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. 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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  3. And the Cement Cracked and Crumbled Away

    Rosalyn Reprinted from "Stigma" issue of Visions Journal, 2005, 2(5), pp. 25-26 It was April: the season of rebirth. I stepped out of the hospital and into the sunlight, suddenly aware that I was no longer wearing a puke-coloured gown and dispos ...

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  4. Art—An Antidote for Depression

    Suzan Milburn Reprinted from "Recovery" issue of Visions Journal, 2013, 9 (1), pp. 21-22 It is August 2003 and the nurses at Willowview mental health treatment centre in Vernon, BC, are scurrying around taking pictures off the walls. And they ar ...

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  5. Bingeing and the Blues

    Victoria Maxwell Reprinted from "Women" issue of Visions Journal, 2004, 2(4), pp. 28-29 I'm not picky. I'll mainline sugar, carbs and fats in any form — ideally alternating between scoops of Snow Star Neapolitan ice cream and thick chu ...

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  6. Holding on While Letting Go

    The contradictions of teenage mental illness Pam Reprinted from "Families" issue of Visions Journal, 2004, 2(3), pp. 20-21 Our 16 year-old son had just emerged from his bedroom. For most of the day, he had been agitated and uncommunicative. At o ...

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  7. Interview with Pete Wentz from

    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. Life Through Depression- Depression Through Life

    Ken Lam, as told to Stephanie Wilson Reprinted from "Immigrants and Refugees" issue of Visions Journal, 2010, 6 (3), p. 14 I was born in 1932, in Hong Kong. I have two older brothers, one younger brother and one younger sister. My father had a s ...

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  9. Limitations and Complexities of my Self-Management

    Sarah Hamid-Balma Reprinted from "Self-Management" issue of Visions Journal, 2003, 1 (18), pp. 15-16 I recently learned that my mental disorder (unipolar depression) will be a life-long battle. It was hard to hear, after seven years on medicatio ...

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  10. Living with Depression

    Dena Lea Reprinted from "Mood Disorders" issue of Visions Journal, 2000, 1(11), p. 8 Have you ever tried to put on a happy face when you weren't feeling bright and cheery? Because of the nature of depression, it took me years to get into tr ...

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