An Observation (for all the good it will do)

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Stephen
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An Observation (for all the good it will do)

Postby Stephen » Thu Mar 27, 2008 8:01 pm

This whole website is based upon the idea of depression peer support. There are no professionals to my knowledge on this site, no one is paid and the whole idea is to give and receive support.

It seems very unfortunate to me that so many join these depression forums and share how they feel, looking sometimes, desperately for help and support. -- This is how it should be, but I also see a cycle in here that isn't helpful to anyone. Unlike the depression chat rooms which are much more active, and where I see people giving and receiving support, it appears to me that most newcomers only wish to receive support -- there's no offer to help others, and they don't reply to others posts. The irony is, that then they get upset as they themselves have apparently been ignored. How is this circle ever going to change: newcomers ignore others, and in turn are then ignored themselves. It goes round and round.

This does not apply to everyone here, and there are a few people that selflessly give. But, as I stated, the premise is peer support. I therefore ask newcomers, "How do you expect a reply to your post if you're unwilling to take the time to reply to others?" I'm sure some of you can see at what I'm getting at. I also know when new to somewhere, and especially when feeling down, that giving is something that is almost an impossible task to accomplish -- on the other hand, it can be said that to give of ourselves, also helps us too.

I'm a no one in here (or anywhere), so ignore what I'm saying if you so wish -- it's no skin off my nose. However, for things to alter in here I think the attitude needs to change and be more like the chat rooms.

I think what's triggered this rant is the last newcomer that noted how quiet it sometimes is in here, and even wants suggestions as to busier depression forums. I'm like, "Why not try here first before asking about other places, and how do you really expect anyone to bother listening to you if you can't be bothered to listen/answer others?"

Before anyone criticises me and my involvement in the forums, I mainly invest a lot of time in the chat rooms instead of in here. I am not a forum-type person -- I have rarely asked for help in here, and as the membership list shows, despite forums not being my forte I have contributed over 300 posts.

All I'm saying, if you want these depression forums to work better you need to give as well as just expect others to just be there for you.

This post is only intended to suggest a way in which things could be better for everyone in this section of the website -- it's not meant to offend.

Wishing anyone that took the time to read this all the best.

Stephen

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Warmsoul/Jeanie13
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Postby Warmsoul/Jeanie13 » Thu Mar 27, 2008 10:55 pm

Stephen,

A good and much needed observation. Thank you for taking the time.

Warmie 8)
“If we admit our depression openly and freely, those around us get from it an experience of freedom rather than the depression itself.”
--- Dr. Rollo May
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waiting4?
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Thank You!

Postby waiting4? » Fri Mar 28, 2008 7:56 am

Stephen,
First, let me say, thank you for your observation. Second, I certainly did not intend to sound like I am "ranting." It was merely a question.
I haven't responded to previous forums more because I fear that my own supports won't necessarily be qualified. I am afraid to respond to others out of fear of saying the wrong thing. Perhaps you can understand this.
I simply needed an acknowledgement before feeling any kind of comfort level that would allow me to make observations or offer support to another's post.
I am sorry I offended.

Emotional_77
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Postby Emotional_77 » Sat Mar 29, 2008 11:56 am

That is true of some people here Stephen, but it's hard for people to give support when they are going through problems of their own. Then again, they should also learn that everyone in here is in need of support and not be just recieving the support. I learned that even when I'm going through problems that supporting others actually in return supports me. Good thoughts Stephen, I hope everyone reads your forum. You are such a good person and your thoughts should never be ignored.
(((((((((((((((Stephen)))))))))))))))))))
"You get the best out of others when you give the best of yourself."-Harry Firestone

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Postby Stephen » Sat Mar 29, 2008 12:31 pm

I'm glad I got my point somewhat across. I think maybe I was a little harsh in the way I worded my post -- for which I am sorry.

I do totally understand your fears of saying the wrong things Waiting4, and, needing to feel comfortable here. (Just to clarify, I meant I was "ranting", not you.)

I think "giving support" comes in many different forms... just a simple reply to acknowledge a post has even been read can go a long way. I really don't know the answers unfortunately, but I did feel like I needed to say something. I hate the fact that people seemingly are getting ignored in here, and perhaps someone has some positive ideas of how things can change?

It is nice to meet you Waiting4, and I hope I've not completely put you off these forums.

As always, it's nice to post to you here, and to talk to you in the chat rooms ((((((( Jeanie ))))))) and (((((( Emotional )))))

Take Care,

Stephen
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Fupduck
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Total Agreement

Postby Fupduck » Wed Apr 09, 2008 11:44 pm

Stephen I understand completely,I also agree completely.The excuse that the new people are too hurt to help,is a week one.I personally have a lot of hurt and many things I will never share.They are beyond what most people would believe anyway,but that is why I choose to help.It makes me forget my own problems when I am busy helping others,and that feeling I get from a thank you is priceless.I think a new member should have some time to get accustomed with their new friends,and surroundings,but they should repay the kindness,by helping others,and give the few who give all,a break.Someone was kind to them,so they should be kind to others too! Anyway I have said my piece,and I will try to continue,to be a helper,as best I can.Thank you for addressing this issue, as it was bothering others too.
"That ,which they preach the loudest, is that,which they are guilty of". Bob Tittel 1988

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Postby Warmsoul/Jeanie13 » Sun Jun 08, 2008 1:04 pm

((((((((((((((((((( Stephen )))))))))))))))))))))))

A warm hug for all you give. Thank you.

Warmie/Jeanie 8)
“If we admit our depression openly and freely, those around us get from it an experience of freedom rather than the depression itself.”

--- Dr. Rollo May

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Katietron
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Postby Katietron » Thu Jun 12, 2008 8:40 am

You know, I´ve been thinking about these forums while digging ground.
Most new people who come to chatroom dosen´t know forum even exists. Its the chatroom they find first, its what I found first too. I think I was told in chatroom that forum is here.

And the reason for not replying - I think its more because people are afraid to make things worse. I have had some contact with severely depressed people, suicidal persons and they are just so incredibly fragile, so very fragile.
I don´t know when this site was funded (couldn´t find it) but it seems relatively new and these things tend to take some time.
It is an issue. I think it´ll get better in time.
With regards.

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Postby Warmsoul/Jeanie13 » Thu Jun 12, 2008 5:20 pm

(((((((((((Katietron))))))))))))))))))

What you type, is read. We do our best to reply. Please continue sharing with us, and do tell others about this site.

Warmie/Jeanie 8)
“If we admit our depression openly and freely, those around us get from it an experience of freedom rather than the depression itself.”

--- Dr. Rollo May

Sunshine, smiles and love.



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Postby Stephen » Thu Jun 12, 2008 7:11 pm

Hi Katietron... an interesting time to think of these forums (whilst digging) lol!

Most new people who come to chatroom dosen´t know forum even exists. Its the chatroom they find first, its what I found first too. I think I was told in chatroom that forum is here.


I agree, the main problem now I think is people actually finding these forums. I'll look into if the chat room topic (that is displayed when anyone enters the room), can be changed to highlight the fact these forums exist and how to get here.

And the reason for not replying - I think its more because people are afraid to make things worse.


Also true I think. It's hard to know what to do really, by ignoring someone's post doesn't help, and to reply you can feel it might do more harm than good. I guess it's up to the individual.

Thanks so much for your observations and replying to my original post Katietron.

Take care,
Stephen
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MoMac
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hmmm - got me thinking

Postby MoMac » Thu Jun 19, 2008 5:46 pm

after reading Stephen's suggestion and the replys I got to thinking of times I felt I couldn't offer good support to people in the chat room. Mostly these times are when I am very worried about what someone may do and when someone is extremely upset about loses someone close. I think that links to sites that deal specifically with grief would be a good thing to add along with the emergency assistance numbers may be a good addition to the site as I have seen a few members dealing with this in my short time here and being depressed does at timesmakes it difficult for me to give my full attention someone in such obvious need.

ps Stephen - honesty's a great quality, don't sweat about it lol
Hi, MoMac here

Fupduck
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An apology

Postby Fupduck » Sat Jun 21, 2008 10:26 am

I am gone for the winter
Last edited by Fupduck on Fri Nov 28, 2008 9:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby SoulInDespair » Fri Nov 28, 2008 8:20 pm

I haven't been here in awhile but I too have an observation. I find chatrooms intimidating and I prefer forums. I'm not a quick typist or thinker when I'm in chatrooms because I start to have panic attackes there. So I give up then and I'm sure there are other like myself. But there is no one on the forums to talk to ,not like another depression forum I belong too.

This arguement that newbies need to learn to give to get on the forum is sound but up to a point. I have no problem with giving as long as I DO GET. In the little bit of time I spent here, I had the same two or three people respond to my posts. Where are all the other regulars? Are they hiding? How about they be more active on the forum? Lead by example.

Yes, some people that come to depression forums are very fragile and sometimes they don't always have much to give in return and I can understand people being scared of saying something wrong and make things worst. How about just saying something simple like 'I understand.' or 'I've been where you are now' and then share your own story with them. Sometimes it's great to know that others have been thru the same thing you're going thru now.

I came here tonight because I was feeling depressed and having suicidual thoughts because I lost an online friend from this other depression forum I belong to. She ment alot to me. Something I never got the chance to tell her. Her and I had a similar past history. We shared alot and we helped each other alot too. We understood each others thoughts and feelings concerning depression. She was always the first to post a comment on my blog. I looked forward to her response. Just like you look forward to seeing your friend arrive.

But right before Thanksgiving Day, came to say 'goodbye' and before I could reply she'd turned off her personal messenger, removed all comments and people from her friends list on her profile and deleted all her blog entries. I didn't even get to say MY GOODBYES.

My friend had a history with other members there before I came and I sense she had a problem with someone there and that's why she left. So I don't know who is safe to talk to there. So rather then put my foot in my mouth and cause myself trouble with someone there I decided to come here for help.

But as usual the forum is deserted. I can still find my old posts here,this place is so dead. I went into the chatroom here once and felt I was being attacked for my belief. Didn't exactly help my issue of intimidation or anxiety.

The regulars need to be more involved on the forum. It's unfair to the few who do respond on the forum. This place needs to be more welcoming and more active. I can't be the only one who feels chatrooms aren't for them and if larger forums can have an active forum AND an active chatroom then the issues lies with the members. Don't blame the newbies for not putting YOURSELVES OUT THERE MORE!!

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Postby Stephen » Fri Nov 28, 2008 11:25 pm

That all makes sense to me. And I'm sorry for the loss of your online friend (((((((( SoulInDespair ))))))))).

So how do we go about making the forums a more friendly environment?

I'm the opposite, I find chat rooms easier than forums, but I do feel these forums could help people a lot more. I simply don't know how though. The chat room's very busy, and I did get the topic changed to link to here.

Please, anyone, suggest practical ideas. Perhaps the layout of the board could be changed? I'm in the dark, so I hope someone can come along and help turn things around in here.

Take care to all that read,

Stephen
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SoulInDespair
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Postby SoulInDespair » Sat Nov 29, 2008 8:12 pm

Thank you, Stephen for your concern. I've been going thru alot of serious depression lately.

As for making this a more friendly environment I really don't know if I have the answers for you. I do know that the other forum I visit is much more busier and I've been on that forum as long as I've been a member here and I can't find my first post there like I can here.

The difference I see is that alot of the regulars, ones that have been there for years are much more active on the open forum. Not just in the chatroom. The mods and Admins also take an active part on the forum but less so then the regulars.

Newbies share their story and offer comfort and support just as much to other newbies as they do to the regulars and vice versa. It feels more like a community then a forum.

Their format is a little broader too. They have different areas for different topics. Like one forum is just for depression. Another is depression and relationships. Another is Religion and depression. Parents and children and depression. Self-Injury forum. Gay, Lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender forum. Obcessive/compulsive forum. Substance abuse forum. Suicidual thoughts forum. Sexual abuse forum. Depression and bereavement forum. A forum where you can talk about the type of medication you're on and what works and doesn't work for you.

Alot of people go to the forums that they feel most comfortable in, where the topic most applies to them and where they know they'll find others with similar issues or history. Some forums are protected with passwords so not just anyone can go in there and the password is only given out to members by mods or admin.

Response time is pretty quick there. Sometimes you might get a response within minutes or it might be a day. Since so many members are from all over the world, the forum is more active at different times then others. But I've never had a problem with never getting responded to.

I wish I had better examples to help you with but I would change the format of the main page. Maybe list at the top of the page the different areas of the forum that they can click on and go to.


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