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webmaster
02-27-2004, 03:32 PM
Though I trust you have all kept up to date with the rules of the board, most of you also do a good job of following them and perhaps feel little need to check for new rules that you would follow otherwise. Nevertheless, I feel that the community should be informed whenever the principles that guide the moderators are ammended.

The significant change to the forum rules announcement is the following:


15. If you are depressed or suicidal, I strongly urge you
to seek professional help or the counseling of an adult
n your community. The message boards can be an unfriendly
place, and though some will be sympathetic, others will
not be, and you are unlikely to receive the support you deserve.
All too often, these threads result in flames and hurt feelings
and nobody feels better. These threads will receive a reply
listing resources for help and will then be closed. At the risk of
appearing to hold a double standard, the moderators will be
allowed to practice some discretion; for long-standing members
of the community, if a particularly traumatic event occurs, they
should not feel as though they cannot talk about it in the
community.

I would also like to explain the reasoning behind this rule and request comments from the community.

By the nature of the site and the message board, many visitors are young adults going through potentially very difficult times in their lives. In the past, individuals who are clearly in deep distress have visited the board at first to help and learn; they then find the General Discussions board and find a place to express their inner discontents. I believe that at some level many of us can sympathize with these feelings, but we often must deal with their expression in the form of angry, hate-filled postings, numerous complaints, rants on the meaning of life, and other expressions of muffled suffering. I believe that the most appropriate response to this kind of pain is the care of empathetic adults trained to handle this kind of angst and unrest, and that though the response of the community is sometimes positive, there are always those who have had bad days or simply seen so much of the same kinds of unhappiness that they might sometimes trivialize it and react harshly to these posts. That is why I believe that the most appropriate response to that sort of thread is for a moderator or even a regular member to provide a comprehensive list of thoughtfully chosen resources that have helped our members in the past.

In light of this, I would ask those of you who have had difficulties in the past with this kind of issue to post or PM me with links and comments on those links so that the list will truly be personal and not just Google's top ten hits for "suicide" or "depression counseling".

At the same time, I realize that the feelings of these individuals will nonetheless seem to be unique to them and that they may not believe others have ever felt the same way and they may feel the resposne to be impersonal. But given the alternatives, I think this is the best solution. I welcome comments to the contrary. I encourage you to PM any individuals in need of empathy and sympathetic words with the same. I do not mean to suggest that these individuals be turned away with cold form-letters.

I also do not wish to express that forum members who have recently experienced some kind of loss, the onset of unexplainable depression, or other trauma should not post their problems here. The difference is that for those who have been around a long time and active in the community, they have become a part of the community and are more likely to understand and respect the rules of netiquette and to be given heart-felt sympathy, and less likely to become more out of control and express themselves in standoffish ways.

I hope that the distinction is clear to everyone, but if it is not, I should be glad to make it more so. The purpose is not to prevent people from seeking help, but to help them find it; either for new members through other resources that would be more helpful to their situations or for old members who might find friends and ears on the boards.

Further, I encourage everyone to forebore posting cruel responses to cries for help and to be either sympathetic or quiet.

If you have comments, questions, or suggestions, you may post them here or PM me.

Alexander

sean
02-27-2004, 03:40 PM
Good call, webmaster, but wouldn't this work better as a "Sticky".

And let's try and cut down on the pointless flamings as a whole, depression-related or not.

RoD
02-27-2004, 08:28 PM
I'm quilty of committing some of the negativity thats being referred to and i apologize. We can do alot better, and thanks for bringing this to our attention.

major_small
03-02-2004, 10:54 AM
I've been through that before... I found the best thing to do is find somebody you can really trust and tell anything to... like a best friend or girlfriend/boyfriend (that feels like a best friend)... never put yourself out there like that unless you actually (kinda) know the people you're talking to... otherwise they won't really care about your problems...

FillYourBrain
03-04-2004, 09:33 AM
god, did something happen?

kermi3
03-04-2004, 09:51 AM
No, nothing has happened recently - and we'd like to keep it that way. There have been times in the past though when depressed and possibly suicidal people have posted here for help. We are obviously not equipped to help them in the way that they deserve, so we encourage them to seek professional help instead of posting here. There is always someone willing to listen, be it a teacher, friend, school counselor, or teacher.

Thantos
03-04-2004, 09:59 AM
The ones that keep coming back over and over...can't we kick them a little..... please

maes
03-04-2004, 11:13 AM
Can we make an exception for Series and Ober
because, series will always find a way to come back from the other side.
And about Ober, well,... , who doesn't like to kick Ober when he's down :p :D



On a more serious note, I like the new rule.
becaus when when you're depressed and you receive a flame, that won't help.
Oh well, enough said

ober
03-04-2004, 12:27 PM
:p

I'm going to have to talk to George about this. I think it's possible to get a tank rolling through Belgium tonite.

major_small
03-05-2004, 11:08 AM
Originally posted by kermi3
There is always someone willing to listen, be it a teacher, friend, school counselor, or teacher. just a little nitpicking there... I wonder if some people that may have been a part of the need to create this rule have seen it yet...

Thantos
03-05-2004, 11:09 AM
Or he could be trying to emphasize talking to a teacher :)

VirtualAce
03-08-2004, 05:31 PM
Good call.

However, I feel that the reason those people were getting the responses they were is because of the way they posted their issue. I've never been good with counseling and I'm of the get over it mentality....but I also realize that not every person can just get over it so yes they need to seek help. But posting suicidal stuff on a programming board just seems odd. Perhaps people are simply trying to gain attention and perhaps some of them are very serious. Who is to know?

So I agree that the safest method is to simply point them to resources that can help them and I, too, will refrain from any negative posting in these types of threads.


But you aren't gonna try and stop us from kicking Ober are ya?
:D