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. Adjusting Our Dreams

    Karen Reprinted from "Stigma" issue of Visions Journal, 2005, 2(6), pp. 28, 30 Two years ago, when my son Wayne* was 16, he was a handsome, well-rounded young man, destined for a healthy and productive adulthood. He had great talent in his liter ...

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  2. Psychosis

    A parent's perspective Mike Singleton Reprinted from "Families" issue of Visions Journal, 2004, 2(3), pp. 18-19 All parents have a special bond with their children. They conceive and then nurture them, helping them grow toward adulthood. Th ...

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  3. Psychosis on Burnaby Mountain

    What doesn't kill me makes me stronger Dana* Reprinted from "Supported Education" issue of Visions Journal, 2003, 1(17), pp. 16-17 To its student body, Simon Fraser University's architecture and location — perched high up on Burnaby Mo ...

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  4. Journey to Recovery from First-Episode Psychosis

    Don't wait. Get help early. Tara and Terry-Lee Marttinen Reprinted from "First Responders for Young People" issue of Visions Journal, 2006, 3(2), pp. 16-17 Tara’s Story Ten years ago, when I was just 15 years old, I began having very strang ...

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  5. Cannabis and Me

    A cautionary tale Anita Smith Reprinted from "Cannabis" issue of Visions Journal, 2009, 5 (4), p. 17  In January 1998, when I was 27, I began hearing voices. The first voices I heard told me they were going to kill me. I literally ran out of the ...

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  6. Should We Have Been More Aware? A mother and son share their story

    How cannabis changed my life Matt* Reprinted from "Cannabis" issue of Visions Journal, 2009, 5 (4), p. 22 It started in the summer before high school. I mysteriously developed strange vibrations in my neck and head that caused pain and headaches ...

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  7. Two Views of a Cup of Juice

    Jan Lars Jensen Reprinted from "Families" issue of Visions Journal, 2004, 2(3), pp. 24-25 I vividly remember my wife pouring me the cup of homemade grape juice that morning. We sat together in the hospital psych ward, where I had been admitted t ...

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  8. The Mom I Never Knew

    When Debbie’s mother died, she found her mom’s journals—thousands of entries on her struggles with mental illness. The family knew there was a problem, but only in her journal did Debbie learn about her mother’s shame, embarrassment, fear and loneliness. ...

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