Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America

Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America

by Elizabeth Wurtzel, Wurtzel


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Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America by Elizabeth Wurtzel, Wurtzel

Elizabeth Wurtzel's New York Times best-selling memoir, with a new afterword

"Sparkling, luminescent prose . . . A powerful portrait of one girl's journey through the purgatory of depression and back." —New York Times

"A book that became a cultural touchstone." —New Yorker

Elizabeth Wurtzel writes with her finger on the faint pulse of an overdiagnosed generation whose ruling icons are Kurt Cobain, Xanax, and pierced tongues. Her famous memoir of her bouts with depression and skirmishes with drugs, Prozac Nation is a witty and sharp account of the psychopharmacology of an era for readers of Girl, Interrupted and Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781573225120
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/28/1995
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 183,780
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.00(d)
Lexile: 1320L (what's this?)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

ELIZABETH WURTZEL is the author of best-selling books including Prozac Nation, Bitch: In Praise of Difficult Women, and More, Now, Again. She is a Harvard and Yale Law School graduate whose work has appeared in such publications as The New Yorker, New York, the Guardian, and the Oxford American. She lives in New York.

Table of Contents

Prologue: I Hate Myself and I Want to Die
1. Full of Promise
2. Secret Life
3. Love Kills
4. Broken
5. Black Wave
6. Happy Pills
7. Drinking in Dallas
8. Space, Time, and Motion
9. Down Deep
10. Blank Girl
11. Good Morning Headache
12. The Accidental Blowjob
13. Woke Up This Morning Afraid I Was Gonna Live
14. Think of Pretty Things
Epilogue: Prozac Nation
Afterword (1995)

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Wrenching and comical, self-indulgent and self-aware, Prozac Nation possesses the raw candor of Joan Didion's essays, the irritating emotional exhibitionism of Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar, and the wry, dark humor of a Bob Dylan song."—The New York Times

"Wurtzel is a very entertaining nut case. Reading this book is like being locked up with her, covering your ears or laughing out loud, depending on your perspective. Prozac Nation gives a view of every aspect of depression: the self-pity, the courage, the flashes of insight, the despair, and the endless, very moving struggle, simply, to live." —Jeffrey Eugenides

"[Wurtzel] is smart, she is funny...she is thoughtful and...she is very, very brave. Wurtzel portrays, from the inside out, an emotional life perpetually spent outrunning the relentless pursuit of what she describes as a black wave, often sacrificing her likability on the altar of her truth."—Vanity Fair

"Sylvia Plath with the ego of Madonna." —The New York Times Book Review

"The saddest, funniest, and ultimately, most triumphant book about youthful depression I've come across. It reads like a mixture of J.D. Salinger and Sylvia Plath, with some Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen thrown in for good measure...[Wurtzel] is one canny and entertaining observer of her generation: if you've been wondering why Kurt Cobain meant what he did—what it feels like to be young, gifted, and black of spirit—this book is the CD, tape, video, and literary answer all in one."—Daphne Merkin, author of Enchantment

"The Courtney Love of letters... You can disagree with Wurtzel, but at least she always has a passionate point of view." —Entertainment Weekly

"... The preposterous energy of a great, drunken tantrum, and a voluptuous, sprawling style, with lots of good, zinging jokes." —Mary Gaitskill

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Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 68 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A decent portrayal of mental illness.
Guest More than 1 year ago
prozac nation is by far one of the best books i've ever read. this book is not about whining or making you feel sorry for the author like i've read in other reviews. it's about someone who has struggled most of their life through depression and addiction and takes the time to take the reader in depth into of every aspect of her life. i read this book a few years ago and it is still one of my favorite books. once you start reading you can't stop. this book itself is a drug. you will be hooked instantly. you will find yourself ignoring phone calls food and sleep to get to the next page. This book should be read by everyone. but i think someone who has experienced depression or addiction at some point in their life will appreciate this book even more.
Anonymous 20 days ago
Yes Prozac is an antidepressant, an overperscribed addictive, and dangerous one. Question: Are you still on it and have you had any ill effects??? I was NOT depressed when I was given a low dose a while back by a well meaning but ageist OBGYN who had 0 understanding about menopause. I trusted her judgement but wondered why if she thought I was depressed, she never referred me to a psychiatrist or therapist. When I was on Prozac, at first I was tired and then numb. I didn't realize until after I put my foot down and weaned myself off that this numbness and my lack of enthusiasm, which I didn't have before Prozac, was not the effect of the drug but because of what I suspect is permanent brain damage. For the first year to two years post SSRI, I had absolutely no emotional connection positive or negative to anything. Today, I am able to feel and express emotion to a degree, but that and my enthusiasm is way less than it was before. I used to get angry feeling as if I had been used and had my sense of self robbed from me. However, I accept this as my new normal and am coping. Sadly, too many like me, who were given Prozac as a cure all end up off and on SSRI's for life because of withdrawl symptoms, brain zaps, and indifference that does not go away. This is both sad and unethical on the part of regular MD doctors. The FDA really needs to crack down on off label use, which yours was because Prozac is not approved for ADHD, and PCPs should be banned from prescribing it without a referral fo professionals who are trained to do depression screenings and provide followup therapy. MDs often use these drugs to shut patients up or to cut corners. In my case it was because my ignorant OBGYN didn't want to treat my hormonal concerns and all but said to me that menopause symptoms are a myth. I beat myself up that I trusted this woman, but I will never go back on Prozac and have learned not to trust people at face value to trust my own instincts when it comes to my health and well being. Lesson learned!
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happytoday-nbd More than 1 year ago
Mental illness in 21st century American is a topic that is still not discussed and still holds onto many stigmas. If you suffer from depressions or any form of mental illness this book will be a comfort to you. If you know someone that suffers this book will be enlightening. Ms. Wurtzel has done an excellant job of education through her story written in lay terms. This should be required reading; too many people suffer in silence.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Possibly one of the best pieces of work I've ever read, Elizabeth Wurtzel grabs you and takes you under and forces you to feel what she's going through. An amazing writer she is, and continues to inspire and comfort those going through her situations. You will not look at the world--or your own life--the same after reading this book. It's life changing, but a good change at that. She will leave you wondering and wanting more. I definitely recommend this book to everyone who has some kind of adversity, especially troubled young teens who need an escape and a reassurance of not being alone. You definitely dont feel alone when you read this masterpiece.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wurtzel is absolutely amazing. Her work is exactly the pain alot of young is going through right now. Including myself.. I would recommend this book to anyone!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is great. Wurtzel is just a very talented writer; as you're reading this book she makes you feel as if you are present at the scene. She's very descriptive and also makes it easier for you to realize how difficcult it is to go through depression and how people like this need to be taken care of.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is an amazing and accurate journey through depression. Elizabeth Wurtzel is an excellent writer who gets your mind thinking and going, you will never want to put this book down. I never imagined i would read a book where the auther would be able to describle so perfectly how i felt and the thoughts that were in my mind, some that not even i can describe. so many parts made me stop and think, it all brought new understanding to a topics prevelent in everyones lives. I related so much to this book and i think anyone depressed or not would also be able to. i recomend to everyone especially if you are trying to understand your own or someone elses depression.
Guest More than 1 year ago
for anyone who has ever wondered about depression or felt alone in their feelings this book is a must read. Having lived through deppresion both myself and my family, i feel that this book is an accurate depitcation of what goes on and how it affects oneslife. the book was difficult to put down, it maintained my interest all they way through to the point that i was upset when it was done. the author makes many great and profound points that everyone can relate to, even if you are not depressed or interested in depression.
Guest More than 1 year ago
For those that have been through her pain, Elizabeth makes you feel it all over again and gives you so much to be proud of when you realize you have surpassed what she has surpassed. A book worth reading for anyone who has been there done that, for anyone who knows someone who has been there done that, or anyone who doesn't know but should. Worth reading... again and again and again.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Elizabeth Wurtzel is a genius! This book just said everything I feel and some people might call it self-absorbed, but only those who cannot understand depression, or who have never been depressed. It surrounds the author and feels like a trip through her mind, an unpleasant one it may be, but it never stops being compelling and above all real. The conclusion is very poignant and the entire book is very thought provoking. Some people will hate Elizabeth, others will love her, I personally fit into the latter category, because she is so human and somehow manages to keep my interest throughout the whole book. The description does not do any justice to the experience so READ IT NOW!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
You don't need to be depressed to read this book - It's one of those books that comes together and really makes you think about the world we live in today...a must read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really did enjoy this book. My main intention was to buy the book because Christina Ricci was on the cover, but when i read the prologue i thought that her writing style was so interesting. The prologue is the best part and then chapter 1 makes the transition to the beginning of her life, and the end is her present state. The only thing i did not like was that the book never went back to the prologue and she cries too much, but i guess that being depressed. The first 6 chapters are great but then afterward the book slows down and becomes somewhat less interesting. I did really enjoy the book but the ending came so sudden(once you read you will know what i mean). Awesome Book!