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. Elizabeth Ando's Nightmare

    One mother's obsessive cleaning almost cost her everything Mark Hume Reprinted in "Parenting" issue of Visions Journal, 2004, 2(2) pp. 14-15 At first she seemed like an ultra-domestic housewife. Everything was in its place, the floors were ...

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  2. A Different Kind of Teenage 'Angst'

    Recollecting a Panic-Ridden Adolescence Sarah Reprinted from "Anxiety Disorders" issue of Visions Journal, 2002, 1(14), pp.10-11 I have always felt that I've inherited a hypersensitive nervous system from my mother, and she, from her mother ...

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  3. One Family's Back-to-School Story

    Reprinted from HeretoHelp media release, August 2004 Heading back to school is tough. It can be hard for everyone — young people and their families — and it’s even harder for British Columbia families already facing adversity… The Robertsons of Maple Ridg ...

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  4. FRIENDS—has been a friend

    Michelle Anderson Reprinted from "First Responders for Young People" issue of Visions Journal, 2006, 3(2), pp. 19-20 First I feel nauseous; then I think I’m going to throw up. That’s usually what triggers my anxiety attack. I get so worried that ...

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  5. My Path to 'Mental Illness First Aid'

    From young adult with mental illness to facilitator Shannon Ryan, MA Reprinted from "First Responders for Young People" issue of Visions Journal, 2006, 3(2), pp. 23-24 My first experiences living with mental illness occurred in my late teen year ...

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  6. Combat and Rescue

    Breeding grounds for PTSD Atholl Malcolm, CD1, PhD, RPsych Reprinted from "Trauma and Victimization" issue of Visions Journal, 2007, 3 (3), pp. 17-19 From 1964 to the early ’80s, I was an air navigator/tactical officer in the Canadian Forces. I ...

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  7. When the One Responding to Traumas Faces His Own

    A paramedic's story Richard Voigt Reprinted from "Trauma and Victimization" issue of Visions Journal, 2007, 3 (3), pp. 19-20 Surreal My journey into the world of mental illness started in February 2000 with an ambulance call that should hav ...

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  8. An Unexpected Education

    What I really learned in university Tamsin Bosko* Web-only article from "Campuses" issue of Visions Journal, 2008, 4 (3) As a young child, I was terrorized by disaster scenarios running through my head—getting run over by a speeding truck Roadru ...

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  9. The Bottom Line

    There is no health without mental health Arto Tienaho Reprinted from "Workplaces" issue of Visions Journal, 2009, 5 (3), pp. 17-18 Keeping a lid on panic My first panic attack happened when I was 24—at work. My youth had been a mix of laughter, ...

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  10. Cannabis and My Road to Healing

    Kerry Porth Reprinted from "Cannabis" issue of Visions Journal, 2009, 5 (4), p. 16 I was one of those children who simply “fell under the radar”—no one knew I was unwell. I was sexually abused as a child and have suffered from post-traumatic str ...

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