Recently, I read Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America by Elizabeth Wurtzel. I read the original memoir (not the movie tie-in)- however, my Amazon Associate search didn't have any images for the original copy (but you can purchase it on Amazon). I have also never seen the movie, so I have no idea what the movie tie-in is all about...
I really enjoyed this memoir. It was well written, with catchy (some might say offensive) chapter titles. Within each chapter, she open with a quote or song lyric that tied into her emotional state within the chapter. I truly LOVED this part... it flooded me with memories because a lot of the quotes and lyrics were ones I know. She quotes everyone from Sylvia Plath to Bob Dylan and Edie Brickell.
The memoir chronicles Elizabeth's life and struggle with depression. She felt depressed when she was young, but no one knew what it was. Think back to the early 90's- depression wasn't a huge topic for discussion. She walks the reader through years of trying to figure out how to get better... talk therapy doesn't work.. the first drugs on the market weren't working.. changing her lifestyle wasn't working... so what would help? Eventually depression starts to get some attention, and Prozac is on the market. Elizabeth finds a new doctor who prescribes her the medicine- and it quickly seems like a miracle drug. Not only for Elizabeth, but for the rest of the nation who is trying out this new medicine.
After a few years on the drug, Elizabeth sees how Prozac has changed our world. She opens a discussion about how we truly are a 'Prozac Nation'- everyone seems to take it, and everyone seems to be depressed. Suddenly, Americans are overwhelmingly depressed and there is a pill to fix you. But, is depression new? Or are we just lazy and looking for a quick fix to all of our problems? Isn't it fair to say that our grandparents were depressed at some point?.. but they didn't take drugs, they just worked harder and pressed on. So what makes things different now? Maybe it's because we are open to discussing depression (as well as other mental health issues) and we have the knowledge to make drugs that can help. But are drugs the answer? Should we all be medicated for every single itch we can't scratch ourselves? Maybe we just need to put in some good hard work.
Everyone has an opinion on this matter... Americans are over medicated, Americans are lazy.. American is hard, and medication helps people who can't help themselves, we have the technology so we should use it. Some people are from both schools of thought. Whatever your opinion is on medication, depression and the American way of life, this book is going to open your mind.
write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow