Book Review: Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel

I think to myself: I have finally gotten so impossible and unpleasant that they will really have to do something to make me better. And then I realize, they think they are doing all they can and it’s not working. They have no idea what a bottomless pit of misery I am. They will have to do more and more and more. 

~ Elizabeth Wurtzel – Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America

I am currently reading Prozac Nation for my thesis on Supportive Housing for Mental Health Recovery. Reading this book has offered me such an amazing glimpse into the mind of someone who is clinically depressed. I have gone through moments myself when I depression took its toll on me for a few days, like most people. But I have never suffered as Elizabeth Wurtzel has.

This book is poignant, and for better or for worse, I am completely engulfed in reading it. (I’m not done yet – but the more I read, the more quotes I find to help me along with my thesis.) Its taken its toll on me: Every once in a while I must set this book down, and walk away to read, watch or do something silly, because I find myself getting frustrated with her despair and the way the people in her life consistently dance around the issue. If you’ve ever wondered what it was like to be clinically depressed, Elizabeth Wurtzel has put it into words so eloquently, you cannot help but feel her pain.

I posted the above quote because it inspired me to write several times, mostly about hope and despair, and what can be done when the only hope you have left is to leave the life that causes you so much pain. As a Christian, I believe we can offer hope, but sadly, many Christians don’t even want to deal with the real life struggles of depression. I often can only hope and pray to be the kind of friend that just loves someone for who they are, with or without hope. Depression is the kind of thing that affects our very thought patterns, so even when we as Christians, have that unbelievable hope in Christ, some days, we still cannot even imagine that there is hope. These thoughts, knowing we should have hope, but unable to obtain it within ourselves, or in Christ, makes us feel guilty and weak, and furthers depression.

I don’t know what else to say in this blog, only that this book has truly shaken me, and I find myself compelled to do just about anything to feel the love of the people who surround me, in much the same way that you read about Elizabeth Wurtzel’s life. I find myself questioning patterns of thinking, and wondering why I do the things I do. I hope that’s what Elizabeth Wurtzel meant by publishing it.

 

*****

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