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. The Struggle of Transitioning

    A mother's perspective Monique Lalonde Reprinted from "Young People: Transitions" issue of Visions Journal, 2015, 11 (2), pp. 20-23 At age three my son Tyler started to have obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) tendencies around cleaning and ...

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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. From Self-Harm to Self-Care

    How I came to understand the gap between self-harm and suicidal ideation Kat Zettler Reprinted from  "Young People: Self-Injury"  issue of  Visions Journal, 2017, 13 (2), p. 20 From 2011 to 2013, I lost track of how many times I pulled myself up ...

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  7. 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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  8. 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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  9. How My Daughter’s OCD Tore Our Lives and Our Family Apart

    Michelle Evans Reprinted from "Young People" issue of Visions Journal, 2013, 9 (2), pp. 15-17 Kassy was born on Christmas Eve, 1994—she was our angel. Everything was great until about one month before her 11th birthday in 2005. Almost overnight, ...

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  10. Hunger Pains

    Sophie Heizer Reprinted from "Young People" issue of Visions Journal, 2013, 9 (2), pp. 18-20 There are many misconceptions about anorexia, an eating disorder characterized by severe food restriction, irrational fear of weight gain, and a distort ...

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