Originally Posted by JC
judgement call maybe. But I wouldn't mention it. I don't think it does anything for you. And if its not helpful, don't put it in.
It seems like if you can show a dramatic, positive turn around in your personal life, it proves that you have motivation, perseverance, and a passion for doing something meaningful with your life. There is not one graduate admissions commitee that would scoff at these attributes - motivation, passion, and perserverance are EXACTLY the kinds of characteristics that are required of graduate students, regardless of the department/program. If you do choose to include this information about your past (and I definitely would), be sure to emphasize the positive
aspects (how you have overcome difficulty, how it has made you into the person you are today, as opposed to giving them a sob story), and definitely keep it concise (they want you to talk most
about your goals/aspirations, and less about your personal life/history).