Marja Bergen

author, mental health advocate, follower of Christ

Tag: stigma (page 1 of 9)

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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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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Talk with us, not about us

Bored? William Wilberforce, the British slave trade abolitionist, once said, “It is inconceivable that we could be bored in a world with so much wrong to tackle, so much ignorance to reach and so much misery we could alleviate.” I’m certainly not bored. I only wish I were younger so that I would have more […]

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Reducing the feeling of shame

EXCERPT FROM A FIRM PLACE TO STAND (PAGE 198) – MARJA BERGEN (2008) In the introduction to his book, No Man is an island, Thomas Merton said that loving ourselves properly is “desiring to live, accepting life as a great gift and a great good, not because of what it gives us, but because of […]

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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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