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Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America : a Memoir [Library Binding]

Elizabeth Wurtzel
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)

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Library Binding, 9 April 2009 --  
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Book Description

9 April 2009
An account, both harrowing and amusing, of the author's dependence on Prozac, prescribed for her after a series of suicide attempts and breakdowns. She describes her experiences and her determination to get herself off medication.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • Library Binding
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442006722
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442006720
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,591,040 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Having suffered from depression since I was 13, I have found this book an insightful read that attempts to abolish the perception that children do not suffer from or cannot suffer from depression. I have read rview that say this memoir is self-pitying and egotistical. I cannot agree because in all honesy, this is how depression takes hold, especially when the audience has never suffered from it. People around one tend to pre-judge making implications that one is self-absorbant and just morbid & needs to 'snap out of it'. This is something that 99% of sufferers have had to deal with at least once during their illness.

Elizabeth captures the ambience perfectly & describes how the depression takes hold of her & how hysterical it makes both her mother & herself. She shows the lack of understanding of others without blame & that it is a difficult illness to understand when there seems to be no 'real reason' behind it. Elizabeth tries to emphasise that she struggles with the guilt that she feels for having this illness considering that other people have been through worse things than her during their lives. I do think that Elizabeth's ego and confidence as a woman with this illness has been perceived badly. I honestly don't think she wrote he book to appeal to her own ego. She wanted to share her struggle & get rid of the taboo that surrounds mental illness & to show that some people are genetically more prone to the illness & do not need a 'legitimate reason' (such as abuse) to suffer from it.

The only advice I give is to try to put yourself in the same position as Elizabeth & to try to understand how this illness affects people. We are not being deliberately selfish, but obviously, the self is the only thing you can think of when you're in the bubble of depression.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Re: Recovery 26 Dec 2004
"Gradually... then suddenly." There appears little else to descirbe the journey of depression that is suffered by not just the authour, but thousands everyday. Those on the outside do not understand; they cannot comprehend what is experienced by the individual labelled clinically depressed.
'Prozac Nation' truly made me feel that I was not alone; that there indeed was someone to help me. Someone who truly knew that I wanted to live. "The same way I came down, I came up." If it hadn't been for this account, I genuinely do not believe I would be here today. I highlight the pages of her narrative and every page seems applicable to myself. But there is only so much to mark. You have to make it for yourself and for any manic depressive, I genuinely belive that you are strong enough to bid adieu to the black cloud.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prozac Nation 8 May 2004
By A Customer
prozac nation is an incredible memoir of depression by beautifully talented young writer elizabeth wurtzel. i finished reading it a few weeks ago and i was left blown away by her strength, her bravery, and the poise with which she manages to convey her harrowing story. somehow she is capable of describing the horrific occurences of her life without hardly ever sounding sorry for herself or as though all she wants is your attention and/or pity. instead, her sardonic dark wit and the attentiveness with which she examines the life and the pain around her is simply breathtaking. i finished the book and somehow, despite being frighteningly capable of identifying with many of the things she recounts, i felt more like a whole than i ever have. read this book.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A refreshing look at the illness 6 Jun 2002
I really liked this book for its unaffected, warts-and-all narrative of an intelligent young woman suffering from depression. The book is begging to be slated with cries of 'Self pitying! Self-indulgent!' but that, folks, is what depression is about. Depression is not a group of students whining about beer being too expensive. Depression is mentally crippling, disturbing, totally unromantic and so often the catalyst for embarrassing, awkward or destructive behaviour. Wurtzel understands this, she suffers from it after all, and her story is not a pretty one. She readily accepts that she is a horrible person to be with when she is ill. But it is authentic, like it or not. Her crazy behaviour, promiscuity, self-harm, and endless spiral into hopeless pessimism as one 'remedy' after another fails her, is something that all those with depression can sympathise with. If you want a more palatable, synthetic view of the condition, go and watch a soap opera, where the illness lasts for about two weeks, before the character gets a good talking-to, pulls their socks up and everything is rosy again. This is a novel which portrays the illness like it is. Nasty, corrosive and totally defeating. 4 stars.
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85 of 96 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Young and Depressed in America 17 Mar 2006
The book is a true to life portrayal of Elizabeth’s life in the USA, written first hand. It starts of in her childhood, in approximately the 1970’s, when she is only around 8 or 9 from when she still feels normal to when she starts to feel the depression first kicking in. Her parents separate when she is pretty young and she gets sent away to Summer Camp for months on end which she dreads. During one of these Summers as a child of only 9 or 10 she takes her first overdose, not enough to do any real damage, but enough to be recognised as a cry for help…. She also spends long periods of time sitting in the toilets at school cutting her legs, however she can hide this all too well. Sadly no-one notices her cries for help and life goes on with Elizabeth sinking further and further into her depression.
The bulk of the book is set during her late teens and the time she spends at college. Elizabeth is an interesting case because she is a very intelligent person and despite her depression she gets a place to study at Harvard and she always somehow manages to just scrape through. Unfortunately away from the security of home, things just get worse for Elizabeth. She starts to drink a lot and to take a lot of drugs, cocaine, ecstasy, cannabis, speed, you name it, to try to make the pain go away and to try to ‘fit in’ but this just makes everything worse.
When she isn’t on a manic partying spree Elizabeth’s days are primarily spend alone, in bed, in the dark, because she can’t even find the energy to drag herself up out of bed. She cries endlessly for days on end and tortures her poor mother who simply cannot understand her ups and downs. Her father stops speaking to her altogether and disappears for up to years at a time.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 3 days ago by Gwynneth Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars A Book That You Can Relate To If You've Ever Been Severely Depressed.
I connected with this book. It made me feel like I wasn't alone and most of the feelings she described in this book, I myself felt. Read more
Published 5 months ago by maa
2.0 out of 5 stars Good first half.
The authors childhood is very well written, feelings of alienation, how her parents bad relationship affected her. I believe she was a depressed child (no wonder). Read more
Published 6 months ago by dante
5.0 out of 5 stars wow
I've waited so long to read Prozac Nation after I read a review on it years ago, and I'm definitely not dissapointed. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars misery loves company...
i can understand completely why some people rate this book a 1-star. all the self-indulgent whining. but the sad truth is that misery does indeed love company. Read more
Published 8 months ago by jk
5.0 out of 5 stars Phenomenal read!
Depression is such an understated, misunderstood and cliched issue in society. This book paints a perfect picture of how it really feels. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Jay
4.0 out of 5 stars Good
Great book, product turned up on time with good packaging to keep it safe, I would recommend this purchase to anyone.
Published 10 months ago by TW
1.0 out of 5 stars Some people...
This has its own little space in my library, it's my most famous book; I never forget the author or the title, the reason is... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Mr. Philip Cartner
4.0 out of 5 stars Good insight into depression
Wurtzel writes about depression better than anyone else I know apart from William Styron in "Darkness Visible". Read more
Published 13 months ago by Escal
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
great book and also a great film - if you haven't seen the film I recommend reading the book first.
Published 14 months ago by Mr. J. Dawson
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