Marja Bergen

author, mental health activist, follower of Christ

Category: Day by Day (page 1 of 16)

Part 3 – A most extraordinary doctor

  He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3 During my first months at Riverview, I was fortunate to have Dr. McDougall looking after me. When I left hospital I would follow him when he opened his private practice. At the hospital, I remember him drawing up beside me as I walked […]


Part 2 – Good things in bad places

  And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28   We will start this story with the time I got sick in 1965 and was sent from the emergency room at Vancouver General Hospital to Crease […]


Part 1 – My journey from patient to leader

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11   I’ve been writing a great deal of my story, so much of it including sad parts of my journey. But there have been […]


Part 4 – But God never left

  The love I once received from those I had counted on was snatched away. I lost the sense of security a person in friendships. But God did not leave. In publishing my story I was concerned about what readers might think. How could such a thing happen? The intensity of discrimination that happened to […]


Part 3 – But God never left

  God is not the problem. Not at all. God did not cause this ugliness, people did. Nor is the Christian faith to blame. What I see at the root of the wrong-doing that occurred is the presence of a sense of pride. The pride that all of us have in a greater or lesser […]


Part 2 – But God never left

  I was discouraged from telling my story, though no one could stop me from writing about it in my blog. I told my story elsewhere. But although some expressed compassion, no one was able to do anything. I felt that my story was being ignored, though it had done great ongoing harm to my […]


Part 1 – But God never left

  A wake-up call? I’m hoping this brief description of what it’s like to live with a mental illness will wake up a few people to what the realities are for some people. I’m hoping they will try putting themselves in the shoes of a person like me. They might understand what it’s like to […]


4. Our rights – not for myself alone

I was still like a child in ways. What was happening bewildered me. I had developed strong bonds with those who had showed me love. Like a child clinging to her parents, I could not let go. Only after thousands of dollars’ worth of psychotherapy did I learn to recognize the truth about what happened. […]


3. Our rights – not for myself alone

Friends had betrayed me. My whole community betrayed me. I found myself ostracized. My feelings of self-worth plummeted. Gradually I forgot that I had done anything good at all. One of the worst forms of discrimination is when there is a conflict between a well person and someone with a history of mental illness. This […]


2. Our rights – not for myself alone

People with mental illness are too often treated in ways that make them feel inferior—ways that make them feel they’re not as much of a person as others are. If that could only change! Jesus quoted the prophet Isaiah when he announced the following in Luke 4:18. “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, […]

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