Marja Bergen

author, mental health advocate, follower of Christ

Category: Stigma (page 1 of 10)

“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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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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As simple as that. Love is the answer.

OVERCOMING DISCRIMINATION It happened again, as it so often does. As I woke up from a sleep, God brought me an answer to a problem I’ve tried to solve for years: How to overcome discrimination towards people who are different. “It’s all about love,” he whispered in my ear. “As simple as that. Love is […]

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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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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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Let’s get angry at mental health stigma

  Throughout history, anger has proved to be an instrument of change. It leads to revolutionary action that can upend unjust social structures. Mahatma Gandhi was incensed with the state of his Indian nation, where his countrymen were made to feel inferior under British rule. Some years later, Nelson Mandela felt the same way when […]

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Accepted and valued

  On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Matthew 9:12,13   I guess I’ve been angry far too long about how people […]

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