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

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  2,057 ratings  ·  169 reviews
Stacy Pershall grew up as an overly intelligent, depressed, deeply strange girl in Prairie Grove, Arkansas, population 1,000. From her days as a thirteen-year-old Jesus freak through her eventual diagnosis of bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder, this spirited memoir chronicles Pershall’s journey through hell and her struggle with the mental health care sys ...more
ebook, 240 pages
Published January 31st 2011 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published December 1st 2010)
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Rarely do I land upon a book that changes me as a mother... but, then came Loud in the House of Myself aka LITHOM.

As a mother of a girl who is already struggling with body image at age eight, who is also intensely emotional and creative, I found that it was initially excruciating to read the details of what this young girl experienced. Stacy as a child was just too familiar. I had to stop reading for a while because it was too painful to idly sit and watch this tormented young girl unravel under
I'm more than a little embarrassed to admit that I've known Stacy for 10 years and only just finished reading her lovely memoir yesterday. My delay in reading her work is no indicator of its quality-- just a reflection of my own laziness and terrible reading habits.

That said, it was such a pleasure to read the final product after following Stacy's journey to get this memoir published. As a reader of her Livejournal, I was fortunate enough to read occasional excerpts of the book, along with her
Chris Blocker
Ten years ago I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. Since then, I have often been in and out of therapy. I've tried various techniques to regulate my moods. What worked best for me, however, were words. Words are important to me, and by reading and learning about BPD, I was able to articulate my feelings.

I've read many books on the subject, probably all of which were written by therapists. Some I stepped back in amazement from, asking how they knew so much about me. Others were c
When I checked this out at the library, the librarian scanning my books perked up. "Oh, I read this one," she said. (This conversation, by the way, was odd in and of itself; the librarians all recognise me but rarely comment on my reading choices.)

"Was it good?" I asked.

She made a face. "It was...well, she's really kind of crazy," she said.

That was, of course, precisely the reason that I was reading this book in the first place, but I didn't say that. In any case, the librarian was pretty much c
Dustin Ebaugh
Intelligent, witty, brilliant, heartbreaking, hilarious, hard-to-fathom and hitting home too. If you grew up in a small town in the 80's and were/are even the least bit weird or quirky...this is one GREAT read! It's another one I read slowly, because it's that good. Pershall is an excellent wordsmith and captivating with her story. She's bold enough to not only "come out" with mental illness but do a great deal to help the reader understand it and remove the stigma associated with it. This book ...more
Thank you Stacy for writing such a poetic, wonderful, hearbreakingly truthful memoir about mental illness. It's something that doesn't get talked about enough.
Betsy Housten
Wow. I read it in one night. Impossible to put down. Smart and articulate and heartbreaking, like all books should be.
“It is embarrassing to admit that I didn’t begin [healing] until the age of thirty-four, when after a breakdown I began to get my life together through medication, therapy, and tattooing. Borderline means you’re one of those girls who walk around wearing long sleeves in the summer because you’ve carved up your forearms over your boyfriend. You make pathetic suicidal gestures and write bad poetry about them, listen to Ani DiFranco albums on endless repeat, end up in the emergency room for
My favorite thing about Loud in the House of Myself was the title. When I first saw this book, I knew I would love it. A memoir on mental illness, by a “strange girl,” with such a good title? I was eager to get my hands on it.

Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy this book very much and honestly found it a bit annoying. Memoirists don’t have the luxury of manufacturing fascinating life events to make the real story more interesting; instead, the reader is drawn to the author rather than the storyline.
Loud in the House of Myself is an honest, riveting account of one young woman's spiral down into anorexia bulimia, with the later diagnosis of borderline personality disorder.

Stacy Pershall details in an unsentimental, harrowing fashion how absolutely logical it was for her to engage in eating and purging rituals depending on the hour of the day and whether she could fit into a certain pair of forest green pants.

Her salvation came with DBT or dialectical behavior therapy and body modification v
Excellent and fully believable for the first half. Pershall embodies all of her neuroses perfectly in her prose, and I say this from someone who, in some ways, has "been there." The problem is that by the time the reader gets 2/3 of the way through the book, he or she is looking for some kind of progress. There needs to be a reason for writing this book, some kind of path to redemption or at least a wiser understand of self and the world. Instead, Pershall keeps up the book's frenetic pace at th ...more
Ms. Pershall refers first to her anorexia and bulimia and later to the other manifestations of her mental illness as "the bad dog". There is a bad dog nipping at the heels of someone I love, and this book provided me with invaluable insight and perception.

Thank you, Stacy Pershall.

In this book Ms. Pershall describes in beautiful and heart-wrenching detail her struggles with various mental illnesses and how she learned to live with them. She is not cured - but she found a way to be a (mostly) hap
Lori Anderson
This is a book that resonated with me on a visceral level.

As a sufferer of depression and a past anorexic, reading Stacy Pershall's story was like reading bits of my own. Her fight and her issues were so much worse than mine, yet she came out of it with humor and dignity -- and at several points in her life, dignity wasn't even showing its face.

I underlined and marked up this book on so many pages. I don't know how well someone will like it if they don't understand bipolar, depression, or suici
I throughly enjoyed Stacey Pershall's Loud in the House of Myself: Memoir of a Strange Girl, a darkly humorous and deeply honest account of the author's struggles with eating disorders and mental illness. Pershall recounts how she fought her way out of an oppressive small town environment and found that this in itself didn't fix her, and the downward spiral that happened in the aftermath of this realization. Her self-deprecation and excellent turn of phrase help to make her memoirs relatable to ...more
An incredibly brutal tale of one woman’s continuous experience with the life altering disease known as ‘bipolar disorder’. It is a roller coaster ride of mistakes and heart break that leads the reader on one hell of a journey; that forces the realness of mental illness onto the open pages of a book. The story is about a woman named Stacy Pershall and the readers are introduced to her through the eyes of a crazed child. The author describes what was going on inside the mind of an undiagnosed bipo ...more
This is an inspiring, wrenching and deeply funny memoir of a "strange girl" (in her own words). Stacy Pershall recounts her struggle with mental illness and eating disorders, and explains how tattooing and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) helped her triumph. A must-read for any girl who's ever felt like she didn't fit in or didn't measure up.
Fantastic and unflinching. Pershall captures what it's like to live with a brain that betrays you at every turn. Here's how I know she's healing: she's found the gray in between black and white thinking. Loved it.
This book is such an honest reflection of a creative mind dealing with mental illness. You wonder how she will survive, but you are rooting for her the whole time.
Iris Robinson
May 31, 2012 Iris Robinson rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: "strange" girls, mentally ill people, people with eating disorders
Interesting and quick to in two days. I could somewhat relate to Stacy, as I could also consider myself a "strange girl." I've always loved reading, and I probably wasn't a totally normal little girl. I got teased in elementary school, but it made me who I am today. However, I was not mentally ill, so I cannot relate in that aspect; though I've always loved reading people's memoirs of being mentally ill. This is not one of my favorite memoirs, but I did enjoy reading it, at least for ...more
So much has already been said about this book. I liked reading it, although certain behavior really freaked me out, like the dog-bowl on the floor of the closet. I'm not gonna lie: I thought: 'Wow-she's CRAZY-crazy!'. The one thing that no one touched on (or maybe they did-I couldn't possibly read all of the reviews) is that there were times when her actions were so maddening and exhausting that it made me consider this: If someone close to you is mentally ill, how much are you supposed to endur ...more
Amber Keck
Stacy grew up in small-town Arkansas, born the first child of a truck driver father and a stay-at-home mother seemingly obsessed with her youngest son. Being more on the artistic side than the athletic, Stacy was deemed an outcast among her peers early on in their school careers, most likely contributing to the onset of a very long battle with anorexia and bulimia. Misdiagnosed and mistreated most of her life, Stacy struggled with bipolar tendencies, as well as borderline personality disorder. T ...more
Loud in the House of Myself is a book that hits home and also opens your eyes to new perspectives. Each chapter begins with a lovely few paragraphs about her passion for tattoos, giving us a glimpse of her now just before we dive into her past of eating disorders, mood disorders, and generally feeling like she didn't belong in the world. You're treated to reality, not fancy fiction renditions of an anemic and bulimic teenager or an emotionally unstable adult and with that you can identify, if no ...more
I stayed up half the night last night finishing this. It differed from other mental health-centric memoirs in SO many ways, all of them positive.
I felt the author's voice was honest and genuine. It was not overly apologetic (as memoirs often are) and came from a very self-aware place (as memoirs often don't). I liked that it did not focus on one type of treatment as being better than all others, nor did it tout anything as a cure-all. The author simply discusses what worked and did not work for
Romancing the Book
Reviewed by Stephanie
Book provided by publisher for review

We always saw those weird girls in high school -- the ones who never fit in, who always sat alone during lunch. The ones we never bothered to get to know. Stacy Pershall was one of those girls, but shockingly, she doesn't seem very different from me. Her memoir -- all of its crudeness, honesty, and heartfelt revelations -- announces to the world, the deepest secrets of a weird girl, and also acknowledges how the girl who never fit in is a
The subtitle of this book by Stacy Pershall is “Memoir of a Strange Girl.” Hey, I think, I’m a strange girl. I open the cover and the inside flap of the dust cover reads:

“Stacy Pershall grew up as an overly intelligent, depressed, deeply strange girl in Prairie Grove, Arkansas…”

Holy shit! Prairie Grove is literally spitting distance from my hometown, Fayetteville. She grew up there in the 1970s, which is the same time I was growing up here in Fayetteville (and other small towns around it, includ
Originally posted at

In this memoir, Stacy Pershall details her experiences with a multitude of disorders (bulimia, anorexia, borderline personality, bipolar), starting with her childhood and ending with her “recovery” (I put this in quotation marks because mental illness is something that often must be continually fought). After several botched suicide attempts, including one broadcast live on the internet via webcam, Pershall began to seek recovery through a
Very informative book about mental illness from Stacy Pershall, the same Stacy Pershall that lived her life being viewed on the internet. She was borderline, manic and battled anorexia and bulimia. I have a better understanding of mental illness and feel more empathy than I did before I read this book. Toward the end of the book she tells of her help with her mental illness and describes the medicines she took and how they affected her. Again, an eye opening description for me.

"This is how you
This book ruined books for me. I inhaled this book with every free minute I had, and now whenever I get a new book I think to myself, "but will it measure up to LITHOM?" Pershall writes about her experience with eating disorders, mental disorders, and being a cam girl. The foreshadowing she uses when she talks about her childhood romances are heartbreaking in that they are so real for so many of us. Nothing that happens to Pershall in her childhood is from a bad draw unknown to most girls growin ...more
I picked this one up at random at the library...I had never heard of Stacy Pershall...little did I know she was an Internet sensation (and not necessarily in a good way).

Pershall grew up in the small town of Prairie Grove, Arkansas, and she never really fit in there. Pershall's mom pours all of her attention on her brother. She refers to her father's anger, but we don't get much detail on that.

Fast forward to adolescence, when she develops anorexia and bulimia, followed by (or concurrent with) b
Thomas Maerke
One of my students wrote a book review on this book, and it was so good I told her right away that I needed to read the book.

It took a couple of days, but once I made it past the chapter intros, and I finished a couple of other books I was reading, I got to it. Then I finished it in two days.

I was mesmerized by Pershall's writing--the rhythm and speed was so wonderfully rushed and manic. I know that feeling. Even when her stories made me cringe with pain, I was pulled onward by her earnestness
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Stacy Pershall teaches Memoir I and II at Gotham Writers' Workshop and creative writing to teens online through the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth. She is a suicide-prevention speaker for the Active Minds Speakers' Bureau. She lives in New York City.
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“A depressed person is selfish because her self, the very core of who she is, will not leave her alone, and she can no more stop thinking about this self and how to escape it than a prisoner held captive by a sadistic serial killer can forget about the person who comes in to torture her everyday. Her body is brutalized by her mind.” 32 likes
“To anyone who thinks eating disorders are something rich, bored white girls do to get attention, I bid you bite me. I have frequent, intense, inappropriate outbursts of anger over the lies little girls are told about what is beautiful.” 22 likes
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