CamdenNewJournal

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Wurtzel’s message of hope

17 January, 2020

• THE late Elizabeth Wurtzel, who wrote Prozac Nation (Young and Depressed in America), 1994, had a message of hope for all who suffer from depression/mental illness.

Here are some of her insights:

Depression has been described as anger turned inward. (p77)

It involves an absence of affect, of feeling, of response, of interest (p19), but it gave me extreme perspicacity rather than skin-thin gauze bandages to shield me from everything. (p49)

Alcohol and drugs mask a type of depression that is not so very different from my own. (p60)

Depression usually dates from adolescence and shows itself in… a great sensitivity to periodic rejection. (p265)

Joni Mitchell, Virginia Woolf, Frida Kahlo… I didn’t know there was a proud legacy of women who’d turned overwhelming depression into prodigious art. (p44)

Heartbreak is not a minor inconvenience that can be overcome with just the right amount of psycho-language. (p67)

People are mired in paralysing despair. (p260)

The fallacy of therapy is in the assumption that you will have a series of ‘revelations’, and that these various ‘truths’ will come to you and will change your life completely. It assumes that ‘insight’ alone is a transformative force, but you’ll still cling to your destructive, debilitating habits because your emotional tie to them is too strong. (pp277-8)

Travelling, sleeping, medicinal drugs, crying and lost time… is part of some slow recovery process. (p292)

This book is an empathetic healing solace.

MIKE BOR
St George’s Fields, W2

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