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'Prozac Nation' Author Elizabeth Wurtzel Dies at 52

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“Prozac Nation” author Elizabeth Wurtzel died at the age of 52 on Tuesday as a result of breast cancer that metastasized to her brain. The Washington Post said Wurtzel’s husband, Jim Freed, confirmed her death. She announced she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015.

In her 1994 memoir, “Prozac Nation,” Wurtzel candidly described what it was like living with depression and other mental health struggles, including self-harm and suicidal ideation. She followed up with the 1998 essay collection “Bitch: In Praise of Difficult Women” and a second memoir in 2001, “More, Now, Again,” which chronicled her struggles with addiction.

Many have credited Wurtzel’s writing with inspiring a new generation of personal essay writing that got real about difficult issues. “Prozac Nation” also changed the conversation around mental health because Wurtzel didn’t shy away from telling her real story.

“Such love for Elizabeth Wurtzel!” said Mighty community member Kim A. about “Prozac Nation.” “I’ve read this book so many times, the first time at 15 when my symptoms really started to present. It was like my Bible.”

Fans, friends and colleagues reacted to her death on social media, shared condolences and lauded Wurtzel’s work.

Image via Creative Commons/Lynn Winters

Originally published: January 7, 2020
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