Marja Bergen

author, mental health activist, follower of Christ

Tag: discrimination (page 1 of 2)

South Africa and discrimination – A life worth living – Part 28

When Gandhi arrived in South Africa he was appalled by the discrimination he experienced as an Indian immigrant. On a train trip to Pretoria, he was in a first-class compartment but told to leave because he was a non-white and not allowed in first-class. He protested, producing his first-class ticket, but was warned he would […]

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Part 15 – A reader’s story of rejection

NOBODY CARES FOR MY TEARS In the early eighties, our family was the only brown family in our church among all white people. We were new to Christianity learning step by step. Preparations were under way for Christmas shows. At home, I helped my children to practice the play. My younger son was very enthusiastic […]

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A voice of one calling – Part 1

  John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’” John 1:23   John the Baptist had been testifying about Jesus and he was questioned by Jewish priests and Levites, puzzled by what he was proclaiming. “Who are […]

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A voice of one calling

    John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’” John 1:23   John the Baptist had been testifying about Jesus and he was questioned by Jewish priests and Levites, puzzled by what he was proclaiming. “Who […]

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4. Our rights – not for myself alone

I was still like a child in ways. What was happening bewildered me. I had developed strong bonds with those who had showed me love. Like a child clinging to her parents, I could not let go. Only after thousands of dollars’ worth of psychotherapy did I learn to recognize the truth about what happened. […]

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3. Our rights – not for myself alone

Friends had betrayed me. My whole community betrayed me. I found myself ostracized. My feelings of self-worth plummeted. Gradually I forgot that I had done anything good at all. One of the worst forms of discrimination is when there is a conflict between a well person and someone with a history of mental illness. This […]

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2. Our rights – not for myself alone

People with mental illness are too often treated in ways that make them feel inferior—ways that make them feel they’re not as much of a person as others are. If that could only change! Jesus quoted the prophet Isaiah when he announced the following in Luke 4:18. “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, […]

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1. Our rights – not for myself alone

I’ve gone far enough with my story. There’s lots more, but much is already covered elsewhere. I now want to tell you what motivated me to write this series. I feel my rights as a human being, and the rights of others with mental illness, are too often considered unimportant. Yet, not taking them seriously […]

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Not for myself alone – part 7

I had been told I’d been too demanding. Relying too much on friends. Constantly needing to email and talk. I’ve told before about how I felt guilty about this behavior and how I tried to change. A few times I asked for boundaries, thinking I needed firm guidelines, but was told I was always welcome […]

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Not for myself alone – part 6

In the days following, I looked for support, calling a few friends to ask for prayer. But no one returned my call. Are they thinking there’s something wrong with me because I was excluded from the group? With support disappearing, I felt like my faith was under attack. I was alone. Abandoned. I said earlier […]

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