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Prozac Diary

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  1,065 Ratings  ·  61 Reviews
In 1988, at age 26, Lauren Slater lived alone in a basement apartment in Cambridge, depressed, suicidal, unemployed. Ten years later, she is a psychologist running her own clinic, an award-winning writer, and happily married. The transformation in her life was brought about by Prozac. Prozac Diary is Lauren Slater's incisive account of a life restored to productivity, crea ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published September 1st 1999 by Penguin Books (first published 1998)
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Oct 21, 2012 rated it liked it
at first, i loved this book. it was eloquent, poetic, and incredibly relatable to my life. the figurative language was nothing short of incredible; Lauren has a beautiful relationship with the english language. Also, as someone who has experienced a story terribly similar to Lauren's, the subject matter was intensely personal and valuable to me.

sadly, though, it reached a point where none of these things were enough to save it. there's only so much you can write about Prozac before it becomes re
Anita Dalton
Aug 30, 2010 rated it it was ok
I think this book was probably more interesting 12 years ago. I am a pharmacological refugee and on a personal level find tales like Slater’s interesting, but I can also tell you that unless you have tinkered with the chemicals in your brain, unless you have walked down this road, this mild, ethereal and at times random memoir may not have any resonance. As interested as I am in memoirs of people who struggle with mental illness and the drugs used to treat mental illness, there were times I foun ...more
aPriL does feral sometimes
Lauren Slater has apparently gone through hell, and I hope she continues to find things which help her. The few brief details about her mother and of her life which she reveals in this diary led me to think she may have severe brain chemical or wiring problems which may have been inherited. It's a good thing Prozac helps her, despite the side effects and its limitations at replacing what her body should be providing but does not.

However, the book did not give me what I want, either. It is perfec
Sep 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
This hit my emotions like a ton of bricks. I can empathize with the author. I don't know if that's because it was well written or because of my personal history.
It was an honest book though. Showed that the cure didn't work 100% and that it cost things as well.
Aug 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: depression
“If you have been sick for a long, long time, Prozac may make you high. It probably won’t make you high the way pot and acid do; it will make you high by returning you to a world you’ve forgotten or never quite managed to be a part of, but a world, nevertheless, that you at first fit into with the precision of a key to a lock or a neurotransmitter to its receptor.”

This book was like a breath of fresh air. The author's experience using Prozac (save sexual dysfunction) was incredibly similar to mi
Jul 25, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: memoir
I would have enjoyed this book much more if it were condensed into an essay about pharmacology and the human psyche. The author has a gift for metaphor and an intriguing philosophical curiosity, but her writing talents weren't enough to redeem the book. Too often, the meandering, flowery language harped on topics that didn't interest me in the least. This memoir fell flat because the author didn't build up her character enough for me to care about her struggle. She started at her lowest point, a ...more
Mar 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2013
Gulped this down in a matter of hours.

I have a bit of an issue with Slater's style - she has a very poetic style, which doesn't always lend well to her choice of subjects. When she talks about her own history, as in this book, however, it works perfectly.

Sometimes it seems incredible that there was a time when Prozac was new, and no one knew what its effects were. I suppose in some respects, there's always an unknown with all drugs, but the unknown must have been huge for the first people who to
Jun 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Prozac Diary chronicles the life of 26-year-old Lauren Slater who became one of the first takers of a brand new drug, Prozac. She writes not so much about the actual drug (though she does talk about its side effects), but more about the consequences of shifting from an "illness-based "identity, to a "health-based" identity. Having dealt with mental illness for most of her life, this shift is both a welcome relief as well as well as a challenge - for who is she without the depression that's domin ...more
Mimi chiang
Mar 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Lauren Slater has absolutely beautiful phrases and prose. I read her writing as an eager novice writer hoping to absorb some of her talent. That said, this memoir is a great resource for the many who suffer from mental illness and/or are prescribed anti-depressants or any sort of medication for treating a psychological issue. I only wish I had known of this memoir when I was first prescribed prozac in 1984.

Ms. Slater manages to convey with wonderful beauty how debilitating mental illness is, bu
Tina Hernandez
Jan 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I love Lauren Slater's general writing style, and I love psychology and neurology in general, too - so I have some bias here, but this book was amazing. Parts of it were so rich and so interesting that I had to mark them to re-read (several times over). I am generally somewhat anti-meds (when they're avoidable), but she really gives a person stuff to mull over. About reality, and personality, and love, and all sorts of fluid subjective concepts. I don't really like this cover or think it does a ...more
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Lauren Slater is a psychologist and writer. She is the author of numerous books, including Welcome To My Country, Lying: A Metaphorical Memoir, Opening Skinner’s Box, and Blue Beyond Blue, a collection of short stories. Slater’s most recent book is The $60,000 Dog: My Life With Animals.

Slater has been the recipient of numerous awards, amongst them a 2004 National Endowments for the Arts Award, and
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“How do you describe emptiness? Is it the air inside a bubble, the darkness in a pocket, snow? I think, yes, I was six when or seven when I first felt it, the dwindling that is depression.” 1 likes
“I couldn’t reach her. I was never able to reach her. Maybe she moved at a pace too fast. Maybe she was too sad. She held herself stiff, a lacquered lady. I think because I couldn’t feel her, I couldn’t feel myself.” 1 likes
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