Marja Bergen

author, mental health advocate, follower of Christ

Category: Our voices (page 2 of 5)

Mentally ill? Who will protect your rights?

HOW CAN WE TRUST THAT OUR INTERESTS ARE SAFEGUARDED? It’s a sad day when you learn that you can’t trust a daughter or a son with your affairs, were your spouse to die. It’s sad when they disrespect you because of your mental health issues, not regarding you as a person like any other. Sad […]

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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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Putting a human face on madness

  OUR PAIN – BEYOND UNDERSTANDING In the 1800’s, at a time when “the insane” were kept in jails and almshouses, they were horrifically mistreated. Social reformer, Dorothea Dix, did much to change this. While touring such places throughout the U.S., she drew the government’s attention to “the state of the insane persons confined within […]

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We need more than acceptance alone

MENTAL ILLNESS AND EQUALITY Much has been done to build better mental health awareness in the church. Yet there’s room for better understanding. And a lot more needs to happen than acceptance alone. People with mental health issues are no different than others in wanting to be considered to have equal worth. And yet it’s […]

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My claims of abuse – a symptom of my illness?

MENTAL ILLNESS AND ABUSE Graham Thornicroft, in his book Shunned: Discrimination against people with mental illness said this: “Once a person has been defined as mentally ill, his or her protests are often discredited or, even worse, labelled one more ‘symptom’ of his or her illness.” I have – for a very long time tried […]

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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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Give us a voice of our own

A few months ago I published a little booklet called We Are Real People. One of the points it makes is that we are not always given the opportunity to speak for ourselves.  Others speak for us, expressing our needs, speaking about us. But do they really know us or understand us? We need to develop […]

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Our voices – Have you forgotten his love?

Why do you despise us so? What have we done? Was it our physical appearance? Was it the way we act? Was it that you had forgotten we were people like you? Like others you knew? Like the people you could understand and love? But you don’t stop long enough to know us. To spend […]

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