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. Hindsight—A Difficult but Valuable Gift

    Leslie McBain Reprinted from "Families and Crisis" issue of Visions Journal, 2017, 12 (4), p. 12 This is the short story of our only child, our son Jordan, his life and his death. It is also about hindsight. Hindsight can be a learning tool—for ...

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  2. You Probably Don’t Know What I Did Last Summer …

    A teen’s experience with a mental health crisis  Jessica Wiechers Reprinted from "Families and Crisis" issue of Visions Journal, 2017, 12 (4), p. 15 Ah, summer. For many people my age, summer vacation is a time to relax, hang out with friends an ...

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  3. The Long Road

    A mother’s perspective on mental illness, community and recovery   Lisa* Reprinted from "Families and Crisis" issue of Visions Journal, 2017, 12 (4), p. 17 People say that nothing changes you like becoming a parent. I was so excited to become a ...

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  4. Family, Friends and Borderline Personality Disorder

    How to support the people you love Laurie Edmundson, BA Reprinted from "Families and Crisis" issue of Visions Journal, 2017, 12 (4), p. 19 I have had mental health problems my entire life. I was the kid who cried a lot and threw temper tantrums, ...

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  5. A Bump in the Road

    How an individual’s crisis affects the family Valentina Chichiniova, MA, RCC, CC Reprinted from "Families and Crisis" issue of Visions Journal, 2017, 12 (4), p. 22 Jay* was encouraged by his psychiatrist and his family to come see me as a counse ...

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  6. New Life Brings Hope to a Family Struggling with Mental Illness and Addiction

    Linda Del Degan Reprinted from "Families and Crisis" issue of Visions Journal, 2017, 12 (4), p. 25 I walk quietly into the room. My daughter-in law has a contented smile on her face. My grandson, all of four hours old, is snuggled in her arms. M ...

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  7. Many and One

    My life with dissociative identity Jen Callow Reprinted from "Recovery: Stigma and Inclusion" issue of Visions Journal, 2017, 13 (1), p. 8 On the outside, I’m one person. On the inside, I’m many. The severe trauma I experienced growing up left m ...

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  8. Fixing Your Flat Tire

    Recognizing and recovering from binge-eating disorder José* Reprinted from "Recovery: Stigma and Inclusion" issue of Visions Journal, 2017, 13 (1), p. 12 In Mexico, food is the core of social life. Growing up in Mexico often meant eating—whether ...

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  9. Pieces of Me

    Reflections of a mental health nurse on reducing stigma Michelle C. Danda, MN, RN, CPNHM(C) Reprinted from "Recovery: Stigma and Inclusion" issue of Visions Journal, 2017, 13 (1), p. 14 One of the first memories I have of my dad was when I was i ...

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  10. A Journey to Worthy

    The impact and stigma of suicide Brittany Didrich Reprinted from "Recovery: Stigma and Inclusion" issue of Visions Journal, 2017, 13 (1), p. 17 Mental illness has been a part of my life for almost 20 years—most of my existence.   At the age of f ...

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