Loud in the House of Myself: Memoir of a Strange Girl

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9780393066920: Loud in the House of Myself: Memoir of a Strange Girl

"An utterly unique journey down some of the mind's more mysterious byways . . . ranges from the shocking to the simply lovely."―Marya Hornbacher

Stacy Pershall grew up depressed and too smart for her own good, a deeply strange girl in Prairie Grove, Arkansas (population 1,000), where the prevailing wisdom was that Jesus healed all. From her days as a thirteen-year-old Jesus freak, through a battle with anorexia and bulimia, her first manic episode at eighteen, and the eventual diagnosis of bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder, this spirited and at times mordantly funny memoir chronicles Pershall's journey through hell-several breakdowns and suicide attempts―and her struggle with the mental health care system.

After her 2001 suicide attempt, broadcast live on a Webcam, Pershall realized the need to heal her mind and body. She found a revolutionary cure (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) and a new mood-stabilizing medication. She also met a tattoo artist and discovered the healing power of body modification. By giving over her skin and enduring the physical pain, she learned about the true nature of trust.

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About the Author:

Stacy Pershall is a belly dancer and artist living in New York City.

From Booklist:

If Pershall’s electrifying account is any indication, being inside the head of a person with undiagnosed and untreated borderline personality disorder (BPD) is like a living nightmare. As if the double play of adolescent anorexia and bulimia wasn’t enough, this intelligent, high-achieving, and hypersensitive young woman began entertaining bizarre and suicidal thoughts while still in high school. Her deeply religious parents possessed no tools for comprehending the breadth of their daughter’s illness. Even as her anorexic behavior improved somewhat due to the efforts of a therapist whom she respected, Pershall’s overriding BPD snowballed, overwhelming her with Monty Pythonesque hallucinations and off-the-chart mood swings. Despite her illness, she graduated from college, moved from Arkansas to, ultimately, New York City, and partially supported herself by creating a 24/7-webcam presence, with cameras following her every move throughout her apartment. Following an unsuccessful World Wide Web–witnessed suicide attempt, Pershall began treatment and has eventually assembled a life that, as long as she is properly medicated, allows her a creative if unconventional lifestyle. This is one whirlwind ride. --Donna Chavez

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