30+ quotes from Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel

Quotes from Prozac Nation

Elizabeth Wurtzel ·  368 pages

Rating: (49.1K votes)


“That's the thing about depression: A human being can survive almost anything, as long as she sees the end in sight. But depression is so insidious, and it compounds daily, that it's impossible to ever see the end.”
― Elizabeth Wurtzel, quote from Prozac Nation


“Some friends don't understand this. They don't understand how desperate I am to have someone say, I love you and I support you just the way you are because you're wonderful just the way you are. They don't understand that I can't remember anyone ever saying that to me. I am so demanding and difficult for my friends because I want to crumble and fall apart before them so that they will love me even though I am no fun, lying in bed, crying all the time, not moving. Depression is all about If you loved me you would.”
― Elizabeth Wurtzel, quote from Prozac Nation


“That is all I want in life: for this pain to seem purposeful.”
― Elizabeth Wurtzel, quote from Prozac Nation


“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...”
― Elizabeth Wurtzel, quote from Prozac Nation


“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.”
― Elizabeth Wurtzel, quote from Prozac Nation


“I feel like a defective model, like I came off the assembly line flat-out fucked and my parents should have taken me back for repairs before the warranty ran out.”
― Elizabeth Wurtzel, quote from Prozac Nation


“If you are chronically down, it is a lifelong fight to keep from sinking ”
― Elizabeth Wurtzel, quote from Prozac Nation


“At heart, I have always been a coper, I've mostly been able to walk around with my wounds safely hidden, and I've always stored up my deep depressive episodes for the weeks off when there was time to have an abbreviated version of a complete breakdown. But in the end, I'd be able to get up and on with it, could always do what little must be done to scratch by.”
― Elizabeth Wurtzel, quote from Prozac Nation


“Some catastrophic moments invite clarity, explode in split moments: You smash your hand through a windowpane and then there is blood and shattered glass stained with red all over the place; you fall out a window and break some bones and scrape some skin. Stitches and casts and bandages and antiseptic solve and salve the wounds. But depression is not a sudden disaster. It is more like a cancer: At first its tumorous mass is not even noticeable to the careful eye, and then one day -- wham! -- there is a huge, deadly seven-pound lump lodged in your brain or your stomach or your shoulder blade, and this thing that your own body has produced is actually trying to kill you. Depression is a lot like that: Slowly, over the years, the data will accumulate in your heart and mind, a computer program for total negativity will build into your system, making life feel more and more unbearable. But you won't even notice it coming on, thinking that it is somehow normal, something about getting older, about turning eight or turning twelve or turning fifteen, and then one day you realize that your entire life is just awful, not worth living, a horror and a black blot on the white terrain of human existence. One morning you wake up afraid you are going to live.

In my case, I was not frightened in the least bit at the thought that I might live because I was certain, quite certain, that I was already dead. The actual dying part, the withering away of my physical body, was a mere formality. My spirit, my emotional being, whatever you want to call all that inner turmoil that has nothing to do with physical existence, were long gone, dead and gone, and only a mass of the most fucking god-awful excruciating pain like a pair of boiling hot tongs clamped tight around my spine and pressing on all my nerves was left in its wake.

That's the thing I want to make clear about depression: It's got nothing at all to do with life. In the course of life, there is sadness and pain and sorrow, all of which, in their right time and season, are normal -- unpleasant, but normal. Depression is an altogether different zone because it involves a complete absence: absence of affect, absence of feeling, absence of response, absence of interest. The pain you feel in the course of a major clinical depression is an attempt on nature's part (nature, after all, abhors a vacuum) to fill up the empty space. But for all intents and purposes, the deeply depressed are just the walking, waking dead.

And the scariest part is that if you ask anyone in the throes of depression how he got there, to pin down the turning point, he'll never know. There is a classic moment in The Sun Also Rises when someone asks Mike Campbell how he went bankrupt, and all he can say in response is, 'Gradually and then suddenly.' When someone asks how I love my mind, that is all I can say too”
― Elizabeth Wurtzel, quote from Prozac Nation


“I was so scared to give up depression, fearing that somehow the worst part of me was actually all of me. ”
― Elizabeth Wurtzel, quote from Prozac Nation


“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.”
― Elizabeth Wurtzel, quote from Prozac Nation


“Mental illness is so much more complicated than any pill that any mortal could invent ”
― Elizabeth Wurtzel, quote from Prozac Nation


“Insanity is knowing that what you're doing is completely idiotic, but still, somehow, you just can't stop it.”
― Elizabeth Wurtzel, quote from Prozac Nation


“I need the thing that happens when your brain shuts off and your heart turns on.”
― Elizabeth Wurtzel, quote from Prozac Nation


“Sometimes I wish I could walk around with a HANDLE WITH CARE sign stuck to my forehead.”
― Elizabeth Wurtzel, quote from Prozac Nation


“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. Depression is, especially these days, an overused term to be sure, but never one associated with anything wild, anything about dancing all night with a lampshade on your head and then going home and killing yourself…The word madness allows its users to celebrate the pain of its sufferers, to forget that underneath all the acting-out and quests for fabulousness and fine poetry, there is a person in huge amounts of dull, ugly agony...Remember that when you’re at the point at which you’re doing something as desperate and violent as sticking your head in an oven, it is only because the life that preceded this act felt even worse. Think about living in depression from moment to moment, and know it is not worth any of the great art that comes as its by-product.”
― Elizabeth Wurtzel, quote from Prozac Nation


“I start to think there really is no cure for depression, that happiness is an ongoing battle, and I wonder if it isn't one I'll have to fight for as long as I live. I wonder if it's worth it.”
― Elizabeth Wurtzel, quote from Prozac Nation


“In the meantime, I could withdraw to my room, could hide and sleep as if I were dead”
― Elizabeth Wurtzel, quote from Prozac Nation


“Whenever I talk to anyone I care about, I am always seeking approval. There is always a pleading lilt in my voice that demands love. Even the people I work with, the ones I am supposed to have a professional relationship with, all business, get pulled into my need. I can't help it. I want to be adored.”
― Elizabeth Wurtzel, quote from Prozac Nation


“I mean, if you were to find a shattered mirror, find all the pieces, all the shards and all the tiny chips, and have whatever skill and patience it took to put all that broken glass back together so that it was complete once again, the restored mirror would still be spiderwebbed with cracks, it would still be a useless glued version of its former self, which could show only fragmented reflections of anyone looking into it. Some things are beyond repair. And that was me.”
― Elizabeth Wurtzel, quote from Prozac Nation


“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.”
― Elizabeth Wurtzel, quote from Prozac Nation


“In a strange way, I had fallen in love with my depression. Dr. Sterling was right about that. I loved it because I thought it was all I had. I thought depression was the part of my character that made me worthwhile. I thought so little of myself, felt that I had such scant offerings to give to the world, that the one thing that justified my existence at all was my agony.”
― Elizabeth Wurtzel, quote from Prozac Nation


“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 ”
― Elizabeth Wurtzel, quote from Prozac Nation


“I start to feel like I can't maintain the facade any longer, that I may just start to show through. And I wish I knew what was wrong. Maybe something about how stupid my whole life is. I don't know. Why does the rest of the world put up with the hypocrisy, the need to put a happy face on sorrow, the need to keep on keeping on?... I don't know the answer, I know only that I can't. I don't want any more vicissitudes, 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.”
― Elizabeth Wurtzel, quote from Prozac Nation


“The moment in The Bell Jar when Esther Greenwood realizes after thirty days in the same black turtleneck that she never wants to wash her hair again, that the repeated necessity of the act is too much trouble, that she wants to do it once and be done with it, seems like the book's true epiphany. You know you've completely descended into madness when the matter of shampoo has ascended into philosophical heights.”
― Elizabeth Wurtzel, quote from Prozac Nation


“Depression is about as close as you get to somewhere between dead and alive, and it's the worst.”
― Elizabeth Wurtzel, quote from Prozac Nation


“...if you feel everything intensely, ultimately you feel nothing at all.”
― Elizabeth Wurtzel, quote from Prozac Nation


“And then there are my friends, and they have their own lives. While they like to talk everything through, to analyze and hypothesize, what I really need, what I'm really looking for, is not something I can articulate. It's nonverbal: I need love. I need the thing that happens when your brain shuts off and your heart turns on.

And I know it's around me somewhere, but I just can't feel it.”
― Elizabeth Wurtzel, quote from Prozac Nation


“Sometimes, I get so consumed by depression that it is hard to believe that the whole world doesn't stop and suffer with me.”
― Elizabeth Wurtzel, quote from Prozac Nation


“I wonder if any of them can tell from just looking at me that all I am is the sum total of my pain, a raw woundedness so extreme that it might be terminal. It might be terminal velocity, the speed of the sound of a girl falling down to a place from where she can't be retrieved. What if I am stuck down here for good?”
― Elizabeth Wurtzel, quote from Prozac Nation


About the author

Elizabeth Wurtzel
Born place: in New York, New York, The United States
Born date July 31, 1967
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