Lani's Reviews > Prozac Nation

Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel
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's review
Nov 17, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: own, chicklit, non-fiction, biography, psychology
Read in November, 2008 , read count: 2

This was a re-read since I recently FINALLY saw the movie...

I was less horrified by Wurtzel's narcissism this time, either because I was expecting it or because the movie's was worse. I do feel that it is a brutally honest memoir of middle-upper-class depression which is an illness all its own. I have seen friends suffer from it and feel guilty about it, and have felt many of the same things myself.

It's also interesting how many of these thoughts seem like perfectly normal adolescent responses to the constraints of parental expectations and teen rebellion. There seems to be such a fine line between thinking these thoughts and being driven crazy by them.

The last chapter is particularly interesting as Wurtzel discusses the creation of the "Prozac Nation" in recent years. She is partly bragging of her own depression and her lack of effective treatment, but also chastising the medical community for its over-prescription of drugs like Prozac and Ritalin. To a certain extent I DO think depression has been trivialized, but I think it has also been accepted as mainstream, allowing some people to get treated sooner. Wurtzel makes a good point however when she says that some of these issues could be worked out more effectively through therapy and other treatments before swallowing pills.

An interesting book for a certain generation, I think, and certainly if you are someone struggling with depression - either personally, or with a loved one. Wurtzel isn't the most uplifting of authors, but she is straightforward and honest about even her craziest and most melodramatic feelings. It is nice to read an unapologetic account of this woman's life and struggles, without much embarrassment or awareness of just how lucky she was.

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