Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Review of 'Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America' by Elizabeth Wurtzel

"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 personal story of a young girl full of promise, whose mood swings have risen and fallen like the lines of a sad ballad."

The version of this book that I own is the top cover (which is the movie version), but I prefer the bottom one.

I remember seeing this book in Barnes and Noble maybe a year ago, but I didn't want to get it because I hadn't read it.  But months ago, I intended to do a book report for psychology and this was one of the books on the list that I could read, so I got it on Amazon for $0.01, which was such an excellent deal, I couldn't resist!  

When I began reading, I was hooked.  I don't know what's so attractive about misery, but that's partially what drew me in.  This is a book containing Elizabeth's thoughts as she sank lower and lower into depression, nearly hitting rock bottom.  

The writing itself was exhausting.  I think that it was meant to mirror how depression wears you down and makes you feel like you can't do anything.  It took me several months to finish this book because it was so exhausting and because I did't want to go back and feel this exhaustion and despair.  But like Elizabeth,  I got through it and came out okay in the end.

While I think that part of her writing style was meant to prove a point, the book took on almost a textbook style (for lack of a better phrase) because it was sort of going through the history of treating clinical depression (because Elizabeth has embodied this history), with the book ending in the creation of Prozac and her gradual recovery from this debilitating way of being.  Looking at just her writing style, it is very easy to read.  Her syntax isn't terribly complicated, which I think is a good balance because she uses many of the medical names for the drugs she took (we know how complicated those can be... it's like speaking a different language).  Elizabeth Wurtzel has a way of getting her point across and in a book like this, where you're trying to prove something, this is very, very important.

'Prozac Nation' was very informative about each aspect of clinical depression.  The symptoms; the various treatments; what it is, exactly.  Since I was attempting to do a psychology project, this was perfect because it had everything I could possibly need in order to write a great paper.  But because the book was so difficult to get through, this never happened.  Just as many things in Elizabeth's life never happened because she just couldn't.  There's this nearly un-explainable force that drives her to such a state that even the simplest things, like waking up and getting out of bed (some of you late-sleepers are laughing at me, but this is completely different from waking up on the weekend without an alarm clock).

Overall, this book is very informative, but true to Depression itself, it's very exhausting and not a book that one will probably pick up for light summer reading.

I give 'Prozac Nation':
I promise that I won't go this long without a review for a long while.  I've just recently had a burst of motivation.  Also!  There'll be some really neat books over the course of this fall-- I'm taking and Irish and Scottish Literature class in college and I just ordered all of the books I'm going to need on Amazon!

Thanks for reading!


1 comment:

  1. Hello! I am a new follower of yours! :]
    If you could follow me back that would be great!

    Great review btw! love your blog!


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