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. My Fall From Grace

    Exercise, well-being and medication side effects Cynthia Row Reprinted from "Women" issue of Visions Journal, 2004, 2(4), p. 26 For 25 years, rigorous physical activity—and its cosmetic effect on my body—brought me relief from symptoms of severe ...

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  2. Self Control and Bipolar Disorder

    Erika Reprinted from "Self-Management" issue of Visions Journal, 2003, 1(18), p. 21 "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." — Rei ...

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  3. On the Morning Tides

    Hope in self-management of mental illness Scott Whyte Reprinted from "Self-Management" issue of Visions Journal, 2003, 1(18), p. 20 It seems like a long time ago and so far away. I am speaking of my near breakdown and diagnosis of bipolar disord ...

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  4. My Path to Wellness

    From psychotic depression to recovery Debbie Sesula Reprinted from "Self-Management" issue of Visions Journal, 2003, 1(18), pp. 22-23 Part 1: Enslaved by Mental Illness The year is 1988. I was just your average university student struggling thro ...

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  5. My Brother's Nightmare

    Coming to terms with learning to manage hallucinations MC Wong Reprinted from "Self-Management" issue of Visions Journal, 2003, 1(18), pp. 17-18 People who cannot distinguish reality from illusion may be worse off than those who are terminally i ...

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  6. 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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  7. My First—and Hopefully Last—Hospitalization

    Barbara Bawlf Web-only article from "Trauma and Victimization" issue of Visions Journal, 2007, 3 (3) For many years I experienced periodic bouts of depression. I’d get through each one on my own, without any medical intervention. Usually there w ...

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  8. From Pain to PTSD

    Running the gamut of CBT Lynda Marie Neilson Reprinted from "CBT" issue of Visions Journal, 2009, 6 (1), p. 12 I had a serious motor vehicle accident nine years ago while working for a very high-paced software company. I was in Ottawa—far from m ...

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  9. When Life's Demands Take Their Toll

    Changeways for depression Pat Merrett Reprinted from "CBT" issue of Visions Journal, 2009, 6 (1), p. 14   My husband Joe couldn’t figure out why this was happening. He was 58 years old and was sitting in the backyard crying. And it wasn’t the fi ...

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  10. A Place to Call Their Own

    Donna Murphy Web-only article from "Stigma" issue of Visions Journal, 2005, 2(6) My first impression of the psychiatric unit at our local hospital was much the same as my 17-year-old son Kelly's: we were terrified. I knew that Kelly needed ...

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