literature, Mental health

Deskraven Book Series: Prozac Nation

17depress.span

A Deskraven Book Review

“I start to get the feeling that something is really wrong. Like all the drugs put together-the lithium, the Prozac, the desipramine, and Desyrel that I take to sleep at night-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. But that was so long ago…”

Page 1, Paragraph 1

Prozac Nation (1994) takes us into the mind of the demented and depressed. Feathered and unfiltered, Elizabeth Wurtzel shares her story of hard-earned triumph over a disease that disables and kills countless American’s each year. While this work is far from the top of my favorites list- it has an immense pop culture quality that certainly aided in its envied climb as a New York Times Bestseller. A memoirst at best- Wurtzel provides a safe place to land when we can’t get out of bed in the morning. Prozac Nation can also be seen as a major motion picture (2003) starring Christina Ricci.

CONTENTS

Prologue: I Hate Myself and I Want to Die

1 / Full of Promise

2 / Secret Life

3 / Love Kills

4 / Broken

5 / Black Wave

6/ Happy Pills

7 / Drinking in Dallas

8 / Space, Time, and Motion

9 / Down Deep

10 / Blank Girl

11 / Good Morning Heartache

12 / The Accidental Blowjob

13 / Woke Up This Morning Afraid I Was Gonna Live

14 / Think of Pretty Things

Epilogue: Prozac Nation

Afterword (1995)

Acknowledgements

RAVES FOR PROZAC NATION

“Wrenching and comical, self-indulgent and self-aware, Prozac Nation possesses the raw candor of Joan Didion’s essay’s, the irritating emotional exhibitionism of Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, and the wry, dark humor of a Bob Dylan song.”

-The New York Times

“A very important book, particularly to the countless number of people who aren’t sure what’s wrong with them but are suffering from the negative thinking, erratic behavior, and dark moods associated with clinical depression. A powerful self-portrait…well worth reading.”

-San Francisco Bay Guardian

“Wurtzel portrays, from the inside out, an emotional life perpetually spent outrunning the relentless pursuit of what she describes as a black wave, often sacrificing her likability on the altar of her truth.”

-Vanity Fair

FINAL THOUGHTS

Wurtzel’s story is important because it highlights the highly controversial topic of the over-medicated public in the face of big pharma drug trends, and symptomatic treatment for valid and significant mental illness. Having read this book twice myself, I feel Prozac Nation is a mainstream necessity for every psychology enthusiast. In many ways it returns us to the vastly misunderstood experience known as depression. Despite its often ugly truths that will leave you wanting to look away, this book bridges the gap where a lack of language lies. Click below to take a look. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

VISIT OTHER DESKRAVEN BOOK REVIEWS

Sybil [Exposed]

No Time to Say Goodbye: Surviving the Suicide of a Loved One

Manic

The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog – and Other Stories From a Child Psychiatrist’s Notebook

**If you’re a mental health survivor or mental health provider and want to tell your story – please email me at contact@deskraven.com!**

For more excellent insight and entertainment through a collaborative approach to all things mental health, including a guest post from yours truly, visit the Blunt Therapy Blog by Randy Withers, LPC! For additional perspectives on suicide prevention from master level mental health providers visit, 20 Professional Therapists Share Their Thoughts on Suicide!

In collaboration with Luis Posso, an Outreach Specialist from DrugRehab.com, Deskraven is now offering guides on depression and suicide prevention to its readers. For more information on understanding the perils of addiction visit, Substance Abuse and Suicide: A Guide to Understanding the Connection and Reducing Risk! In addition, for a comprehensive depression resource guide from their sister project at Columbus Recovery Center visit, Dealing with Depression!

Uncategorized

High Functioning: When Depression Gets Dressed in the Morning

Dear Readers,

As some of you may remember, back in 2015 I completed a 15-week Virtual Internship on an emotional support forum called 7 Cups of Tea. This afforded me the opportunity to mentor Members and Listeners through a peer-to-peer support model on all things mental health on an online platform.

(Excellent resource! If you would like additional information on this free therapeutic cyber-space, please visit the link or comment below.)

During this time I was also in mental health recovery myself, and took the time to share some of my personal experiences. Among them, was the epiphany of what it means to be “high-functioning” when you have a mental health condition, which directly lead me to the topic of outward appearances and the stigma so many face.

While preparing for my fifth psychiatric appointment, which took each and every one of my spoons at the time, I emerged showered, dressed, haired, and make-up-ed. My then-husband took one look at me and said,

“You look way too put together to be crazy. You should go in pajamas and slept on makeup.”

While dismissing my anger, my mind became illuminated and preoccupied by the visual representation of mental illness in society.

It’s true. More often than not it is messy. We are so quick to assume the homeless passer-by or eccentric widow must certainly be succumbing to some episodic behavior of the depraved and diagnosed. And yet- who is accounting for the high-functioning mentally ill, or those who may find themselves blissfully twirling through a period of normalcy?

What of those who protect their self-worth, fighting to emerge from the infamous blanket tower or the voluminous scribbling of unrealistic ideas?

What of those who are somehow able to stand on two legs long enough to advocate for their children, even though a bottomless storm is creeping beneath?

What of those who attempt to meditate with psychosis ringing in their ears?

What of those who experience mania in a not altogether euphoric religion or productive frenzy?

Most importantly, what are the consequences of this strength?

Natasha Tracy illustrates,

“So yes. I’m capable. I’m talented. I work hard. I produce stuff. Yay me. But the price I pay for that is not being able to be anything else.”

From “High-Functioning Bipolar Disorder” featured on America’s Mental Health Channel.

So, the next time you jump to judge someone’s capacity you might stop and instead consider the truths we all contend with. Consider the chronic pain manifested by depression, the smile of a co-worker, or the family crisis on line three.

EVERYONE has mental health. The true mastery is in balancing the chaos with enough self-care to allow yourself to function.

Just because you can pay your bills on time, doesn’t mean you’re any less sad than Susie-Q over there. Just because the voices in your head encourage you to swim in the ocean, doesn’t mean you can’t run your own business.

**If you’re a mental health survivor or mental health provider and want to tell your story – please email me at contact@deskraven.com!**

For more excellent insight and entertainment through a collaborative approach to all things mental health, including a guest post from yours truly, visit the Blunt Therapy Blog by Randy Withers, LPC! For additional perspectives on suicide prevention from master level mental health providers visit, 20 Professional Therapists Share Their Thoughts on Suicide!

In collaboration with Luis Posso, an Outreach Specialist from DrugRehab.com, Deskraven is now offering guides on depression and suicide prevention to its readers. For more information on understanding the perils of addiction visit, Substance Abuse and Suicide: A Guide to Understanding the Connection and Reducing Risk! In addition, for a comprehensive depression resource guide from their sister project at Columbus Recovery Center visit, Dealing with Depression!