Marja Bergen

author, mental health advocate, follower of Christ

The way we were – a photo book

A BOOK OF CANDID CHILD PHOTOGRAPHY My lifetime of work is now being assembled. If you, or a person you know, was photographed by me as a child, please email me at www.marjabergen.com. Let me know how you feel about having your photos included. Marja Bergen

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I’m odd at times, and wish I weren’t

GRIEVING MY MENTAL ILLNESS September 2017 There is a time for everything,     and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to weep and a time to laugh,     a time to mourn and a time to dance, Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4 Sometimes life is such that one needs to give expression to what goes […]

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Others can’t possibly understand

LACK OF UNDERSTANDING LEADS TO LACK OF CARE . . . and I should realize that by now. I’m sorry if I was harsh on those who don’t. Of course you don’t get it and it’s not your fault. It just hurts terribly to know that those of us who live with mental health issues […]

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The importance of our faith to mental health

JESUS WEEPS WITH US He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Isaiah 53:3   Never have I found myself so misunderstood. Never have I found Christ’s importance to people […]

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Seeking justice – seeking care

WHEN PSYCHIATRIC CARE IS WITHDRAWN Having one’s psychiatric care withdrawn as mine has been, needs to be understood as the gross injustice it is. It threatens a person’s mental and physical health. When medications aren’t monitored or kept to a level that helps a person’s functioning rather than hindering it, a life can be seriously […]

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Psychiatric care denied

WRONG-DOING ACKNOWLEDGED BY THE ER In November 2021, my file was closed by a mental health department at a local hospital after I had been a patient there for eight years. Treatment for my bipolar 1 disorder (first thought to be schizophrenia) began at Riverview Hospital in 1965 where I was a patient for ten […]

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“Our human rights are non-existent” – Mental health activist

“MY FIRESTORM OF FRUSTRATION” Human rights for people with mental health issues are almost non-existent. This is shameful and beyond the basic understanding of what I had thought it meant to be considered human. I know what it feels like to be thus treated, and can truly say that I, and others like me, don’t […]

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Equality between mentally ill and healthy

WHEN BOUNDARIES NEED TO BE APPLIED I’m sensitive to being treated with disrespect. Isn’t everyone? I’m as human as the next person and believe I deserve to be treated that way. And yet, so often, even amongst people who I had thought to be kind, this sense of equality seems not to be understood. I […]

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Are we really so “crazy?”

PSYCHIATRISTS SHOULD LISTEN BEFORE DIAGNOSING I was regularly abused for a year by someone I had least expected. It left me with emotional damage wrongly diagnosed as borderline personality disorder (BPD), the most stigmatized of all mental illnesses. This diagnosis assumed that my reaction to the mistreatment was simply due to over-sensitivity. The psychiatrist did […]

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Mentally ill? Who will protect your rights?

HOW CAN WE TRUST THAT OUR INTERESTS ARE SAFEGUARDED? It’s a sad day when you learn that you can’t trust a daughter or a son with your affairs, were your spouse to die. It’s sad when they disrespect you because of your mental health issues, not regarding you as a person like any other. Sad […]

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