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. Beyond Cleaning Up Your Own Barf

    Kelli Hewins Reprinted from "Campuses" issue of Visions Journal, 2007, 4 (3), pp. 11-12 Giving my head a shake A couple of weeks ago a friend I met at my workplace returned from a trip with a small gift for me. She said the item reminded her of ...

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  2. Bingeing and the Blues

    Victoria Maxwell Reprinted from "Women" issue of Visions Journal, 2004, 2(4), pp. 28-29 I'm not picky. I'll mainline sugar, carbs and fats in any form — ideally alternating between scoops of Snow Star Neapolitan ice cream and thick chu ...

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  3. 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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  4. Break's Over!

    Lyle Richardson Reprinted from "Tobacco" issue of Visions Journal, 2007, 3 (4), p. 18 A close friend recently said to me: “Lyle, if I know you at all, you’re smoking because you’re bored.” She knew me before I was diagnosed with schizophrenia—in ...

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  5. Breakdown at Work

    How I was treated when I needed long-term disability coverage Max Danvers* Reprinted from "Stigma" issue of Visions Journal, 2005, 2(6), p. 24 I was working for a large chemical waste company as a plant foreman and an on-site union representativ ...

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  6. Bullying at School Can Take the Sunshine Out of Life

    Darlene and Lenette Doskoch Reprinted from "Schools" issue of Visions Journal, 2009, 5 (2), pp. 15-17 A daughter’s story Hi, my name is Lenette Doskoch and I have generalized anxiety disorder. I don’t know exactly what to write. Remembering what ...

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  7. Cannabis and Me

    A cautionary tale Anita Smith Reprinted from "Cannabis" issue of Visions Journal, 2009, 5 (4), p. 17  In January 1998, when I was 27, I began hearing voices. The first voices I heard told me they were going to kill me. I literally ran out of the ...

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  8. Cannabis and My Road to Healing

    Kerry Porth Reprinted from "Cannabis" issue of Visions Journal, 2009, 5 (4), p. 16 I was one of those children who simply “fell under the radar”—no one knew I was unwell. I was sexually abused as a child and have suffered from post-traumatic str ...

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  9. Caring About Others, Caring for Myself

    Isabella* Reprinted from "Wellness" issue of Visions Journal, 2013, 7 (4), pp. 19-20 Over the course of my experiences, I’ve had opportunities, both personally and professionally, to interact with many people who are affected by mental health-re ...

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  10. Caring for the Aged

    Sometimes, denial is the biggest obstacle in treating a mental illness Elizabeth Reprinted from "Parenting" issue of Visions Journal, 2004, 2(2), pp. 25-26 Over the past years, we as a family have experienced the frustration of watching our moth ...

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