Prozac Nation

Prozac Nation - Elizabeth Wurtzel Standing on the edge of the precipice it would be easy to be dragged over, for this book to become, well, depressing; it is saved by Elizabeth Wurtzel’s intelligence and wit which keeps it flowing at the right pace, injecting humour at the right moments, and not being too worthy. Wurtzel’s aim is to pull the reader into the world of a severely depressed person, not to glamorise or trivialise but to show it as it is. The reader is introduced to this teenager who is apparently depressed because her parents are divorced, her dad an absent ass-hole and her mother withdrawn and sometime manic – perhaps she was always destined to be depressed? Later in the book we discover, in a throw away comment, the trigger of her depression, we are taught by Wurtzel’s excellent knowledge of her subject and ability to get it across in comprehendible language about depression, about the different types, the drugs that can be used to help (or not) and the mindset of somebody stuck inside their own head.

The title of the book and the epilogue are a rally against the trivialising of depression in America and around the world. I preferred Prozac Nation to the Bell Jar, and Girl Interrupted, though I confess I still, at first, had to take it slowly to keep away from that edge!