Olanzapine Nation

I've been reading Elizabeth Wurtzel's Prozac Nation. I'd previously seen the film so I thought I should see what it's based on. The film took a bit of a panning from the critics which I don't think it altogether deserves. Although the events it is based on are the same, the film, by virtue of having limited time available, can only touch some of them and has to leave entire sections out, and so it focusses on the unversity experience of the protagonist. The result is that the book gives a very different impression of Wurtzel than the film. The latter makes it look like straight, up-and-down deression where the book gives a much more nuanced account. Both can be true at the same time (although not of the same person) and the film will be a lot more relevant to people who enter a depressive phase in young adulthood (and so, often at university).

The book's account is suspisciously unlike simple depression - it is too crazy, too up and down and too severe to really register with most (or what I perceive to be such) people's experience of depression. Prozac only come in briefly, at the end of the book when there are already notable improvements in Lizzie Wurtzel and after she's been on various meds, notably some industrial-strength sedatives. Nevertheless, I can appreciate certain aspects of it (and, yes, I think I have every bloody right to say that I've experienced severe depression as it's a statement of fact and it's costing me two years of my life).

I feel I should add something to it along the lines of what you do when prozac doesn't actually do the job for you or when the problem is not depression but mania. It's scary. If there is a Prozac Nation, it is the vast amounts of prozac and similar antidepressants that are prescribed principally because of a lack of trained therapists, the particular nature of modern, Western life and improved diagnosis and awareness of depression. What, I think, Wurtzel went through was before the rise of the Prozac Nation and today would be something else.

Welcome to the Olanzapine Nation. Please check your sanity at the border.



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