Marja Bergen

author, mental health advocate, follower of Christ

Category: Heard and understood (page 1 of 2)

Give us a voice of our own

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice. Proverbs 31:8-9 NLT “Speaking for the poor and helpless.” Is this what God really means? I think we need to be careful and think about that […]

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The right to speak

When I raised mental health awareness in the church from 2006 on, I spoke as a person living with mental health issues. It made a difference. People heard me. But today, people with such issues have no voice – are not given opportunities to be heard. Why not? Do they really think we don’t know […]

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No one listens anymore

What happened to those voices that did the initial work of raising mental health awareness in the Church? Stories of what it feels like to be discriminated against are not heard because those who are affected are shunned when they want to tell about their pain. No one listens anymore. Why do the powers that […]

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When no one believes you

There is an insidious form of stigma that’s common in the lives of people with mental illness. It’s caused by mistreatment that’s real but not obvious, and so, when complaints are made, they’re not believed. The victims’ ability tell the truth about a situation, is all too often questioned. That’s unfair and a great injustice. […]

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Real people – BPD

They are real people like you and me. Yet they suffer in ways few would be able to comprehend. Please try to imagine what it would be like to be this 26-year-old woman from Wichita, KS. She writes: “I was diagnosed with BPD about seven years ago. When I was told what it was, I […]

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Have mercy on me! – life with BPD

I wrote the following in November 2015 during one of the most difficult periods in my life. It would lead to years of ongoing suffering. Today, thank God, my life is starting to turn around…or is it? When one suffers from bipolar disorder as well as features of borderline personality disorder—two major mental health problems […]

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Our right to be heard

One of the worst forms of stigma against those living with mental health challenges is not having their truth heard. Not considered credible. Not believed. Not considered as much of a person as others are. Simply because they’ve been diagnosed with a mental illness with no consideration given to how well-functioning they might be. If […]

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Why don’t you believe me?

  “ If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? ” John 8:46   Can you “hear” the frustration in Jesus’ voice? He is speaking to the Jews who had for too long been tricked by believing the lies that appealed to their pride and ego. They were no longer capable of […]

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Whose voice do you hear?

On behalf of the unaccepted among us:   “Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.” Mark 4:24-25   I’ve been reading about William […]

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Part 21 – Understanding those who don’t understand

  Written in 2009 As a person living with bipolar disorder, I used to feel frustrated that so many people did not understand mental illness. I was angry that people didn’t even try to empathize. But through my writing and educating others, I’ve learned that the problem does not lie with healthy people alone. It […]

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