The woman whose book, “Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America” opened the discussion about clinical depression has died.
Elizabeth Wurtzel had metastatic breast cancer due to the BRCA gene mutation, according to a friend she had since childhood, writer David Samuels. She had a double mastectomy in 2015 and became a proponent for BRCA testing, The New York Times reported.
Her immediate cause of death was complications from leptomeningeal disease, or when cancer spreads to the cerebrospinal fluid, the Post reported.
She wrote for The New York Times describing her cancer diagnosis and how she was living with the disease, but she was best known for her first book “Prozac Nation,” published in 1994, in which she described her life at Harvard as a student, her drug use and her sex life.
The Times described the book as being embraced by women of her age group and younger but also was condemned by detractors, saying that she blamed parents, therapists, friends, divorce and drugs for her challenges, one review in Newsweek stated.
A review of the book by the Times published in 1994 said that despite Wurtzel’s “narcissistic nature of her problems” the readers eventually connect with her story.
Despite the outcry against her book, “Prozac Nation” was made into a feature film starring Christina Ricci in 2001.
Wurtzel was 52 years old.
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