Prozac Nation

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Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America: A Memoir is an autobiography by Elizabeth Wurtzel, released in 1994 and adapted into an independent movie of the same name in 2001. In it, Wurtzel describes her experiences with major depression. The title is a reference to Prozac, the name of an Eli Lilly and Company manufactured antidepressant which was prescribed for Wurtzel.



"I start to get the feeling that something is really wrong. Like all the drugs put together...can no longer combat whatever it is that was wrong with me in the first place. I feel like a defective model, like I came off the assembly line flat-out fucked and my parents should have taken me back for repairs before the warranty ran out." -Elizabeth Wurtzel, Prozac Nation

"I start to think there really is no cure for depression, that happiness is an ongoing battle, and I wonder if it isn't one I'll have to fight for as long as I live. I wonder if it's worth it." -Elizabeth Wurtzel, Prozac Nation

"...what I really need, what I'm really looking for, is not something I can articulate. It's nonverbal: I need love. I need the thing that happens when your brain shuts off and your heart turns on. And I know it's around me somewhere, but I just can't feel it." -Elizabeth Wurtzel, Prozac Nation

"That's the 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 involved 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." -Elizabeth Wurtzel, Prozac Nation

"...if you ask anyone in the throes of depression how he got there, to pin down the turning point, he'll never know. There is a classic moment in The Sun Also Rises when someone asks Mike Campbell how he went bankrupt, and all he can say in response is, 'Gradually and then suddenly.' When someone asks how I lost my mind, that is all I can say too." -Elizabeth Wurtzel, Prozac Nation

"That is all I want in life: for this pain to seem purposeful." -Elizabeth Wurtzel, Prozac Nation

"Homesickness is just a state of mind for me. I'm always missing someone or someplace or something, I'm always trying to get back to some imaginary somewhere. My life has been one long longing." -Elizabeth Wurtzel, Prozac Nation

"No one who had never been depressed like me could imagine that the pain could get so bad that death became a star to hitch up to, a fantasy of peace someday which seemed better than any life with all this noise in my head." -Elizabeth Wurtzel, Prozac Nation

"Nothing in my life ever seemed to fade away or take its rightful place among the pantheon of experiences that constituted my eighteen years. It was all still with me, the storage space in my brain crammed with vivid memories, packed and piled like photographs and old dresses in my grandmother's bureau. I wasn't just the madwoman in the attic—I was the attic itself. The past was all over me, all under me, all inside me." -Elizabeth Wurtzel, Prozac Nation

"That's the thing about depression: A human being can survive almost anything, as long as she sees the end in sight. But depression is so insidious, and it compounds daily, that it's impossible to ever see the end. The fog is like a cage without a key." -Elizabeth Wurtzel, Prozac Nation

"...whatever my gifts, the pieces of good buried inside and under so much that I feel is bad, is wrong, is twisted, are less clear than the ability to hit a ball with a bat and break the scoreboard or do a triple pirouette in the air on ice. My gifts are for life itself, for an unfortunately astute understanding of all the cruelty and pain in the world." -Elizabeth Wurtzel, Prozac Nation

"I know I can do so much more than this, I know that I could be a life force, could love with a heart full of soul, could feel with the power that flies men to the moon. I know that if I could just get out from under this depression, there is so much I could do besides cry in front of the TV on a Saturday night." -Elizabeth Wurtzel, Prozac Nation

"I wonder if any of them can tell from just looking at me that all I am is the sum total of my pain, a raw woundedness so extreme that it might be terminal. It might be terminal velocity, the speed of the sound of a girl falling down to a place from where she can't be retrieved. What if I am stuck down here for good?" -Elizabeth Wurtzel, Prozac Nation

"Sometimes, I get so consumed by depression that it is hard to believe that the whole world doesn't stop and suffer with me." -Elizabeth Wurtzel, Prozac Nation

"What do you do with pain so bad it has no redeeming value? It cannot even be alchemized into art, into words, into something you can chalk up to an interesting experience because the pain itself, its intensity, is so great that there is no way to objectify it or push it outside or find its beauty within. That is the pain I'm feeling now. It's so bad, it's useless. The only lesson I will ever derive from this pain is how bad pain can be." -Elizabeth Wurtzel, Prozac Nation

"You know you've completely descended into madness when the matter of shampoo has ascended to philosophical heights." -Elizabeth Wurtzel, Prozac Nation

"Years of depression have robbed me of that—well, that give, that elasticity that everyone else calls perspective." -Elizabeth Wurtzel, Prozac Nation

"...then one day you realize that your entire life is just awful, not worth living, a horror and a black blot on the white terrain of human existence. One morning you wake up afraid you are going to live." -Elizabeth Wurtzel, Prozac Nation

External links[edit]

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