Book Reviews of Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America

Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America
Prozac Nation Young and Depressed in America
Author: Elizabeth Wurtzel
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ISBN-13: 9781573225120
ISBN-10: 1573225126
Publication Date: 1995
Pages: 384
Rating:
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 195

3.5 stars, based on 195 ratings
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

36 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America on + 20 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 11
Completely self-indulgent-- it may be a true picture of depression, but it inspires depression whilst slogging through it
reviewed Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 10
While interesting and reasonably well written, I found the book became difficult at times, not because it was too dark or hard to understand, but rather because the author seems so incredibly self-absorbed as to become uninteresting. Harsh, and perhaps merely indicative of my ignorance of mental illness, but there it is. I think she would have made her case better if her editor had gotten her to put in the perspectives of some of her loved ones.
reviewed Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America on + 37 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
Okay, but a slow read. The stories about the pain and agony get repetitive after awhile, and the author just finds new ways to repeat the same revelations in different words. I couldn't read more than ten pages each night before falling asleep... Worth it to understand depression, but prepare yourself for a not-so-easy read.
reviewed Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America on + 44 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
An interesting read. Certainly not the typical depression story, though it's an apt anthem for the mid-1990's and an interesting indictment (toward the end) of possible overprescribing in the SSRI boom. Her style is amusing, though maybe 300 pages would have been enough. That just might be me, though, as I am a psychologist and listen to this stuff as my job.
reviewed Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America on + 145 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
I've been depressed before, so it's not that I can't relate. It's just that I got the sense that she enjoyed her struggle a bit too much at times, that perhaps she enjoyed the attention. I mentioned this to my daughter who recommended the book and she disagreed with me, so that's just my opinion obviously. But I found that opinion somewhat distracting. I have not seen the movie and do at some point want to watch it. I did find most of the book worth the time and interesting for those who cannot understand those who are depressed, but that little bit of dramatic woe is me angst bothered me.
reviewed Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Elizabeth Wurtzel is a pretentious writer who wants you to FEEL SORRY FOR HER because she is a pretty white college girl and she is saaaad.
reviewed Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America on + 275 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I was hoping this would end triumphantly. The truth is, depression is a lifelong battle for most who suffer from it, and she describes it perfectly. I wanted to feel good after finishing this book. I don't, but still, it was very well written.
reviewed Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I did enjoy this book, however the author repeatedly denies alcohol/drug abuse/addiction throughout, and that is simply not the case, she is stoned, drunk or otherwise messed up ALL of the time! I truly believe that she needed to stop intellectualizing EVERY single thing, drop the resentments and accept some happiness in her life. But then all addicts believe that the world revolves around them.... Although I found this author's self-indulgence annoying most of the time, it is still worth the read, and her newer book, More, Now, Again is much better.
reviewed Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Incredible book and an amazing look at what it's like to be profoundly depressed, young, and female in America. A look into what it's really like for so many young women suffering from this debilitating condition. Written wonderfully.
reviewed Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America on + 94 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Great memoir about depression and substance abuse.
reviewed Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America on + 29 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This gives you a serious look at how depression affects a life, and how drugs and alcohol always seem to get involved to cover up the pain.
reviewed Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is the most infuriating book I have ever read. Elizabeth Wurtzel is nothing more than a drama queen, attention starved cry-baby. All her "suicide attempts" are carefully calculated ploys to garner attention and sympathy when the people in her life dare to focus on something besides HER, even if only for a brief moment. She was young, thin, and pretty. Her admittedly destitute mother scrimped and saved to send her to the best private schools in New York City, and then to Harvard for college (not to mention the years of therapy), and Elizabeth repays her by cutting classes and wishing she was somewhere else... even though she kicked and screamed to gain admission to these places! She has melt downs in the middle of classes and parties so that people would look at her. Her depression is real, but it is vastly overshadowed by her self-absorption. And how is she rewarded in the end? She gets a book deal, and they eventually made it into a movie! And she still cant get over how unfair life was to her. Don't read this book unless you want to spend the whole time alternating between annoyance and boredom.
reviewed Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America on + 29 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Amazon.com Review
Elizabeth Wurtzel writes with her finger in the faint pulse of a generation whose ruling icons are Kurt Cobain, Xanax, and pierced tongues. A memoir of her bouts with depression and skirmishes with drugs, Prozac Nation still manages to be a witty and sharp account of the psychopharmacology of an era. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly
Twenty-six-year-old Wurtzel, a former critic of popular music for New York and the New Yorker, recounts in this luridly intimate memoir the 10 years of chronic, debilitating depression that preceded her treatment with Prozac in 1990. After her parents' acrimonious divorce, Wurtzel was raised by her mother on Manhattan's Upper West Side. The onset of puberty, she recalls, also marked the onset of recurrent bouts of acute depression, sending her spiraling into episodes of catatonic despair, masochism and hysterical crying. Here she unsparingly details her therapists, hospitalizations, binges of sex and drug use and the paralyzing spells of depression which afflicted her in high school and as a Harvard undergraduate and culminated in a suicide attempt and ultimate diagnosis of atypical depression, a severe, episodic psychological disorder. The title is misleading, for Wurtzel skimps on sociological analysis and remains too self-involved to justify her contention that depression is endemic to her generation. By turns emotionally powerful and tiresomely solipsistic, her book straddles the line between an absorbing self-portrait and a coy bid for public attention. First serial to Vogue, Esquire and Mouth2Mouth.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
reviewed Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America on + 16 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A modern day "Bell Jar"...very VERY real & intriguing...especially if you've ever dealt personally with depression or the drugs that treat it.
reviewed Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I read this book when I was in high school and it was very interesting. It is basically Elizabeth Wurtzel's account of her childhood-adulthood and dealing with depression. You feel bad for her throughout the book because nothing seems to get better for her. At points the book was difficult to get through because it brings you down but overall I thought it was a very good book.
reviewed Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I loved this book. I read it in highschool a couple of times. A year or so ago I read it again after not having read it for years, but it was still amazing as a college student. It's very well written and a very real story.
reviewed Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America on + 473 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A powerful memoir. Shows the thinking of a very depressed and confused person. It was difficult to read at times because you felt her anquish.
reviewed Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America on + 75 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is a book that I had been meaning to read for ages and finally finished. It is a great read, real and raw. I have several friends who suffer from depression and this book brought me a little closer to understanding what it might be like for them.
reviewed Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America on + 32 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
After reading this book, I wondered why I wasted my time. It is definately about depression. I kept hoping the author would become better adjusted to life after being on Prozac. I guess she did achieve that goal but I felt her disdain for the prevalence of so many people taking antideppresants was very out of line for someone who obviously cannot function without the aid of medicine. I came away with a sense that she was trying to say her depression was worse than most everyone else and only someone as depressed as she was should be on antideppresants. Perhaps there is an overuse of Prozac and other antideppresants but I resent that kind of judgement by someone outside of the medical field.
reviewed Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America on + 11 more book reviews
good, meaty, thoughtful book ... the movie is also good.
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The saddes, funniet, and most triumphant book about youthful depression I've come across.
reviewed Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America on
A real, raw look at a teenager's struggle with depression while in college.
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Wurtzel's book is an intelligent, poignant, and unexpectedly witty account of her battle with depression as a young woman.
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I really thought that the writing was good in this book. I just couldn't take the storyline after awhile. It is definitely about being young and depressed in America. . .
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This book is very sad, and complicated. It has been made into a movie, but did not interest me.
reviewed Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America on
I couldn't finish it, but I work in mental health so it may have been overload to try to read it on my off hours, when I see it all day at work.
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From Publishers Weekly
Twenty-six-year-old Wurtzel, a former critic of popular music for New York and the New Yorker, recounts in this luridly intimate memoir the 10 years of chronic, debilitating depression that preceded her treatment with Prozac in 1990. After her parents' acrimonious divorce, Wurtzel was raised by her mother on Manhattan's Upper West Side. The onset of puberty, she recalls, also marked the onset of recurrent bouts of acute depression, sending her spiraling into episodes of catatonic despair, masochism and hysterical crying. Here she unsparingly details her therapists, hospitalizations, binges of sex and drug use and the paralyzing spells of depression which afflicted her in high school and as a Harvard undergraduate and culminated in a suicide attempt and ultimate diagnosis of atypical depression, a severe, episodic psychological disorder. The title is misleading, for Wurtzel skimps on sociological analysis and remains too self-involved to justify her contention that depression is endemic to her generation. By turns emotionally powerful and tiresomely solipsistic, her book straddles the line between an absorbing self-portrait and a coy bid for public attention. First serial to Vogue, Esquire and Mouth2Mouth. Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
reviewed Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America on + 2 more book reviews
One of my favorite books regarding depression and all that comes with it. Provoking the reader to both empathize and get frustrated with the young Wurtzel as she struggles with her mental illness.
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As at least one review stated, the title is misleading. It's all about the author, doesn't give much of a larger insight. I think basically, she enjoys being depressed, that's why she went on to law school (graduated this year, 2008).
reviewed Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America on + 52 more book reviews
Prozac Nation is the story of Elizabeth Wurtzel's life, and how she dealt with her atypical depression in the days before Prozac-and how the drug, once on the market, was able to help her live a somewhat normal life. The book covers her life from her early childhood with divorced parents, religious schooling and her life at Harvard, including studies, relationships and her partying.

While I understand that the author's struggle with depression was not due to her life circumstances (really, I only truly understood this in the last chapter, when both we and the author learn she has atypical depression, and not depression simply because her parents divorced etc), I sometimes felt the book was a little too verbose and could have been condensed. I struggled to make it through the epilogue, which in some ways was interesting (very dated, it sums up the grunge culture of the mid 90s). A good book for anyone who has ever been depressed or known someone with depression, but somewhat of a struggle to get through at times.
reviewed Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America on + 37 more book reviews
This is one woman's memoir of severe depression, dating from her teenage years though young adulthood in the days before prozac. Elizabeth Wurtzel was a young, talented, and deeply depressed student and writer in the 1980s. This is a memoir with little happiness and hope, much like depression itself. In order to cope with the pain Wurtzel drowns her sorrow in drugs, alcohol, and sex. She acts out in inappropriate ways. There's no nice ending, at least until the epilogue. Wurtzel's memoir shows how hard and despeate depression can be.

Elizabeth Wurtzel is clearly a very smart woman and a talented writer. That said, the most difficult part of this book to stomach is not the gut-wrenching descriptions of major depression, but rather, Wurtzel's refusal to recognize the significant socio-economic advantages she has had. Most significant of these are her Harvard education and her plum writing internships. The issue is not that she "should have been happy because she had so much," rather, its the fact that Wurtzel paints herself as a disadvantaged young woman, which she simply does not appear to be. Presenting herself as something of a child of deprivation simply doesn't work, and the book would have been stronger had it not made such suggestions. Much more interesting is how the culture of high expectations shaped her depression.
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Great book. Elizabeth Wurtzel is a great author. I recommend this book to anyone who likes a good story.
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Sad, funny, important book.
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Not what I expected. Kind of boring.
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Look Ladies and Gent's alike I am a 37 year old wife and really a mother of 3. However I lost my three and half year old son on November 29, 2007, to a self inflicted gun shoot wound to his heart, and died before he hit the ground. REALLY PROZAC I must say GET OVER YOURSELF. I feel that this book was written for nothing more than a way that she thought she could make her name Large fast. I read this book and really I placed it in the TRASH, and I will NEVER read read such crap again.

I you yahoo search the name Joshua Lesnick, you will find my story to be true.
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Not sure which I was intrigued by more the book or the documentary.