a young woman suffering from depression. I've read it years ago and it left a strong impression. It's as raw and heavy but also so insightful and beautifully honest as I remember. It's one of those stories that you keep thinking about even after it's finished and back on your bookshelf. And also you can keep finding something new after reading it again and again. [LTU] Įvertinimas: 4 žvaigždutės Elizabeth Wurtzel "Prozako karta" - t Rating: 4 stars "Prozac Nation" by Elizabeth Wurtzel is a memoir of a young woman suffering from depression. I've read it years ago and it left a strong impression. It's as raw and heavy but also so insightful and beautifully honest as I remember. It's one of those stories that you keep thinking about even after it's finished and back on your bookshelf. And also you can keep finding something new after reading it again and again. [LTU] Įvertinimas: 4 žvaigždutės Elizabeth Wurtzel "Prozako karta" - tai jaunos merginos memuarai apie jos kovą su depresija. Esu skaičiusi šią knygą paauglystėje, pamenu paliko didelį įspūdį. Antrą kartą skaitant ji tokia pat atvira ir skaudi, bet tuo pačiu įžvalgi ir labai gražiai parašyta, kaip ir atsimenu. Tai viena iš tokių knygų, apie kurią dar mąstai ir padėjęs atgal į lentyną, ir atrandi kažką naujo, skaitydamas darkart.

  21. 4 out of 5

    maryann

    most important thought: the author did an amazing job describing her depression. i was constantly underlining sentences and tabbing pages. i am extremely grateful to have read her memoir. this book was a very important and helpful read for me. less important in light of aforementioned praise, but still frustrating: what's up with the name of the book and the first chapter? she's framing the book like it's going to be all anti-drug, and about the failure of the system or such, but then really it's most important thought: the author did an amazing job describing her depression. i was constantly underlining sentences and tabbing pages. i am extremely grateful to have read her memoir. this book was a very important and helpful read for me. less important in light of aforementioned praise, but still frustrating: what's up with the name of the book and the first chapter? she's framing the book like it's going to be all anti-drug, and about the failure of the system or such, but then really it's just the story of her illness up until the point that she goes on prozac. it's a very ambiguous set of messages. the first chapter just seems way out of place; if it was going to be included at all, it would have been more appropriate as an epilogue with some sort of conclusion at the end. very weird--feels kind of deceptive. i really get the impression that the book's title was intended to draw in readers rather than convey anything about the essence of the book. and i'm wondering if the 'new' afterword by the author is her attempt to counteract the title. her afterword talks about all the hype and controversey about prozac, and about her and others' concern that prozac is being trivialized and that depression is being trivialized due to criticism of prozac...but as far as i can tell her book title is feeding into that. wtf?

  22. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    Although my teacher tells me that this is not "literature," I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in depression issues or the genre of memoir. I sent this book to a friend and she hated it because of the main character, Lizzie. This is what I love about this book. It is honest and doesn't sugarcoat things. It describes Lizzie's good times and mostly bad times and her struggles within herself. It also touches on so many other topics like family, addiction, relationships, etc. If you have Although my teacher tells me that this is not "literature," I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in depression issues or the genre of memoir. I sent this book to a friend and she hated it because of the main character, Lizzie. This is what I love about this book. It is honest and doesn't sugarcoat things. It describes Lizzie's good times and mostly bad times and her struggles within herself. It also touches on so many other topics like family, addiction, relationships, etc. If you have depression or know someone that does, I think that this book would be an eye opener. It may not be the very best "literary work" on the planet, but Elizabeth Wurtzel's words spoke to me and resonated at my core. The honesty and raw truths that are not held back are what makes this book successful, in my opinion. Again, it's much, much, much better than the movie!!!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sara Williams

    You skip school for a week and it took your so called friends four whole days to notice, and when they ask what is it you've been up to and you answer 'I am afraid to live and depression has landed its final hit. Somehow I can't get out of bed' there is a slight shrugh that reads: Oh, it's only depression. I thought it was somehow much serious. To understand that depression is not just a moment is the most crucial step to anyone who has never been through an illness as hideous as this one. If you You skip school for a week and it took your so called friends four whole days to notice, and when they ask what is it you've been up to and you answer 'I am afraid to live and depression has landed its final hit. Somehow I can't get out of bed' there is a slight shrugh that reads: Oh, it's only depression. I thought it was somehow much serious. To understand that depression is not just a moment is the most crucial step to anyone who has never been through an illness as hideous as this one. If you and your loved ones have been spared, thank your little stars, because there's no escape from this downright spiral. Depression is not ''feeling sad'' or ''crying too much'', although that might also happen - but to be at war with yourself. It is humiliation and not being able to keep your eyes open, to arrive home late and lay in bed in your own dirty clothing because switching to pijamas would take too much of your time. It is only taking a shower once a month or spending the enterity of your life stuck in a bathtub, soaking your demons in water. Hoping you'll have the strenght, someday perhaps, to get up. Avoiding life is never the answer for peace, that is clear, but depression is so absolutely dreadful that life is not even a word anymore. There's no life besides laying in bed. Who cares about cleaning up your apartment if your insides are broken and who cares about putting on lipstick if there's nothing in the whole god damn world who'd make you feel like a person by looking at the mirror... To be stripped of one's identity describes the depressive because Who is this person looking back? Why am I inside this body? Please Please Please (Let me get what I want) Let me get out of this body... I don't want to exist anymore. It is an ongoing battle within your own head and no pill will make you get out of this state. Still its not a good enough ''reason'' and you have a job to attend and perhaps a family to take care of, and besides all love in your heart, you can't seem to let it show through. To lose everything precious you have is the beggining of depression because you seem to have lost the most valuable thing of them all and that is yourself... And anger very rarely seems to show through but when it does it is never beautiful, like a cinema frame where tears don't smudge eyeshadow and your hair falls into place. It is hair falling, not brushing your hair - it is screaming your heart out and wanting the pillow you're screaming to to swallow you whole. And smashing plates. And ripping pages off your favourite books. And smoking a hundred ciggarettes a day and not bothering to get burned Depression is most definitely a house on fire I am that house on fire but no one has noticed it yet.... Still waiting for the day I start smelling like a house on fire but back then it will be too late. Perhaps I deeply praise Wurtzel for her courage to bring this to the world. It doesn't matter if you found it whiny or ridiculous, because depression is ridiculous for gods sake, it turns people into robots, it deprives them from living. It is clearly an obnoxious illness to people who've never been there. I am not saying I have, but I'm saying I understood and I felt for this memoir on one of the deepest ways possible. I have a lot of respect for Wurtzel. Depressives also do not care much about praise, even though of course it is always nice to get compliments but who the hell cares about them if they come with second intentions? We're told they're strong but we don't feel strong. We feel like the weakest. Maybe we're the weakest out of the stronger ones and the strongest out of the weak. This is no longer making sense. I recommend the memoir to people with depression AND people next to people who suffer from depression. It is a nice, complex description of what it feels like living with this illness. Thank you for surviving. You deserve it.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Cwn_annwn_13

    Written by an ivy league school attending New York Jewess the author shows all the most annoying traits of that demographic. A good example of which is she likes to claim she lived in poverty but yet she somehow managed to pay tuition at Harvard!!! Not to mention afford all of those shrinks that she dealt with throughout her life. In this book she gives a personal recollection of being "depressed" during her childhood and college years. The only thing about her being "depressed" is she really do Written by an ivy league school attending New York Jewess the author shows all the most annoying traits of that demographic. A good example of which is she likes to claim she lived in poverty but yet she somehow managed to pay tuition at Harvard!!! Not to mention afford all of those shrinks that she dealt with throughout her life. In this book she gives a personal recollection of being "depressed" during her childhood and college years. The only thing about her being "depressed" is she really doesn't seem like a textbook case of depression to me. She much more resembles a narcist with a personality disorder and a bit of a substance abuse problem than a depressive if I am to go by the behavior recounted in the book. But I guess feeling too bad to get out of bed, being miserable 24-7 and having no energy to do anything but stare at the walls wouldn't make for a very interesting read now would it? Another thing I have to point out is if your as crippled by depression as the author of Prozac Nation liked to claim to be how in the world did she manage to make it through those classes at Harvard and graduate? Come on man give me a break. This all begs the question to me what is the real purpose of this book? On one level I have to be suspicious of whether or not this book was written as propaganda in order to normalize taking drugs, or at least approved drugs, to solve all your problems. She does more or less get magicly cured when her shrink puts her on Prozac close to the end of the book. The powers that be are totally pushing mind control drugs like Prozac onto the masses in order to make them happy compliant slaves like in Huxleys Brave New World. Huxley, who hobnobbed with the highest rungs of power, even came out and said that the world elites had plans to use drugs to do just that. Also Wurtzel did attend Harvard which is a hotbed for CIA activity and Tavistock Institute type of social engineering, propaganda and mind washing. But if this book isn't an effort at psychologicly conditioning and propagandizing people to drug their problems away and Wurtzel is not an agent of some sort then she is a con artist because she just does not fit the prototype of a depressive. As far as general entertainment value I don't know who this book would appeal to except attention seeking self absorbed narcistic upper middle class young women who can afford things like shrinks, Prozac prescriptions and Harvard tuition bills.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Boo

    ‘Depression was the loneliness fucking thing on earth.‘ Having battled with depression since I was 14 (10 years now), I’ve found it very difficult to put into words my thought patterns and behaviours and almost impossible to find accurate representations. Wurtzel manages to put into words much of what I’ve struggled with. ‘A human can survive almost anything, as long as she sees an end in sight. But depression is so insidious, and it compounds daily, that it’s impossible to ever see the end.’ My ‘Depression was the loneliness fucking thing on earth.‘ Having battled with depression since I was 14 (10 years now), I’ve found it very difficult to put into words my thought patterns and behaviours and almost impossible to find accurate representations. Wurtzel manages to put into words much of what I’ve struggled with. ‘A human can survive almost anything, as long as she sees an end in sight. But depression is so insidious, and it compounds daily, that it’s impossible to ever see the end.’ My copy of this book is battered, bent and covered in scribbles and highlighted passages from rereads. I’ve used it to explain to my family things I haven’t been able to previously. I’ve been on medications for several years now and I appreciated her honest comments about them and the psychiatric process. ‘Was there a disease that involved an intense desire to die, but no will to go through with it?’ This is a book I’d encourage anyone whose dealt with mental illness or knows someone who has to read.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    If Wurtzel had gone more in depth with the topics she brings up in the epilogue about the nation's shift towards psychopharmacology and automatic gratification, this . As it is, the book is horribly mistitled- she doesn't address her experience with Prozac until the final chapters. As a memoir, it could have been more centered and deliberate- but I understand why it's not. Having several friends who have gone through depression (many in almost the same words as Wurtzel), I understand that the il If Wurtzel had gone more in depth with the topics she brings up in the epilogue about the nation's shift towards psychopharmacology and automatic gratification, this . As it is, the book is horribly mistitled- she doesn't address her experience with Prozac until the final chapters. As a memoir, it could have been more centered and deliberate- but I understand why it's not. Having several friends who have gone through depression (many in almost the same words as Wurtzel), I understand that the illness doesn't lend itself the linear, rational plotline I'd like it to. The writing gets overly self-pitiful at times (think Bella of Twilight fame), but has rare instances of wit. Something random that bugged me- in the Acknowledgements, she goes over how grateful she is to her editors, Bob Dylan, her cat, etc. But there's not a word about her mother (who admittedly was often more harm than good, but tried her best in a human way) and, more surprisingly, nothing about Dr Sterling- the therapist she claims over and over saved her life.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Larissa

    It was like sawdust, the unhappiness: it infiltrated everything, everything was a problem, everything made her cry - school, homework, boyfriends, the future, the lack of future, the uncertainty of future, fear of future, fear in general- but it was so hard to say exactly what the problem was in the first place. - Melanie Thernstrom, The Dead Girl I thought I was the only person who felt this way... it's great to see that I'm not. This book was truly inspiring, how a woman could go through such h It was like sawdust, the unhappiness: it infiltrated everything, everything was a problem, everything made her cry - school, homework, boyfriends, the future, the lack of future, the uncertainty of future, fear of future, fear in general- but it was so hard to say exactly what the problem was in the first place. - Melanie Thernstrom, The Dead Girl I thought I was the only person who felt this way... it's great to see that I'm not. This book was truly inspiring, how a woman could go through such hardships from such a young age, and manage to get through the battles. Sometimes I would think shes very self-centered because having gone through it myself, I wasn't surrounded with so many people and friends that I could tell like she did. She also was being put through a Harvard education, travelled wherever she wanted to travel, and had no problems fitting in anywhere. She experimented with drugs, had no one telling her she couldn't do anything, and was still so unhappy. I never knew all those things about Prozac, about how many people in this country feel the same way. I learned about so many prescriptions and depression statistics, and even books and movies that I will see after having read this book. I'd recommend it to anyone looking for inspiration, or just anyone who thinks they're the only one that feels that there is no way to run away from themselves, because in actuality there isn't. You just need to learn how to make yourself happy.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Halleck

    Not as awful as some have claimed, but decidedly shallow and self-indulgent. By no means is someone obligated to be insightful about their life, to have learned something, or even to be interesting. No one is obligated to do anything in a memoir but tell their story the way they want it told. An unlikeable protagonist is a hard thing to stomach however, and try as I might I could muster no sympathy for Wurtzel. She whines, she blames her Jewish mother, she wallows, she emerges none-the-wiser. As Not as awful as some have claimed, but decidedly shallow and self-indulgent. By no means is someone obligated to be insightful about their life, to have learned something, or even to be interesting. No one is obligated to do anything in a memoir but tell their story the way they want it told. An unlikeable protagonist is a hard thing to stomach however, and try as I might I could muster no sympathy for Wurtzel. She whines, she blames her Jewish mother, she wallows, she emerges none-the-wiser. As someone who has experienced their own mental health struggle--and yes, even from a Jewish family--who very much wanted to find something to emphathize with in this book, I was sorely disappointed. Do not turn look here for clarity, whether your approach is from the "inside" or without. I'd be appalled to find out someone based their opinion of persons living with mental illness on this book. Bipolar and depression memoirs have been done, and they've been done better.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jovana Autumn

    I vaguely knew about this book from online recommendations on depression, I’ve seen it being mentioned on a couple of lists too. I was feeling a little down so, for me, it helps me when I read/hear about people going through the same or similar things as I am going through because I feel less alone and hopeless. Memoirs are easy to review for me, there is no storyline to follow, worldbuilding, characters and such only memories so if you like it great, if you don’t then it’s not your thing. I have I vaguely knew about this book from online recommendations on depression, I’ve seen it being mentioned on a couple of lists too. I was feeling a little down so, for me, it helps me when I read/hear about people going through the same or similar things as I am going through because I feel less alone and hopeless. Memoirs are easy to review for me, there is no storyline to follow, worldbuilding, characters and such only memories so if you like it great, if you don’t then it’s not your thing. I haven’t read many of them, I read one by Lily Collins, Lily Allen and I think one more but I can't remember. Reading this book felt very true to life. There were so many quotations that hit me in the gut. When I was 14 I was convinced that I had depression. I really believed that it was the only explanation for my sadness and loneliness at the time. I got that at 19 going on 20 that I really didn’t have depression then, I was just sad and lonely at the time and wanted something to blame for the state I was in. I had some issues the year I went to college, it was in a different city than where I lived all my life. I lost one of my long-time friends at that time, and it hit me hard. She didn’t die, we just stopped being friends. I was in a poor state, I didn’t really eat much, didn’t sleep until dawn or slept through the entire day and woke up at evening hours. I started drinking. I had an ongoing physical relationship, I sought comfort in anything, and living was a chore to me. I didn’t get the much needed help then because my family doesn’t really believe in mental illness unless it’s critical. I was really unhappy at the time. Point being that even today, a lot of the things Wurtzel talks about in her memoir are still considered the norm today. A lot of people still don’t take mental health seriously, or they banalize it. They either mistake sadness and loneliness for depression, bash on medication or consider you crazy and weak because you just can’t get over it. They blame alcohol or drugs for your depression even though you wouldn’t need any substance if you didn’t have depression. These were only some of the topics she discussed in her book. This was a raw and honest book about depression that the author had, atypical depression, and her struggle with it. As I believe people should read and educate themselves on topics they do not understand, I would recommend this book to anyone dealing with depression or if someone in their family is dealing with it or in their friend circle. To anyone who really wants to know what goes on in the mind of a person dealing with this mental illness. It is hard to get through but it does pay off reading it. 4/5. ------------------------------------------ A pretty important book. Review to come.

  30. 4 out of 5

    John Porter

    I have a hard time with this book, the same way I do with a lot of confessional memoirs. I have enormous sympathy for the condition she was/is in; I have a whole lot less for her generalizing her experiences. Others say that it's unfair to hold Wurtzel's attractiveness, her privileged background, her intelligence, and her lifestyle against her. Except she shoves it in our faces. The premise is that "This can happen to anyone!" What's disturbing is the little, tiny unsaid "(even someone like me)" I have a hard time with this book, the same way I do with a lot of confessional memoirs. I have enormous sympathy for the condition she was/is in; I have a whole lot less for her generalizing her experiences. Others say that it's unfair to hold Wurtzel's attractiveness, her privileged background, her intelligence, and her lifestyle against her. Except she shoves it in our faces. The premise is that "This can happen to anyone!" What's disturbing is the little, tiny unsaid "(even someone like me)" that hovers over the whole work. Whether it's meant or not, it reifies all those other things; the implication is that her fall is especially tragic because she had farther to fall. I don't buy it, any more than I buy her marketing herself as a poster child for depression and addiction. But I do understand that if she tried harder to get over herself, she would likely have fewer issues...and less to write about.

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