Day 29 – A book everyone hated but you liked

Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel

I cannot think of any book hated by everyone but I like. I thought of the Twilight series being hated by everyone, but I don’t like it either. So I scanned my shelf and remembered this book. It isn’t exactly dislike by everyone, but I have heard and read a lot about people not liking the theme of this book. So, I guess this is the closest I can get to satisfying this day’s book challenge.

This book is a memoir of Wurtzel’s struggle with depression when she was 26 years old. In this book, we would learn about the events that could have caused the downspiralling of her life. It is a journal that details her drug use, sex binges, hospitalizations, suicide attempts and everything that constitutes her dark days. It is a tale of a person living with a severe psychological disorder.

Now, from what I read, a lot of people found this book harrowing since it is a very vivid self-portrait of someone’s mental illness. Some say that it is just a book made to bid public attention. And some say that nothing can be learned from the book itself, that it’s useless. Perhaps they were expecting some sort of revelation and lessons in the end or maybe they wanted to know how she coped and got over her problems, but I guess that wasn’t the author’s intention.

Personally, I read this book with difficulty because there are times I can see myself reflected on the words and descriptions of the character. At some point, I can relate with how she feels and the problems she experienced. I guess, I didn’t really care much about how she found herself and made her life better. I think I liked the book because it openly and bravely showed the moments of her life in which she felt the most difficult of emotions. Just how many people can be like that and tell the world of their darkest, most awful experiences?  

I don’t think Wurtzel wanted attention or anything of that sort. I think she wrote this book to let people know about what’s going on in the minds of those psychologically challenged. Because really, we can never fully grasp the enormity of their problems. Yes, all of us have their own difficulties, but can we imagine how bad it feels when these problems eat us alive and take over the rest of our being? I think that was the purpose of this book: to show that it’s not attention but understanding and acceptance these people need. But then, don’t we all?

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