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. A Big, Strong Man

    Spencer McDonald Reprinted from "Men" issue of Visions Journal, 2005, 2(5), p. 17 Life is good. I run my own company, give talks on workplace depression to business leaders, and appear on radio and TV. But it wasn't always that way. I' ...

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  2. Breakdown at Work

    How I was treated when I needed long-term disability coverage Max Danvers* Reprinted from "Stigma" issue of Visions Journal, 2005, 2(6), p. 24 I was working for a large chemical waste company as a plant foreman and an on-site union representativ ...

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  3. Everything Is Related

    Unemployment, mental health and addiction—and the need for cooperative action Andy Sibbald Reprinted from "Aboriginal" issue of Visions Journal, 2008, 5 (1), pp. 12-14 I lived and worked in the addictions field in Nunavut, the Northwest Territor ...

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  4. Transitioning from Disability Pension to Full-Time Work

    Scary but liberating Eva* Reprinted from "Workplaces" issue of Visions Journal, 2009, 5 (3), pp. 12-13 I’ve been working toward wellness for the past 14 years. My recovery journey began after I was given a diagnosis of schizophrenia at age 19. I ...

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  5. Insurance Reassurance

    Disability income a must for recovery Ross Taylor Reprinted from "Workplaces" issue of Visions Journal, 2009, 5 (3), pp. 14-15  In 2005, I was in the hospital for six weeks and off work for four months. I cannot imagine trying to get through tha ...

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  6. A Triple Threat

    Workplace isolation, West Coast grey and the "black dog" Gwen Marsh Reprinted from "Workplaces" issue of Visions Journal, 2009, 5 (3), pp. 15-16 It was supposed to be an ideal solution. My husband had a new job in a new city. I could k ...

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  7. 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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  8. Return to Work

    Ready or not? Karen Six Web-only article from "Workplaces" issue of Visions Journal, 2009, 5 (3) How long is this gonna take?” I wailed, sobbing so hard that snorts and bubbles of mucus and tears choked and blinded me. “I’m never going to be bac ...

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  9. Taking Care of That Little Girl

    Maureen Lavallee Web-only article from "Workplaces" issue of Visions Journal, 2009, 5 (3) For 35 years, I ‘danced’ with the work world. I have no idea how I functioned—but I did. I’ve been squirrel-brained for much of my life. From the time I wa ...

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  10. On Both Sides of the Desk

    Working as a mental health nurse with a mental illness Ashley Peterson, BSN, RN Reprinted from "Workplace" issue of Visions Journal, 2014, 9 (3), pp. 7-8 When I first became a nurse and started working on a hospital psychiatric ward, I thought m ...

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