Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America - Chapter 2, Secret Life Summary & Analysis

Elizabeth Wurtzel
This Study Guide consists of approximately 30 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Prozac Nation.
This section contains 529 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)

Chapter 2, Secret Life Summary and Analysis

Twice a week, Wurtzel goes to Dr. Isaac's office, which she doesn't mind at all, despite the fact it's not a common activity for an eleven-year-old. He gives her various reasons as to why she has the issues she has, such as her parents' divorce or the fact that she is overly precocious. She was sent to Dr. Isaac after a teacher found her cutting herself. She agrees to go to Dr. Isaac on the solemn swear that she will stop doing it, and makes the teacher promise to never tell her mother about the razors.

Wurtzel explains that she cuts herself because she feels like she is a huge mistake, that everything about her is wrong. She feels a sense of peace and power when she can cut her pale, white legs and the art of hiding the scars from her mother becomes a game in and of itself.

Wurtzel starts to cut school and her grades start to go downhill. The girl that used to berate herself for getting anything less than an A is now coasting along with B's and C's. However, when her mother sees her report card, she bursts into tears and asks what has happened to her perfect daughter. No matter what Wurtzel does, she feels out of place and cannot understand why her internal pain is not reflective and obvious to anyone else on the outside who cannot seem to understand that all the effort is worthless.

Wurtzel realizes that she has gotten so impossible and unpleasant that she needs to do something to improve herself. The psychiatrists try to help her and she feels like she is unraveling. Meanwhile, her mother is refusing to acknowledge that anything is wrong with her. She treats her like a normal kid rather than reacting to the depression. Wurtzel reflects that this is perhaps the best thing for her at the time and can't blame her mother for her reaction. Eventually, the nightly scene is Wurtzel lying on her bed, helpless, and her mother, upset that her daughter is going through these problems, lying on her bed and sobbing. On some level, Wurtzel acknowledges that she cannot let her mind go too far because it would destroy her mother. She's not sure why this makes sense to someone as depressed as she is, but she says this is what happened to her.

At age twelve, Wurtzel finds herself cutting school and waiting until her mother has left the apartment to return and watch television shows or generally avoid the world rather than go to school.

One day, she meets her friend's older brother with whom she connects. His name is Abel and when he starts to hook up with her. The physical contact brings her happiness that she welcomes wholeheartedly. When she turns thirteen, she thinks the entire world is horrible. She is stuck at camp again. She sobs with anyone who will listen about how awful life is and how she is suffocating under the darkness. She is lost and cries, despondent despite the fact that her friends try to console her.

This section contains 529 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America from BookRags. (c)2017 BookRags, Inc. All rights reserved.
Follow Us on Facebook