Marja Bergen

author, mental health activist, follower of Christ

Tag: stigma (page 1 of 9)

The voices of today’s outcasts

More than anything, people with mental health challenges need to have support from those who will listen to them and learn what their life is like. This is especially true for those living with borderline personality disorder (BPD). As a mental illness it’s probably the most stigmatized of all, causing 10% to die by suicide. […]

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Breaking free

When we begin to struggle with mental health challenges, we’re given meds and we’re given a label (a diagnosis). And from that time forward, it’s hard not to live without a different persona—one that is looked down on. One that even we ourselves look down on. We may lose our confidence. Many in this unfair […]

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No one listens anymore

What happened to those voices that did the initial work of raising mental health awareness in the Church? Stories of what it feels like to be discriminated against are not heard because those who are affected are shunned when they want to tell about their pain. No one listens anymore. Why do the powers that […]

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When no one believes you

There is an insidious form of stigma that’s common in the lives of people with mental illness. It’s caused by mistreatment that’s real but not obvious, and so, when complaints are made, they’re not believed. The victims’ ability tell the truth about a situation, is all too often questioned. That’s unfair and a great injustice. […]

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Call me stupid – Life with BPD

Many people would call me stupid. Why would a person diagnosed with a shameful condition like borderline personality disorder (BPD) want to let everyone know about it? She must be crazy. But you see, I don’t believe there’s a good reason to be ashamed of BPD. I’m a person like any other. My illness is […]

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BPD – Stigma? Me?

Stigma is like a dirty word to most of us. We would not think of stigmatizing people with mental health problems or people with other disabilities. We don’t want to harm them, but try to follow Jesus by treating them with kindness. We want to help them find healing. And yet, it’s in that very […]

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BPD – Man’s inhumanity to man

People with BPD are often treated like untouchables in our modern world. Medical professionals and counselors don’t want to deal with them. They are feared by the people around them—feared because they don’t know the kind of response to expect. But if we want to follow Christ’s ways, we must try and treat those who […]

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BPD – The compassionate response to anger

Suppose someone said something or did something especially hurtful to the person with BPD. Such a sensitive person might not be able to help but react, often with the over-the-top anger (or emotional dysregulation) we’ve been talking about. That’s the feature of BPD that’s most alarming in the eyes of the people around us. And […]

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BPD – Emotional dysregulation

Through life challenges and trauma, usually occurring in childhood, people with BPD develop a strong sensitivity. They’re easily hurt. One source suggests that it’s like going through life without skin–without the protective barrier that prevents pain receptors from being exposed. Someone with BPD is much more hurt by someone’s words and actions than a person […]

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BPD – plea for understanding

Where do you go when you have an illness that medical professionals and counselors don’t want to deal with—treated like an untouchable in a modern world? Have you ever thought what that would feel like? It’s happening all the time to people with BPD. In their book Beyond Borderline: True Stories of Recovery from Borderline […]

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