Prozac Nation

A Psychological Analysis of Prozac Nation College

Prozac Nation chronicles a bright 19-year-old woman’s struggle with depression. Elizabeth “Lizzie” Wurtzel is an aspiring writer and freshman at Harvard University. With a childhood plagued by divorce and abandonment, Lizzie has a history of depressive episodes and self-confidence issues. The book is set in the 1980s, when mental illness was very much a taboo topic, and medication for psychiatric conditions was rarely prescribed. Lizzie certainly meets the criteria for abnormal behavior and major depressive disorder, and tries to cope throughout the book. Although her efforts are misguided, they are certainly typical of someone with her disorder.

Lizzie, who suffers from major depressive disorder, displays many common symptoms of depression. The book is mostly set in present-day, but includes flashbacks to her childhood, where she also shows many telling symptoms, like social isolation. Presently, she describes feeling empty, hopeless, and pessimistic. Although she does not openly admit it, it is apparent that she also feels extremely guilty about her condition. She cries in her mother’s arms while screaming about how sorry she is several times. Lizzie also suffers from decreased energy, which is clear when she is unable to get...

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