Active Minds Speaker
Born in Prairie Grove, Arkansas, at a time and place when mental health treatment was rarely spoken about, and even more rarely available, Stacy’s early symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder went largely unnoticed for years. Fortunately, both Stacy and Arkansas have learned a lot since then.
As a suicide attempt survivor, Stacy found dialectical behavior therapy after moving to New York City and proved to herself and others that it is possible to recover from BPD. Her presentation focuses on bullying (including cyber-bullying), eating disorders, distinguishing Borderline Personality Disorder from Bipolar Disorder, the power of mental health activism, and body modification as a healing agent.
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Stacy Pershall is the author of Loud in the House of Myself, a memoir of her life with borderline personality disorder and disordered eating. Since finding recovery through dialectical behavior therapy, Stacy is committed to spreading the message that BPD is treatable, and that modifying your body can help to heal your mind. Now 12 years out of DBT, she offers a unique perspective on the potential of DBT as a valuable component of treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder. Stacy also emphasizes the power of storytelling in recovery, and uses her own voice to give others the encouragement to share their journeys.
Stacy has 15 years of teaching experience, and currently teaches memoir writing at Gotham Writers’ Workshop in New York City, where she helps people from all backgrounds tell their life stories. As an Active Minds speaker, she combines her passion for mental health advocacy with her gift for teaching, offering interactive writing workshops focused on diversity, interconnectedness, and how to be a better ally. Stacy has taught these workshops in a wide range of settings, from college English classes to inpatient treatment facilities.
Stacy lives in the Hudson River Valley region, outside of New York City; she practices yoga and is working on her second book, a young adult novel.
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- Eating Disorders
- Faculty/Staff Trainings
- LGBTQ Community
- Recovery Through Creativity
- Stigma Reduction
- Suicide Prevention
- Transition to College
Stacy's Presentation Options
Stacy relates her personal journey from her early childhood, punctuated by severe bullying from her classmates to her struggles with depression and eating disorders in college, and ultimately attempted suicide.
Inspired by the words of renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, Stacy Pershall’s writing workshop focuses on the interconnectedness of all beings as a guiding force for recovery. The author of Loud in the House of Myself: Memoir of a Strange Girl leads participants through writing prompts inspired by Tyson’s “most astounding fact” — that the atoms that comprise the human body also comprise the planets and stars. Writing allows us to feel like relevant participants in the world around us, and students leave the workshop with a greater understanding of interpersonal relationships as a crucial element of the recovery process. The session culminates with the creation of a memento for each participant to take as a reminder of this impactful session.
Stacy offers virtual versions of her presentations and workshops.
Stacy travels from New York
Active Minds Blog - Stacy Pershall
“People with BPD are not intentionally manipulative, even when they do things like threaten suicide if you leave. They might know that such behavior is perceived as manipulative, but that doesn’t help a person with untreated BPD control the impulse to avoid abandonment in the moment. What you perceive as manipulation comes from fear, with anger as a secondary emotion.”
“I spent a lot of years having very little compassion for other people, because I had none for myself. This is the aspect of Borderline Personality Disorder that causes the greatest stigma; it’s what causes others to view us as willfully manipulative and cruel.
But what was really happening is that I was severely mentally ill and without proper help for a long, long time. When I was finally diagnosed with BPD and found Dialectical Behavior Therapy — which is basically CBT meets Zen Buddhism — I started to learn what it means to be connected to other people. That connection is the basis of compassion.”
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