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. Banishing the Shame From My Life

    Ron Nunn Reprinted from "Aboriginal People" issue of Visions Journal, 2008, 5 (1), pp. 17-18 As a Métis man with bipolar illness, I have worn a mantle of shame—a sackcloth of self-loathing, fear of exposure and a deep sense of failure—for most o ...

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  2. Bipolar Disorder. Reckless Spending

    Pat Merrett and Marguerite* Reprinted from "Income" issue of Visions Journal, 2011, 7 (2), pp. 10-12 Out of control and in the red Marguerite says: “My life is so much better since I cleared up my money problems. Without the tremendous dedicatio ...

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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. The Art of Conversation as Healing?

    Jay Peachy Reprinted from "Culture" issue of Visions Journal, 2014, 9 (4), p. 10 Vancouver’s rich diversity of cultures and natural surroundings seems to create inspiration. Beneath the beauty, however, the city rumbles with darkness. The Downto ...

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  6. Don’t Give Up—Things Do Get Better

    Barry Reprinted from "Recovery" issue of Visions Journal, 2013, 9 (1), pp. 12-14 Long before the words date rape were even invented. When having a child out of so-called wedlock was worse than catching the bubonic plague. Mother and child bore a ...

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  7. Health Literacy and Mood Disorders

    A Personal Perspective Kathy* Reprinted from "Health Literacy" issue of Visions Journal, 2013, 8 (2), pp.17-19 “You have depression and anxiety,” the psychiatrist told me. In some ways I wasn’t too surprised because I had been living with sympto ...

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