While attending Harvard, Elizabeth Wurtzel was diagnosed with atypical depression and was one of the first people to be given Prozac. At the age of 26 she became famous for her memoir, Prozac Nation, a seminal and frank account of her battle with depression. According to Diana Bruk, “The book was lauded for its vivid prose, which exuded the raw emotional honesty of Sylvia Plath’s diaries and the undulating lyricism of a Bob Dylan song. But it also showed that writing can function like a church confessional, providing a screen through which writers and their readers could whisper to each other their innermost secrets, and let one another know that they are not abnormal or alone.”

The film adaptation of Prozac Nation, starring Christina Ricci, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 8, 2001. Now 46, she is helping other women battle their own demons and learn from her story. Here is her wisdom…

      • “I’m the girl who is lost in space, the girl who is disappearing always, forever fading away and receding farther and farther into the background. Just like the Cheshire cat, someday I will suddenly leave, but the artificial warmth of my smile, that phony, clownish curve, the kind you see on miserably sad people and villains in Disney movies, will remain behind as an ironic remnant. I am the girl you see in the photograph from some party someplace or some picnic in the park, the one who is in fact soon to be gone. When you look at the picture again, I want to assure you, I will no longer be there. I will be erased from history, like a traitor in the Soviet Union. Because with every day that goes by, I feel myself becoming more and more invisible…”
      • “I don’t want any more of this try, try again stuff. I just want out. I’ve had it. I am so tired. I am twenty and I am already exhausted.”
    • “I was so scared to give up depression, fearing that somehow the worst part of me was actually all of me. ”

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    • “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.”
    • “Mental illness is so much more complicated than any pill that any mortal could invent.”
    • “Sometimes I wish I could walk around with a HANDLE WITH CARE sign stuck to my forehead.”
    • “Madness is too glamorous a term to convey what happens to most people who are losing their minds. That word is too exciting, too literary, too interesting in its connotations, to convey the boredom, the slowness, the dreariness, the dampness of depression…depression is pure dullness, tedium straight up.”

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    • “Pick a man, any man. Every guy I fall for becomes Jesus Christ within the first twenty-four hours of our relationship. I know that this happens, I see it happening, I even feel myself, sometimes, standing at some temporal crossroads, some distinct moment at which I can walk away and keep it from happening, but I never do. I grab at everything, I end up with nothing, and then I feel bereft. I mourn for the loss of something I never even had.”
    • “It is so hard to learn to put sadness in perspective so hard to understand that it is a feeling that comes in degrees, it can be a candle burning gently and harmlessly in your home, or it can be a full-fledged forest fire that destroy almost everything and is controlled by almost nothing. It can also be so much in-between.”
    • “I need someone to shut off my brain, and turn on my heart.”
    • “I wanted so much to forget the past, but it wouldn’t go away, it hung around like an open wound that refused to scar over, an open window that no amount of muscle could shut.”52dc803f92123c5694a4542e51e1bce1
    • “Insanity is knowing that what you’re doing is completely idiotic, but still, somehow, you just can’t stop it.”
      • “In life, single women are the most vulnerable adults. In movies, they are given imaginary power.”
    • “It was just very interesting to me that certain types of women inspire people’s imagination, and all of them were very difficult women.”
  • “You’re going to leave me, aren’t you? … You’ve had enough of me, haven’t you? You’re probably so tired of all this crying and all these moods, and I’ve got to tell you, so am I. So am I. Sometimes it seems like my mind has a mind of its own, like I just get hysterical, like it’s something I can’t control at all. And I don’t know what to do, and I feel so sorry for you because you don’t know what to do either. And I’m sure you’re going to leave me now.”

Lauren Martin
Just another girl in the world...and founder of Words of Women

One Comment

    • Nonny Wohl

    • 3 years ago

    Wow…I felt like I was reading a synopsis of my life…albeit the single part. How enlightening to realize that I’m not a freak.

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