Marja Bergen

author, mental health advocate, follower of Christ

Category: Stigma (page 1 of 11)

The best way to reduce mental health stigma

LISTEN TO THE VOICES OF THOSE WHO LIVE WITH IT Trying to reduce stigma by having educators teach us about mental illness, only serves to show people how we’re different. It’s only by hearing from people who live with it—only by hearing how they’re hurt by stigma and discrimination—that compassion can grow and understanding reached. […]

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It’s not the end of the world? Really?

THE EFFECTS OF STIGMA AND DISCRIMINATION In 1999, I published a book encouraging those who, like me, had mental health issues. In an effort to encourage them, I wrote, “It’s not the end of the world.” I worked hard, trying to make the world a better place for them—in 2006, founding support groups, where they […]

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Let the Church be the Church

THE CHURCH, MENTAL ILLNESS, AND US Jesus came to love and to heal those who are sick. And that should be the Church’s role. Teaching about mental illness is good, but it does nothing to remove stigma or discrimination. It does the opposite. It only serves to point out how our disabilities make us different […]

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The pain of rejection

BOUNDARIES OR STIGMA? In 2017, during a difficult time of my life, I wrote the following: For a long time the concept of boundaries didn’t make sense to me. It hurt when I was shut out of various peoples lives. Oh, Lord, it hurt! How could I tell all I want to tell? How can I […]

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Borderline personality disorder – Misdiagnosis

BPD AND CHURCH SUPPORT According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), “BPD is one of the most commonly misdiagnosed mental health conditions. It’s so misdiagnosed, in fact, that there isn’t even an accurate prevalence rate for the condition. What we do have is an estimate of 2–6% of the population, which actually makes BPD very […]

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Breaking ground – A true story

MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS IN THE CHURCH In 1993 the Vancouver Sun published Sick, But No One Brought Me Flowers. This article marked the coming out of a woman who—starting at the beginning of the next century—was to introduce mental health awareness to the Christian Church. She was determined to reduce the stigma affecting people with […]

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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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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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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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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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