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 Role as a Teacher-Mother

    Or is it mother-teacher? Donna Murphy Reprinted from "Families" issue of Visions Journal, 2004, 2(3), pp. 30-31 Throughout my life, I have had two main loves. One has been my son, Kelly, who died by suicide in 1997 after a three-year battle with ...

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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. When Expectations Crumble

    A mother’s look at her son’s university experience I.B.* Reprinted from "Campuses" issue of Visions Journal, 2007, 4 (3), pp. 16-17 When going to university is all you’ve ever wanted and it doesn’t work out, it can be devastating. The loss of pr ...

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  5. The Mind Shaft

    Suzannah Kelly Reprinted from "Campuses" issue of Visions Journal, 2007, 4 (3), pp. 18-19 You’d be amazed at the places I’ve puked. Like a junkie knowing the hit that caused rock bottom, I remember my worst purge. Something shifted. I’d been loo ...

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  6. From Cutting to Creating Change on My Campus

    Amanda Pierce Reprinted from "Campuses" issue of Visions Journal, 2007, 4 (3), pp. 20-21 Then I used to cut myself. Daily. Sometimes several times a day. It started in the fifth grade. I felt worthless and ugly, inside and out. I felt as though ...

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  7. Interview with Pete Wentz from halfofus.com

    Pete Wentz Web-only article from "Campuses" issue of Visions Journal, 2008, 4 (3) Beginnings I started doing music when I was about fourteen, and it got serious actually when I transferred into DePaul and I found myself, you know, with like, not ...

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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. My School Years

    The wild ride from basements to bikes Chris Reprinted from "Schools" issue of Visions Journal, 2009, 5 (2), pp. 10-11 Much of my life has been a wild ride into mental illness—and a climb out of it. It’s a ride I’m still on and will continue on u ...

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  10. To Tell or Not to Tell?

    The question of disclosure Caris Smythe* Reprinted from "Schools" issue of Visions Journal, 2009, 5 (2), pp. 30-31 I’ve always believed that to combat stigma we need to discuss mental health issues openly. This has been the credo by which I’ve l ...

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