Marja Bergen

author, mental health advocate, follower of Christ

Making room for Christmas in 2013 and 2021

  While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.                                       Luke 2:6-7   We’re all familiar with this story. We know […]

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Better than new

  I have a friend who once wrote a beautiful poem about a broken vase. It held a lot of meaning for her. And this morning I remembered this story told me by another friend. It held a lot of meaning for me. Somehow I feel these stories are connected. I bring this to you […]

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A courageous journey

Adapted from November 2015   Have I not commanded you? “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9   Villages in the Greek islands are built on hills, meaning that many streets are steep. Stairways are unavoidable […]

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Let’s get angry at mental health stigma

  Throughout history, anger has proved to be an instrument of change. It leads to revolutionary action that can upend unjust social structures. Mahatma Gandhi was incensed with the state of his Indian nation, where his countrymen were made to feel inferior under British rule. Some years later, Nelson Mandela felt the same way when […]

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Church mental health – Awareness or care?

When talking about those in need of our help, Mother Teresa is probably the best example of compassionate love and care for the suffering. We would do well to study her thoughts about feeding the hungry and helping those for whom life is feeling hopeless. She did not wait for institutions to be established. If […]

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Mental health care and the church: Building self-esteem

The Church has made great headway in offering more accepting communities for people with mental health issues. But is the acceptance and the support it now gives enough? I believe God calls us to do more. One of the most difficult things people with mental illness face is low self-esteem. With the love of Christ, […]

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I was misdiagnosed – much damage done

Complex post traumatic stress (CPTSD) has been the source of my struggles all along, caused by emotional abuse in 2015. My original diagnosis, borderline personality disorder (BPD), has similar symptoms. Thus the misdiagnosis. The psychiatrist who has seen me for the last 8 months discovered the error. I’m announcing this because I’ve written so much […]

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Accepted and valued

  On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Matthew 9:12,13   I guess I’ve been angry far too long about how people […]

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Talk with us, not about us

Bored? William Wilberforce, the British slave trade abolitionist, once said, “It is inconceivable that we could be bored in a world with so much wrong to tackle, so much ignorance to reach and so much misery we could alleviate.” I’m certainly not bored. I only wish I were younger so that I would have more […]

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Are you being deceived?

    Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.” Job 2:3 […]

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