Hi, in the past half year of being suicidal I've seen a lot of behavior that I find questionable on support forums such as this (though obviously done with the best intentions.) I want to identify some of these behaviors and state why they may not be great tools to service the members here. Agree with them or totally disregard them, just want to get this off my chest. This is done out of hope for better accomodating all SF members on the "suicide spectrum" without alienating any. "I care..." Thanks, but if people I can't see (and don't even know) caring for me had a positive impact on my life then imaginary friends would be the key to all the loneliness in the world. Yay, you care for all humanity! But people seek conditional, face-to-face acceptance. Not acceptance as a result of "being human." Acceptance as a result of the qualities that make them a unique person; qualities that can never be truly appreciated from the vantage point of a computer chair. Sure everybody can care over the internet but is that really relevant to the person? "You got lung cancer, wife left you, kids don't talk to you, haven't seen your friends in years, up to your pasty beer belly in debt... but I care!" Does that not seem the least bit condescending? "Please, talk to us!" Ahh yes, my favorite line that always follows hyper-emotional posters about to do themselves in (but 99% of the time they're just waiting for the automatons' aforementioned line to unload his/her latest tribulation.) Must we encouarge these posters by responding with words of equally dramatic connotation? I don't understand it. If their intention isn't seeking help (by posting relevant info that others can use to respond constructively) are they not just seeking attention? Depression is certainly grounds for this type of behavior, no doubt. But isn't responding to it in the way described only making these people more emotionally dependent and crippled? "Sally smerked at me in the hallway today, I'll go throw a fit on SF... they'll powder my ass for me!" I am not advocating ignorance (or even tough love) for depression oh no, but is this really helping anyone? Hmmm, maybe I'm just talking out my ass. "Permanent solution, temporary problem, yadda yadda" The ultimate act of downplaying and subsequently crapping on a person's suicide-inspired problems is done by reciting these lines. It's a blanket term that might as well be called a "pillow cover" term on the "bed" of suicidal people. These people are usually impulsive in nature and react to emotional events accordingly. They usually aren't the type to think things out rationally or attempt to view their situation with a degree of objectivity. They aren't going to reflect on their situation by seeking advice on a support forum and if they are, they probably aren't gonna act out anyway. Most people here I'd assume don't have a "temporary problem." They have a lifetime's worth of problems of all types that have rendered them the suicidal people they've become. The past is ALWAYS a compilation of the present... nothing temporary about this people. "I want to die... BUT PLEASE DON'T KILL YOURSELF!!!" Probably the trickiest one to avoid. I'm sure we all agree that the suicidal state we find ourselves in is highly subjective in nature. I'd like to think we all agree that we don't want to see others take their own lives. So we become hypocrites. We forget the fact that we are all students of this "mental cancer" and slip into the role of advice giver, of teacher. We betray our own feelings and render them invalid by deeming others in similar situations as irrational or mentally sick. Are you (anyone who is guilty of this) irrational or mentally sick? If you think you are, why are you giving advice? If you claim you are of sound mind (and still suicidal), why are you betraying the "validity of your subjectivity" on the most fundamental level? Like I said, tricky to avoid but very offensive and contradictory from a logical point of view. "Assembly line Advice" Probably the most common of the "non-productive acts" on support forums is to give assembly line advice. We've all done it and surely will continue to do it... "Hi, I am lonely, what to do?" "Go out into the world and make friends, silly... would you like this advice wrapped in paper or plastic?" "Hi, I'm totally bored and no longer find meaning in life, what to do?" "Go out into the world and find an interest you like, silly... oh you forgot your reciept!" "I've been depressed for years and my life is ruined!" "Honey go to a therapist." "I've been depressed for years and my life is ruined, I'm thinking of killing myself soon!" "Honey go to the doctor and get some meds." "I've been depressed for years and my life is ruined, I'm thinking of killing myself NOW!" "HONEY, GO TO THE ER THIS INSTANT! DO NOT WAIT! WE CARE ABOUT YOU! TEMPORARY SOLUTIONS! MEDS AND THERAPY! HOPE! TALK TO US! MORE HOPE! LOVE! ROSES AND KITTIES!!!" Blah blah blah... Is it me or does all this seem a little counter-intuitive? Are we solving problems or are we just delaying them by reiterating obvious solutions from the view of a soapbox? Do suicidal people want blind affection or genuine acceptance? Do they want advice or understanding? I remember watching the movie "White Men Can't Jump" with Woody Harrelson and Rosie Perez. In a scene they're both in bed and Rosie says to Woody "I am thirsty." He pops up with the intention of getting her a glass of water from the kitchen. She stops him offended and says something to the effect of, "I don't want you to get me a glass of water!" Woody is dumbfounded at this point and asks what the hell she wants. She says, "I want you to say 'I understand and know what it feels like to be thirsty.'" Even though the point of the scene is to stereotype women as emotionally complex creatures, the same logic applies. And it's true, imo... Before my accident I know I got more out of reading and relating to others' problems then hearing tired solutions to my own. That is what got me by. Reality is complex. It's never been paint-by-numbers so why should reality's problems be any different? Anybody can give advice, not everybody can understand. That is what should separate the support forums from the therapists with their fancy degrees. That's my philosophy. I don't know if any of this makes sense or if I'm just retarded but I think the general attitude around here needs some fine tuning. Sorry if I offended anyone, just trying to improve the overall service support forums provide for people like us. (Also I have completely nothing to do with myself and enjoy voicing my opinion.) So ignore this post or have at me!