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. 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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  2. 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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  3. My First—and Hopefully Last—Hospitalization

    Barbara Bawlf Web-only article from "Trauma and Victimization" issue of Visions Journal, 2007, 3 (3) For many years I experienced periodic bouts of depression. I’d get through each one on my own, without any medical intervention. Usually there w ...

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  4. Life After Death

    Troy* Web-only article from "Trauma and Victimization" issue of Visions Journal, 2007, 3 (3) My father died when I was eight years old. All I can remember is crying for two weeks straight. Going to school during this time was out of the question ...

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  5. Staying 'Quit'

    Pride on my side Frank G. Sterle Jr. Reprinted from Visions: BC's Mental Health and Addictions Journal, 2007, 3 (4), pp. 11-12 Every time I coughed, my left lung felt as though it was tearing apart. I was 18 and it was my third bout of bronchitis in ...

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  6. Smoking

    Habit or addiction? Susan J. Katz Reprinted from "Tobacco" issue of Visions Journal, 2007, 3 (4), pp. 12-13 I crouched, face to the floor, my eyes burning badly, straining to breathe. I was six years old and following the procedure for avoiding ...

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  7. Smoking My Life Away

    Catherine St. Denis Reprinted from "Tobacco" issue of Visions Journal, 2007, 3 (4), pp. 13-14 My throat is killing me, I’ve got no groceries in the house and I’ve got three cigarettes to my name. Even though I’m sitting here telling myself that ...

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  8. The Joys of Smoking

    (Yeah, right) Ronald P. MacIntyre Reprinted from "Tobacco" issue of Visions Journal, 2007, 3 (4), pp. 14-15 I started smoking at nine years of age. I still remember my sister and I getting caught smoking these non-filtered cigarettes in our back ...

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  9. Smoke-free Success

    Kathryn Lestage, RSW Reprinted from "Tobacco" issue of Visions Journal, 2007, 3 (4), pp. 15-16 At the age of nine, I first shared a pack of stolen cigarettes with three other nine-year-old friends. After that, I would steal cigarettes from my pa ...

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  10. Puffing It Up

    Dawn-Marie Tytherleigh Reprinted from "Tobacco" issue of Visions Journal, 2007, 3 (4), pp. 16-17 I started smoking tobacco when I was 13. But that wasn’t the first time I had funnelled smoke down my throat. One cold and stormy Vancouver night, w ...

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