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. Valuable Advice

    Jim Gifford Reprinted from Visions: BC's Mental Health and Addictions Journal, 2003, 1(18), p. 19 Lately, to my elderly and blind mother, I have been orally reading The Right Words At The Right Time by Marlo Thomas. Famous and well-known persons such ...

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  3. Self-Management of Psychosis and Schizophrenia

    Dana* Reprinted from "Self-Management" issue of Visions Journal, 2003, 1 (18), pp. 18-19 To some it might sound like an oxymoron, but many believe it possible that people with schizophrenia can manage this illness in a way that will enable them ...

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  4. The Challenge to Manage

    Nan Dickie Reprinted from "Self-Management" issue of Visions Journal, 2003, 1 (18), pp. 14-15 As a person with a 40-year history of recurring depression (unipolar mood disorder), I am encouraged by the new language and strategies that have recen ...

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  5. Personal Reflections on Shifting the Conversation to Mental Well-being

    The supports that foster well-being can be very different. For some, they might include employment and work opportunities. For others, they might include a community centre that offers ESL classes and an opportunity to play on a local soccer team. It’s cl ...

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  6. The Pursuit of Wellness

    Natalie had two options: keep using drugs and alcohol, or work to get better. Recovery from substance use problems and management of bipolar disorder would give her the opportunity to build healthy relationships with loved ones. First, she had to learn wh ...

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  7. Aligning Values and Notions of Self-Worth

    For Harley, taking time off work turned into a year off work, but it was a busy year of therapy and counselling groups, medication trials, treatments and reading. Through this work, he realized that his values and sources of his self-worth didn’t match. L ...

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  8. Caring About Others, Caring for Myself

    For a long time, Isabella’s immigrant parents didn’t discuss her sister’s experiences of mental illness. When she wanted resources and knowledge from health care professionals so she could better support her sister, she was disregarded. And when a friend ...

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  9. Health Literacy and Mood Disorders

    Kathy first came across the term cyclothymic when she was looking for information after a diagnosis of depression and anxiety problems. It seemed to fit, and she was eventually diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Learn more about the role of health literacy, ...

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  10. 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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