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 Careful Treatment Plan Helped Dreams Come True

    Managing lithium in pregnancy Julianne Reprinted from "Having a Baby" issue of Visions Journal, 2012, 7(3), pp. 16-19 Having children was always one of my goals. Because I’m a woman who was diagnosed with bipolar affective disorder when I was a ...

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  2. Continuing the Journey: A way back from trauma and substance use

    Katherine B. Oxner, MSW and Veronica Brown Reprinted from "Women" issue of Visions Journal, 2004, 2 (4), p. 25 Tara sounds like any other young mother. While her two-year-old squeals happily in the background, Tara offers her daughter a carrot a ...

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  3. From Experiences to Actions

    My life as a consumer single mom Dawn Brossard Reprinted from "Parenting" issue of Visions Journal, 2004, 2(2), pp. 15-16 I feel that, in a sense, I’ve made it through. I am entering a new phase in my life: middle age and becoming a willing gran ...

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  4. Intrusive Thoughts? Not What We'd Planned...

    Jolene H Reprinted from "Having a Baby" issue of Visions Journal, 2012, 7 (3), pp. 10-11 I have a family history of mental illness, so I’ve seen what bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and a "nervous breakdown" can look like close up. I w ...

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  5. Isabel's Story

    Isabel Reprinted from "Parenting" issue of Visions Journal, 2004, 2(2), pp. 18-19 For many years I was unaware of my mental illness. My life was very busy and fast paced. I faced the strains of first generation immigrant adjustment to Canada: at ...

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  6. My Daughter is my Guardian Angel

    The joy of a new child might not always feel so joyful Donna Lea Zwick Reprinted in "Mood Disorders" issue of Visions Journal, 2000, 1(11), p. 15 Four months after my second child, a daughter, was born, I strolled along the boardwalk of Stevesto ...

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  7. My Fall From Grace

    Exercise, well-being and medication side effects Cynthia Row Reprinted from "Women" issue of Visions Journal, 2004, 2(4), p. 26 For 25 years, rigorous physical activity—and its cosmetic effect on my body—brought me relief from symptoms of severe ...

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  8. 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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  9. Postpartum Depression—Fathers Get Hit By It Too

    Albert* Reprinted from "Having a Baby" issue of Visions Journal, 2012, 7 (3), pp. 14-15 At the hospital, Jeanne spent a whole night coping with the pain of labour. After 17 hours of labour, the baby had moved into a dangerous position, and Jeann ...

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  10. The Weight On My Shoulders—And When It Lifted

    Gail Johnson Reprinted from "Having a Baby" issue of Visions Journal, 2012, 7 (3), pp. 19-20 When I was pregnant with my first child, I’d never been happier. Although I’d always been prone to anxiety, I’d overcome much of it by the time I met my ...

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