Marja Bergen

author, mental health advocate, follower of Christ

Tag: mental illness (page 1 of 3)

Equality between mentally ill and healthy

WHEN BOUNDARIES NEED TO BE APPLIED I’m sensitive to being treated with disrespect. Isn’t everyone? I’m as human as the next person and believe I deserve to be treated that way. And yet, so often, even amongst people who I had thought to be kind, this sense of equality seems not to be understood. I […]

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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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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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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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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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Equal under God

As a person with mental health challenges, I claim the right to be considered equal. I may be different, but I am equal. Equal under God, the same as everyone else. Many have accepted people with problems like mine, making us part of their church and community. But this doesn’t mean we’re necessarily counted as […]

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Difficult people

  When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” Luke 19:5   Do you have a difficult person in your life? Or – could you yourself be regarded as a difficult person? I myself live with mental health issues that […]

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Part 21 – Understanding those who don’t understand

  Written in 2009 As a person living with bipolar disorder, I used to feel frustrated that so many people did not understand mental illness. I was angry that people didn’t even try to empathize. But through my writing and educating others, I’ve learned that the problem does not lie with healthy people alone. It […]

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Not for myself alone – part 3

I recently plowed my way through what must have been a few hundred emails I had sent to my friends during that unfortunate year. As I read, I was filled with shame. “Oh, Lord! How I must have sickened them! Such an imposition! Why couldn’t I have left them alone? What was I thinking to […]

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