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 Parent's Point of View

    Hazel Gillespie Reprinted from "Parenting" issue of Visions Journal, 2004, 2(2), p. 16 As the mother of two girls between the ages 21 and 19, I have found that parenting is very difficult. I was diagnosed with multiple personality disorder when ...

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  2. A Pharmaceutical Sunset With a Side Order of Weight Gain, Please!

    Simone Dina-Blunck Web-only article from "Medications" issue of Visions Journal, 2007, 4 (2) By the time I reached my mid-teens, I realized that there was something wrong with me. I just didn’t know what it was. Mental illness was a taboo topic ...

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  3. 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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  4. A Sudden Stop

    Medication management taken out of my control Patricia Harding Web-only article from "Medications" issue of Visions Journal, 2007, 4 (2) I want to tell you about something that happened to me. Everyone can learn something from this story, and th ...

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  5. Adulting

    Reham Cojuangco Reprinted from "Young People: Transitions" issue of Visions Journal, 2015, 11 (2), pp. 24-27 Transitions in life are a time for self-discovery, so I’m learning. I am in a generation where phrases like: “I’m having a quarter life ...

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  6. Allowing Life In

    Mindfulness as an alternative to alcohol Maureen, BA, MPA Reprinted from "Mindfulness" issue of Visions Journal, 2016, 12 (2), p. 16 I’ve been a worrier and prone to anxiety for as long as I can remember. Both my late mother and my sister have b ...

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  7. 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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  8. Getting Rid of the Hamster

    A clinician’s journey learning mindfulness Susan,* MA, RPsych Reprinted from "Mindfulness" issue of Visions Journal, 2016, 12 (2), p. 21 When we are anxious, it can feel as if we have a hamster running on a wheel in our brain. Our thoughts go ro ...

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  9. Is There Love After the Psych Ward?

    Victoria Maxwell, BFA, BPP* Reprinted from "Couples" issue of Visions Journal, 2015, 10 (4), p.17 I’ve been with my husband Gord for 14 years and married to him for eight. Nine years before I met him, I was diagnosed with my mental-illness trife ...

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  10. It’s Not a Burden

    Caregiving, mental illness and declining physical health Amanda Reprinted from "MInd-Body Connection" issue of Visions Journal, 2014, 10 (2), p. 11 My dad has been ill for my entire life—I’m 31 years old. He has struggled with alcohol dependence ...

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