Marja Bergen

author, mental health advocate, follower of Christ

Category: Heard and understood (page 1 of 3)

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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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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Misdiagnosis tears my life asunder

PSYCHIATRIST’S POWER ABUSED Unfortunately, I’ve been like an innocent child, trusting the person at the helm of my mental health care for years. I believe most of us who live with mental illness do lean on our psychiatrist, especially when we live with low self-esteem. After all, we think, the doctor knows best. I was […]

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Psychiatrists have too much power

PSYCHIATRIC DIAGNOSIS, INPUT NOT ALLOWED In 2015 I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD). My psychiatrist told me I had only about three features, “not the whole thing.” And yet, my file—for all medical personnel to see—showed that my diagnosis was borderline, the whole thing. In their book Beyond Borderline: True Stories of Recovery […]

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Who will be there when you need to be heard?

MENTAL ILLNESS AND BEING HEARD I’ve been reading about William Wilberforce and how he worked to ban the Atlantic Slave Trade. It took years before the British Parliament would listen and abolish the trade. Wouldn’t we all like to have a voice like Wilberforce’s to speak for us when no one wants to listen? Some […]

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Why don’t people listen to us?

VOICES OF MENTAL ILLNESS Have you ever noticed how some organizations created to be there for the welfare of people with mental health issues, talk more about us than listen to us? It’s the same when groups of people gather to talk about how they can support us. They talk about us. We ourselves are […]

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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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Denied our human right to speak and be heard

I have spoken with anger at the injustice I see towards people with mental illness like me. But angry words are not always counted as valid representations of what is believable and true. And so if that’s the way things are, I will endeavor to speak with the grief underneath that anger. You will hear […]

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Why are people with mental illness not heard?

That’s the way it is when you have a mental illness. No matter how good a person you are or how much good you’ve done, you’re not considered to have credibility. Many like me have things to say: to protect ourselves, defend ourselves, explain ourselves. But we’re not listened to, not heard. Not like “regular” […]

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