Marja Bergen

author, mental health advocate, follower of Christ

Category: Coping with Mental Illness (page 1 of 14)

It’s not the end of the world

HOPE FOR A LIFE WITH MENTAL ILLNESS Over the last few days my mind went back to Riding the Roller Coaster, a book I had published by Woodlake Publishers in 1999. It wasn’t hard for me to find a publisher at the time because it was one of the first books written by a person […]

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Once, a Riverview patient – Today, denied mental health care

SEEKING JUSTICE It has been seven months since my file was closed. I was cast out of the mental health system, having been a patient for all my adult life–in effect, punished for being too well. Why? Was it because I exercised my rights and tried to explain how a diagnosis I had been given […]

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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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The dangers of psychiatric medications

I DEVELOPED PHYSICAL DISABILITIES In many—if not most—cases, people with mental illness need medication to help them cope with life. That has certainly been the case for me. In 1965 I was diagnosed with schizophrenia because of my struggles with psychosis. That diagnosis stayed with me for twenty years until it was changed to bipolar […]

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Do we have any rights at all?

When We Lose the One we Depend On As a person with a diagnosis of mental illness, dependent on others for your everyday needs, have you ever wondered what would happen if your husband, wife, or other caregiver were to die? Will your rights be protected? I fear for mine. Were your husband or wife […]

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Despised and rejected

  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   Good Friday is a time when we remember how Christ suffered and died for us. I hope this […]

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Borderline personality disorder and the church

A PLEA TO THE CHURCH Where do you go when you have an illness that medical professionals and counselors don’t want to deal with – treated like an untouchable in a modern world? Have you ever thought what that would feel like? It’s happening all the time to people with BPD. In their book Beyond […]

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Today’s outcasts

We who live with mental health issues are also looked down on, shunned, disrespected, excluded, not considered to have credibility. Is this situation so different from the treatment given to those who Gandhi and Mandela fought for? Isn’t it time we got angry about the unjust attitudes towards people with mental illness? Who can help […]

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Hope for our highs and lows

  The years 2016 and 2017 were some of my most difficult times ever. But, as some have said, it’s often in the suffering that we come closest to Jesus. It’s a mysterious phenomenon. I came close to Jesus by putting myself in the shoes of biblical characters and spending time with him as they […]

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Breaking free

When we begin to struggle with mental health challenges, we’re given meds and we’re given a label (a diagnosis). And from that time forward, it’s hard not to live without a different persona—one that is looked down on. One that even we ourselves look down on. We may lose our confidence. Many in this unfair […]

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