The first novel I got regarding depression was Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel a now successful lawyer in New York and writer. I finally had some sort of explanation of my behavior I didn’t even understand. I was a moody, unhappy teenager, but I was sort of a logical irrational bitch. I was mean to my friends, and not just oh “you look kind of fat”, when I was mean, which actually was very rare, I would just tear into people and I just didn’t even know why. I was extremely thin, not by choice, food just doesn’t taste that good to me. Most people when depressed either eat way too much or not at all (my grandmother never ate either when depressed). I was a cutter at a very young age and I remember wondering if anyone else cut besides the goths that displayed them like impressive tattoos and bragged about it. I remember this one guy showing me his cube he carved in his arm. I wasn’t grossed out by it but I couldn’t figure out why he would show it off as I felt cutting was such a personal and private thing. I loved how open and honest she was about everything in her teenage years, sex, how mean she could be, and I don’t remember if she talked about doing and drugs and alcohol.
There is a part where she is in England trying to wash her hair and just starts crying about how she can’t do this one simple thing. I find that is often how I feel while depressed. Little things upset me like that, they set me off to do even more stupid things. Breaking up never bothers me as much just because I can be logical about it (and I don’t really care cause I am usually too depressed anyways) and think well I will do better next time. But easy things I can’t do just piss me off the most, Things I know have I have no control over, such as traffic, annoy me a little but definitely not as much as most people. It sort of makes me wonder if this is common for most depressed people, I don’t know.
The movie, Prozac Nation starring Christina Ricci, an admitted cutter herself, was an excellent adaptation. The acting was great but of course it’s not the book and the book is better. What stood out to me in the movie, as opposed to the book for me, was the fact that Elizabeth’s friends were actually pretty nice to her considering her behavior. I thought to myself too, that I am lucky people are so forgiving. When depressed it’s easy for me to think the world is just as mean and evil as I am at time, but it really isn’t, people are very forgiving and very nice. It’s something I need to appreciate more. At the end of the movie where Elizabeth is on prozac, she talks to the therapist about how her entire personality has changed and she has become nice and that is not actually her. I also experienced this getting happy and nicer while coming out of depression, I didn’t complain about it much because I kinda always related my temper to my depression. A lot of the times when I was mean, I did highly regret it and sometimes even against my pride apologized. : P
I liked how both the book and the movie were not trying to get sympathy (not that I have come across too much like that, although for a long time I did want sympathy myself). It really just told it like it was. An honest depiction of a young girl going through depression. I see she has a few other books out now and I am going to read them. Reading about other women’s struggles with depression is a lot more comforting to me than reading self-help books. Also, it is nice to see someone who struggles with depression, turn out to be a successful lawyer/writer as its often hard to see myself being successful when extremely depressed.