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Submitted Literature

Prozac Nation

By Elizabeth Wurtzel


Elizabeth Wurtzel’s bestselling “Prozac Nation” examines the rise in the diagnosis of depressive disorders and the phenomenon of lifestyle-use of Prozac.  Autobiographically exploring Wurtzel’s own depression, difficulties with interpersonal relationships and self-harm, she recovers with the use of Prozac in the midst of its rise to worldwide wonder-drug status.  Her more recent autobiography, “More, Now, Again” examines her subsequent relapse and descent into Ritalin and Cocaine addiction – and recovery.

Key Themes:

  • Autobiography
  • Depression
  • Revealing Reads

Significant Quotes / Pages

19 - “That’s one thing I want to make clear about depression: It’s got nothing at all to do with life.  In the course of life, there is sadness and pain and sorrow, all of which, in their right time and season, are normal - unpleasant, but normal.  Depression is in an altogether different zone because it involves a complete absence: absence of affect, absence of feeling, absence of response, absence of interest.  The pain you feel in the course of a major clinical depression is an attempt on nature’s part (nature, after all, abhors a vacuum) to fill up the empty space.  But for all intents and purposes, the deeply depressed are just the walking, waking dead.”

Reference: Elizabeth, Wurtzel. 1994. Prozac Nation. London: Quartet Books, 1996


- Charley Baker
Date Review Submitted: Monday 23rd March 2009