Personal Stories

Personal stories highlight the experiences of people just like you. You’ll find stories from people who experience mental health or substance use problems, people who support a loved one, and people who work in mental health or substance use fields. They share their own experiences and perspectives, and describe their personal journeys to understanding, health and well-being.

Personal stories highlight hope and well-being, not treatment advice. Check out the Self-Help Resources section of this site for info sheet and workbooks, and talk to your doctor or health care provider to discuss treatment options that might be a good fit for you.

  1. Ryan's Story

    Kerry Reprinted from "Suicide" issue of Visions Journal, 2005, 2(7), p. 23 My son Ryan came to a tragic end by suicide on January 13, 2002- just 12 days shy of his 27th birthday. He was, by that time, suffering from crystal methamphetamine addic ...

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  2. From Experiences to Actions

    My life as a consumer single mom Dawn Brossard Reprinted from "Parenting" issue of Visions Journal, 2004, 2(2), pp. 15-16 I feel that, in a sense, I’ve made it through. I am entering a new phase in my life: middle age and becoming a willing gran ...

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  3. Adolescent Addiction and Corrections

    My journey David Grant Reprinted from "Criminal Justice" issue of Visions Journal, 2006, 2(8), p.25 By the time I was 16 I had a serious drug problem. My parents knew I was likely to end up with serious mental and physical health problems—if I w ...

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  4. I Want a Little Respect

    Patrick Schnerch Reprinted from "Stigma" issue of Visions Journal, 2005, 2(6), p. 17 Mental illness is very common. It's a quiet disease, however. Physically, the disability often remains unseen. It's an affliction within one's he ...

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  5. Self-Medicating with Alcohol?

    Hey! I was just trying to survive... Murphy Kennedy Reprinted from "Alcohol" issue of Visions Journal, 2006, 2(9), pp. 26-27 It doesn't seem like it has been over 15 years since I had my last drink. The memories, good and bad, of my alcohol ...

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  6. The Destructive Path of Alcohol and Mental Illness

    A.M.R. Reprinted from "Alcohol" issue of Visions Journal, 2006, 2(9), p. 24 The eldest of four girls, I was born in Montreal into a black, evangelical church-going family of Caribbean ancestry. Starting in my teens, I sensed I had problems: I su ...

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  7. Does a Person Have to Look Sick...

    ... to be considered sick? Kate Reprinted from "Stigma" issue of Visions Journal, 2005, 2(6), p. 18 When people, including professionals, think of mental illness, their perception may be of a person who is not taking care of themselves and their ...

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  8. More Good Than Harm?

    I don't think so! Howard Fluxgold Reprinted from "Criminal Justice" issue of Visions Journal, 2005, 2(8), pp. 19-20 It was a damp and windy evening in February 2004 when the phone rang. It was around 9 p.m. I had come to recognize phone cal ...

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  9. A Daughter's Story

    Donna* Reprinted from "Alcohol" issue of Visions Journal, 2006, 2(9), pp. 23-24 I was 13 years old when I realized that alcohol had taken over my dad's life. One day, when I was 10, I walked home from my grandma's house to find our fro ...

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  10. On the Road Again

    S. Linda Walker Reprinted from "Women" issue of Vsions Journal, 2004, 2(4), p. 27 I was diagnosed as bipolar almost 18 years ago after waking from a coma, the result of head injury from a head-on car crash. I may have been genetically predispose ...

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