Marja Bergen

author, mental health advocate, follower of Christ

Tag: stigma (page 1 of 10)

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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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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