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 Family Story

    An insider’s look at growing up in a family unaware of problems with depression, anxiety and alcohol Murphy Kennedy Reprinted from "Families" issue of Visions Journal, 2004, 2(3), pp. 42-44 As far back as I can remember, I felt like an outsider, ...

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  2. Accommodating Addiction in the Workplace

    Adam Picotte, CDMP, Barrister & Solicitor From  "Workplace: Disclosure and Accommodations" issue of Visions Journal, 2018, 13 (4), p. 24 Amy* was in trouble and she knew it. As a single mom with two children requiring special care and a dema ...

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  3. Discovering My Dragon

    And starting to tame it Neil Reprinted from "Concurrent Disorders" issue of Visions Journal, 2004, 2(1), p. 22 In some ways I've just landed, treading solid ground instead of shifting sands. I'm a landed immigrant, having arrived from ...

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  4. Double Trouble

    People diagnosed with both a mental illness and an addiction are falling through the cracks of the public health system because of a lack of coordinated services David Carrigg Reprinted from "Concurrent Disorders" issue of ...

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  5. Lost and Found

    Gaining an understanding of the power of compassion through experience Gordon Harper Reprinted from "Concurrent Disorders" issue of Visions Journal, 2004, 2(1), p. 25 Some years ago, I found myself driven to my knees by my own addiction. Oh, wha ...

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  6. My Portfolio of Support

    Ian Chovil Reprinted from "Social Support" issue of Visions Journal 2011, 6 (4), p. 14 In the beginning My onset of schizophrenia was what is called “insidious,” meaning a gradual onset of symptoms. For me, this occurred from ages 17 to 25 (betw ...

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  7. Post-Traumatic Stress and Substance Use

    Sally Gose Reprinted from "Women" issue of Visions Journal, 2004, 2 (4), pp. 23-24 “If you say to me that I cannot come to a group [about sexual abuse] until I am clean and sober, then you are telling me that I do not deserve to heal.” These are ...

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  8. Reflections from the Field

    People with concurrent disorders are first and foremost, people. Although they are frequently people with serious mental and sometimes physical health issues, they are also grandparents, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, friends and neighbours. They ar ...

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  9. Self-Medicating with Alcohol?

    Hey! I was just trying to survive... Murphy Kennedy Reprinted from "Alcohol" issue of Visions Journal, 2006, 2(9), pp. 26-27 It doesn't seem like it has been over 15 years since I had my last drink. The memories, good and bad, of my alcohol ...

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  10. Tales from the Trenches: An Expert Speaks

    Larry Reprinted from "Concurrent Disorders" issue of Visions Journal, 2004, 2 (1), pp. 23-24 The journey has been a difficult one. I have been suffering from mental illness most of my adult life — it started as a teenager. I was hospitalized for ...

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