Medicated Nation

Topics: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, Drug, Pharmacology Pages: 7 (2569 words) Published: September 21, 2013

My Movie Prozac Nation is based on the book written by Elizabeth Wurtzel and her struggles with depression and drug addiction. Her book Prozac Nation was written during her time at Harvard University while she studied journalism. During this time Wurtzel writes about her battles with being a student, severe depression and drug addictions. During Wurtzel’s academic career at Harvard she received The Rolling Stones College Journalism Award. Even though Wurtzel struggled with many demons she was able to graduate from Harvard University and then go onto to Yale University and get her Law degree (Hodd). The movie Prozac Nation, directed by Erik Skjoldbjærg is based on the true story of Elizabeth Wurtzel and her struggles with depression during her first year at Harvard University. When Lizzie arrives to college she and her roommate begin the hard partying and the indulgence of drugs and alcohol which only contributes to her downward spiral of severe depression. Lizzie’s excessive self-medication of illegal drugs and alcohol contribute to her violent outburst and alienation her from her friends; which evidently lands her in the hospital. After her trip to the hospital, Lizzie begins to see a therapist who starts to help her cope with everyday life. After a breakup with her boyfriend, Lizzie begins to not be able to handle her feelings once again and her doctor then prescribes her to start taking Prozac. Lizzie refers to her doctor as her drug dealer and the pharmacy as her crack house, and that she is in the “United States of Depression” in the “Prozac Nation”. Even though the prescription Prozac has helped Lizzie cope with everyday life, she notices that she is losing herself. At the end of the movie, Lizzie states that the drugs and therapy sessions are part of a slow recovery process to get herself-back together. (Prozac Nation) In the Movie Prozac Nation we see a girl who struggles with being able to handle her own feelings that leads her to self-prescribing drugs like alcohol, marijuana and cocaine to handle her own feelings (Prozac Nation). In today’s society many people are looking for the miracle drug that will help them handle everyday life or doctors are freely prescribing pharmaceutical drugs to people who simply need to learn to cope with everyday life. They do not suffer from debilitating depression or obsessive compulsive disorder, they suffer from what is called life. “Nearly 19 Million prescriptions of Prozac were written in 1995, alone” (Antidepressant Drugs). My research focused on the over prescribing of anti-depressants and how this impacts people in society. There are many reasons that contribute to the over prescribing of anti-depressant drugs. We live in such a high paced environment where many people have troubles dealing with real life situations causing them to turn to miracle cures opposed to finding alternative ways to handle the struggles life hands us. The search for a “miracle cure”, cost, pharmaceutical influence and doctor’s eagerness to presrcibe all contribute to the overconsumption of antidepressant drugs. In the beginning of the Movie Prozac Nation, we see “Lizzie” self-medicating with marijuana, cocaine and alcohol in order to cope with the pressure of being a student at an Ivy League college (Prozac Nation). Even though Lizzie is self-medicating with illegal drugs this still ties into the idea that individuals are turning to substances in order to deal with life’s stressful situations. Many people out there do search out that miracle pill that can fix everything. In the article “"Prozac: Are Drugs treating mental illness being used too freely?" we read about Rita, a patient that was prescribed Prozac to help her deal with “a lot of external blows”. Rita admits to not being depressed and not quite sure how Prozac has affected her because “I always have been able to cope in a crisis, but now I feel pleasant, very pleasant, and things do not bother me too much” (Cooper). This...

Cited: Cooper, Mary. "Prozac  Are Drugs treating mental illness being used too freely?"
      (1994) CQ Researcher
Fracassa, Moira. "Medicating The Self: The Roles Of Science And Culture In The Construction Of
Prozac." Journal Of Popular Culture 32.4 (1999): 23-28
Apr. 2013. 6 Apr. 2013.
Marlan, Dawn. "Reviews." Chicago Review 42.1 (1996): 93. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 18 Apr. 2013
“Physicians Endorsing Pharmaceuticals." Issues & Controversies
May 2011. Web. 15 Apr. 2013.
Prozac Nation. Director Erik Skjoldbjærg. Perf. Christina Ricci, Jessica Lange, Jason Biggs
    Miramax Films, 2001
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