Marja Bergen

author, mental health advocate, follower of Christ

Tag: stigma (page 1 of 10)

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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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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Narrowing the gap that divides

MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS IN THE CHURCH After many years of fighting to overcome the stigma of mental illness in the Church, starting with publication of a couple of articles for the Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division in 2005 and 2006, I’m coming to see that “well” people will never truly understand what it is […]

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I’m odd at times, and wish I weren’t

GRIEVING MY MENTAL ILLNESS September 2017 There is a time for everything,     and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to weep and a time to laugh,     a time to mourn and a time to dance, Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4 Sometimes life is such that one needs to give expression to what goes […]

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Misdiagnosis tears my life asunder

PSYCHIATRIST’S POWER ABUSED Unfortunately, I’ve been like an innocent child, trusting the person at the helm of my mental health care for years. I believe most of us who live with mental illness do lean on our psychiatrist, especially when we live with low self-esteem. After all, we think, the doctor knows best. I was […]

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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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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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