Marja Bergen

author, mental health activist, follower of Christ

Month: October 2020 (page 1 of 2)

Part 18 – Malala Yousafzai (1997 – )

  Malala was born in Mingora, Pakistan, located in the country’s Swat Valley. She became an advocate for girls’ education when she herself was still a child. Malala attended a school that her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, had founded. In September 2008, after the Taliban began attacking girls’ schools in Swat, she gave a speech in […]

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Responding to Hard Times

  [Moses] asked the Lord, “Why have you brought this trouble on your servant?…Where can I get meat for all these people? They keep wailing to me, ‘Give us meat to eat!’ I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me.”  Numbers 11:11,13-14 In his book, The Land Between, […]

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Mental illness and the credibility gap

  Picture yourself: A capable person in most respects, having opinions and able to present them logically, having thoughts and ideas no less meaningful than those others have. Perhaps you’re a leader, a person who can make things happen. A person who can make a difference. But despite having many good qualities that make you […]

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Part 17 – Terry Fox – finding meaning

  Terry Fox:  ” I guess one of the most important things I’ve learned is that nothing is ever completely bad. Even cancer. It has made me a better person. It has given me courage and a sense of purpose I never had before. But you don’t have to do like I did, wait until […]

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I lost my good reputation

  An Excerpt from My Battle Against Stigma (revised version of I Will Not Hide) by Marja Bergen Perhaps it was my cries of pain that caused word about what had happened to get out. Stories about me spread like wildfire. I, the victim, was given the blame. The person in authority who caused my […]

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Part 16 – Terry Fox (1958 – 1981)

  Terry Fox was an athlete, humanitarian, and cancer research activist. For most of his life he lived in the Vancouver area of British Columbia. In 1977, at the age of nineteen, Terry was diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma, a bone cancer that necessitated amputation of his right leg. After the surgery, he progressed well, and […]

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Part 15 – A reader’s story of rejection

NOBODY CARES FOR MY TEARS In the early eighties, our family was the only brown family in our church among all white people. We were new to Christianity learning step by step. Preparations were under way for Christmas shows. At home, I helped my children to practice the play. My younger son was very enthusiastic […]

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Part 14 – Mandela forgiveness and reconciliation

  When he was finally released from prison in 1990, Mandela did not succumb to bitterness. All he could think about was the healing of his country and to bring old enemies—the blacks and the whites—together to rebuild in a common cause. Mandela will be remembered to have lived and died, loving and forgiving. Instead […]

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Part 13 – Nelson Mandela (cont’d)

  Nelson Mandela studied at the University of Fort Hare and the University of Witwatersrand in 1939 and 1943-49, focusing on law. He soon became active in the anti-apartheid movement, joining the African National Congress in 1942. For twenty years, Mandela directed peaceful, nonviolent acts of defiance against South Africa’s government and its racist policies. […]

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By his wounds we are healed

  I think a lot of us suffer more from how we have been hurt by others than we do from our mental illness. And how hard it is to find a friend who will understand. How often we lose friends because our need for them is more than they can bear.   Pain like […]

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