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. Cutting Class

    A mother’s perspective on self-harm  Joleen* Reprinted from  "Young People: Self-Injury"  issue of  Visions Journal, 2017, 13 (2), p. 17 I recall my girl, prettiest doll ever: blond curly hair, the bluest eyes, her grandfather’s dimples, and a s ...

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  2. Cutting Through the Binary

    Self-injury and self-acceptance from a gender-nonconforming perspective Elliot* Reprinted from  "Young People: Self-Injury"  issue of  Visions Journal, 2017, 13 (2), p. 14 I have been fascinated by pain for as long as I can remember. As a young ...

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  3. 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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  4. Leave Self-Harm Behind

    Packing properly for your mental health journey Amrita Sunner Reprinted from  "Young People: Self-Injury"  issue of  Visions Journal, 2017, 13 (2), p. 11 When I was four, I had my first panic attack. I didn’t know it was a panic attack at the ti ...

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  5. Medical Staff and Self-Injury

    LM Reprinted from "First Responders for Young People" issue of Visions Journal, 2006, 3(2), pp. 18-19 Self-injury refers to causing minor or moderate injuries to one’s own body. Common methods are cutting, burning, scratching or hitting oneself. ...

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  6. Salvation in a Photo

    Disillusionment, self-injury and recovery through a photographer’s lens  Stephan Pawloski, BSocSc Reprinted from  "Young People: Self-Injury"  issue of  Visions Journal, 2017, 13 (2), p. 23 My story does not begin with a childhood of grief and t ...

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  7. Working with Ayla

    A school counsellor’s story about student self-injury and recovery Nicole Paley, BEd, MA, RCC Reprinted from  "Young People: Self-Injury"  issue of  Visions Journal, 2017, 13 (2), p. 26 I work as an elementary school counsellor for the Vancouver ...

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