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. Amrik's Bout with Schizophrenia

    Margaret Little Reprinted from "Treatments" issue of Visions Journal, 2006, 3(1), pp. 14-15 In 2003, at the age of 22, Amrik* had just graduated from a US university with a Computer Engineering degree. He was a normal, well-adjusted young gradua ...

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  2. Journey to Recovery from First-Episode Psychosis

    Don't wait. Get help early. Tara and Terry-Lee Marttinen Reprinted from "First Responders for Young People" issue of Visions Journal, 2006, 3(2), pp. 16-17 Tara’s Story Ten years ago, when I was just 15 years old, I began having very strang ...

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  3. Medical Staff and Self-Injury

    LM Reprinted from "First Responders for Young People" issue of Visions Journal, 2006, 3(2), pp. 18-19 Self-injury refers to causing minor or moderate injuries to one’s own body. Common methods are cutting, burning, scratching or hitting oneself. ...

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  4. FRIENDS—has been a friend

    Michelle Anderson Reprinted from "First Responders for Young People" issue of Visions Journal, 2006, 3(2), pp. 19-20 First I feel nauseous; then I think I’m going to throw up. That’s usually what triggers my anxiety attack. I get so worried that ...

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  5. A Conversation Between a Mother and Son

    Annie and Scott* Reprinted from "First Responders for Young People" issue of Visions Journal, 2006, 3(2), pp. 17-18 Annie: It took me a long time to understand that Scott was struggling with getting by. I had moved to Edmonton to attend universi ...

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  6. My Path to 'Mental Illness First Aid'

    From young adult with mental illness to facilitator Shannon Ryan, MA Reprinted from "First Responders for Young People" issue of Visions Journal, 2006, 3(2), pp. 23-24 My first experiences living with mental illness occurred in my late teen year ...

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  7. My Life

    From one extremity to the other Michelle Dean Reprinted from "Treatments" issue of Visions Journal, 2006, 3(1), pp. 15-17 How did 'it' happen? Food, at times, has been my ‘friend’ and confidant (over-eating). Other times it has been my ...

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  8. Combat and Rescue

    Breeding grounds for PTSD Atholl Malcolm, CD1, PhD, RPsych Reprinted from "Trauma and Victimization" issue of Visions Journal, 2007, 3 (3), pp. 17-19 From 1964 to the early ’80s, I was an air navigator/tactical officer in the Canadian Forces. I ...

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  9. When the One Responding to Traumas Faces His Own

    A paramedic's story Richard Voigt Reprinted from "Trauma and Victimization" issue of Visions Journal, 2007, 3 (3), pp. 19-20 Surreal My journey into the world of mental illness started in February 2000 with an ambulance call that should hav ...

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  10. From Rags to Riches in Happiness

    Jessie Tegan Milton* Web-only article from "Housing and Homelessness" issue of Visions Journal, 2007, 4 (1) I've never really been free from mental illness. I was sexually abused at seven and developed schizoaffective disorder 1 in my teens ...

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