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Prozac Nation

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  58,595 ratings  ·  2,005 reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published October 1st 1995 by Riverhead Books (first published 1994)
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Average rating 3.61  · 
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 ·  58,595 ratings  ·  2,005 reviews

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Jan 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
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!

Always Pouting
Nov 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
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 ...more
Mar 08, 2008 rated it liked it
“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
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
Nov 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone who thinks their life is shit
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
Tony Cohen
Mar 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
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 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
Julia's Book Haven
May 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
April (Aprilius Maximus)
Jan 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015, anxiety
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.
Nov 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Jul 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 05, 2012 rated it it was ok
"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 ...more
Theresa Kennedy
May 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 03, 2007 rated it did not like it
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,
Dec 06, 2007 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
BAM Endlessly Booked
Sep 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
A book for all Seasons: book I can identify with

"How can you hide from what never goes away?"-Heraclitus
Jul 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-own
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.

Įvertinimas: 4 žvaigždutės

Elizabeth Wurtzel "Prozako karta" - t
Jun 04, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2018reads

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
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
Nov 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who's had any experience with depression or depressives
Shelves: womenlit, non-fiction
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
Apr 06, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: faves
‘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.’

Dec 13, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
Jessica Halleck
Aug 12, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
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
Jan 13, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2009
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
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
May 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
3.75 Stars (Rnd ⬆️) — I’m extremely partial to “girls/men/animals interrupted” & this novel has one of the more ambiguous of those such characters. A memoir of a 27yr Old woman that spirals down the ever blackening-gape that comes with demons fed by a strict diet of narcotics and psych drugs.

But the real demon here is the narcissistic mindset that is allowed to prosper and spread inside the psyche of those with mental illness whom fall to substance abuse. It is this demonic-trait that escalates
John Porter
Apr 07, 2008 rated it it was ok
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)" ...more
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Aiossa's Senior 5...: melanie perez 1 38 Oct 18, 2012 06:43PM  

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Brought up Jewish, Elizabeth 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 overachiever 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 ...more

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