Stacy Pershall grew up as an overly intelligent, depressed, deeply strange girl in Prairie Grove, Arkansas, population 1,000. From her days as a 13-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 system.
"An utterly unique journey down some of the mind's more mysterious byways...ranges from the shocking to the simply lovely." (Marya Hornbacher)
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Short, but Intense Memoir
Informative, Intriguing, Dark
Beyond the memoir, the author speculates on the mental health world of diagnosis, medication, and treatment.
I found this to be a very intriguing and information memoir, focusing not only on the author’s individual experiences, but also going into detail about the way the mental health system works for those diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and Bipolar. It serves as a source of experiential knowledge for those who may not understand these disorders and the hardships involved both for the suffering and for the psychiatric teams who sometimes struggle to help those with BPD due to the very nature of the disorder.
Pershall relates to a quick overview of her life and the instances that defined her as she grew up and moved through the system. It’s relatively short, but I found it to be an interesting, well written work that doesn’t sound whiny or unrealistic or embellished. I would have liked to see a little more memoir that was more in-depth, as many of the scenes are general or just speculate on how medication/doctors work.
Overall, if you’re looking more a memoir based on mental health that’s a quick read and not incredibly triggering, this may be the book for you!
A difficult and somewhat annoying listen
No, I probably would not listen to the audio edition again. It took me days to get through the book the first time. The story was not too bad, but the narrator's voice grated on my ears. However, since I was interested in the subject, I pushed through to the end. I think that if the listener can tolerate the narrator's voice, they would find the book more entertaining.
I was not fond of the narrator. Her voice was high and grating, which irritated my ears. But if another listener does not mind her voice, I think they will appreciate the story.
The story is about a woman's difficulties is trying to deal with her bipolar disorder. I found the subject interesting, but the story was a bit jerky as it jumped from one scene to another. The other problem I had with the book was that I felt it was a little too self-congratulatory. Often I felt that the author was bragging about how sick she was, how bright and intelligent she was, etc. It have me the impression that she was saying that she was better than others. Not that I exactly expected self denigration. But I did get tired of the author patting herself on the back. Whether this was the product of the book itself or the audio narration, I do not know.
- Lara Weinheimer