Marja Bergen

author, mental health advocate, follower of Christ

Category: Mental illness and the church (page 3 of 9)

Mental illness and justice

Having a mental illness doesn’t mean that a person has any less ability to reason than the next person. It doesn’t mean they’re any less able to know when wrong is done. It doesn’t mean they cannot feel the pain when they are being mistreated. And it doesn’t mean that the truth about that mistreatment […]

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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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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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BPD – Suicidal ideation

From an anonymous person: “People who have not experienced it simply do not understand the emotional and even physical toll mental health issues cause. Suicidal thoughts and ideations became the norm for me. It is not that I ever truly wanted to die, I was just tired of living. I was tired of the pain […]

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Why talk about BPD?

I believe that by openly talking about an illness to which shame is normally attached, that sense of shame will be greatly reduced.

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BPD – My deep shame

  June 2018    When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. 1 Peter 2:22-23   I had thought I was a good person. I always tried to be. Like other Christians, I tried to follow […]

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BPD – A sense of our humanity

We sense our humanity most fully when we walk with someone through their pain. There’s something about encouraging a troubled person to peel back the layers to find their healthy self again. It’s a privilege to be allowed to accompany them on their journey. We experience our humanity most when we can be a friend […]

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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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Never Worthy Enough

I know it’s hard for those who don’t have mental illness to understand. I, and many of us, feel small next to our supporters. I don’t think they consciously set themselves above us, yet we feel lower. We feel inferior. For me it was like my supporters were father and mother, me the child. I […]

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