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Does this forum depress you?

Discussion in 'I Have a Question...' started by Rangoon, Dec 1, 2008.

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  1. Rangoon

    Rangoon Active Member


    I want to throw something out there....

    I was wondering what people's opinions were. I mean if we are depressed or suicidal or in a crisis, then is it wise to read other peoples tales of self harm,depression,abuse etc? Is that a constructive thing to do or does it lead you down a road of further misery? I mean, when I was doing a lot of drugs and wanted to stop I had to move away from anyone who did drugs, I lost all my friends, every one of them, but I also left all drugs behind. Maybe ( and I'm only playing devil's advocate ) if you are feeling so down then being in contact with others will also drag you down further, has anybody found this?

    Personally since I joined the forum a week ago I have felt myself steadily improving. I have exchanged PMs with people and my perspective has shifted slightly, showing me there is hope. But maybe I'm improving because all i needed was time anyway? I'm sure others also have experienced this. But does it not make some of you feel worse?

    I like the forum a lot and there are some really caring and genuinly nice people here but maybe some people should not be reading some of the stuff here if they are serious about getting better?

    Any thoughts?
  2. Starlite

    Starlite Senior Member

    I find that the supportive friends i have made here and for the most part almost everyone here is supportive.. I haven't gotten worse since joining here, i was bad to begin with.
  3. Oak

    Oak Senior Member & Antiquities Friend

    I found the forum and the forumers really supportive either publically or privately. I admit there are sections I do avoid as they would trigger me,
    but its the same for all. Stay away from what could trigger you and get involved where you knot it is safe. I see it the same way as in life.

    I know what i cant handle in life so i avoid it here as well. If you choose to go where you know things will trigger you then you ask for a down ride but you choose to. All about is being responsible for what and where we participate.

  4. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Member Safety & Support SF Supporter

    Sometimes I do feel really depressed after reading triggering posts. Overall though I have to say this forum is awesome and extremely supportive. If I am talking to someone who is down, I try and lighten things up by being in a cheery mood.

    In my experience of SF, I think you get what you give. If your sad..they stay sad..if your happy..they loosen up a little, and be more free and willing to talk about their problems.
  5. worlds edge

    worlds edge Well-Known Member

    I've often wondered this myself, especially since a period of quiescence re: suicidal thoughts seems to be drawing to a close, and I'm now starting to reconsider moving forward with ending my life.

    But, given my past career as a tax accountant, I'll give the one answser I gave to my clients more than any other: It depends. :tongue:

    On the positive, first and foremost, is the fact that you can talk to people in a boat very similar to your own, and feel at least a bit less isolated. Isolation is a huge problem, I think, among the depressed and suicidal, and anything that makes you feel less that way is all to the good. There's also the fact that you're not only reading about those who still feel awful or have acted on those feelings, etc., you're also reading about those who've gone through it and now (hopefully) feel a bit better. Finally, given the rules enforced here, remember that a great deal of the worst of the worst either never sees the light of day or is removed before most can read it. SF is not some sort of unmoderated listserver.

    On the negative, oddly, very well may be what I just considered a positive. One of the oldest arguments in Western philosophy (Aristotle pro, Plato opposed) concerns the idea of catharsis, in the sense that there's supposed to be a release of tension watching a play, reading a novel, watching a movie, etc. And I would hazard also by posting your suicidal thoughts here. Yet, there's also a school of thought that considers this idea garbage, as in there's not only not a release of tension, but an increase to it as you dwell on whatever it is that is supposed to be released. And I personally don't know where I fall on this: I seem to have experienced both a release of tension from posting here and an increase to it, at varying times. Beyond that, people here do in fact kill themselves, which obviously would only make someone feel bad if they felt they'd made a connection with the deceased. Finally, I suppose it might be a bad thing if people made connections via this site and then proceeded to undertake things like suicide pacts in venues that could not be regulated via SF (IM, e-mail, possibly private invitation only blogs or even fora.) The connection would NOT have been made had it not been for this site, yet once made it causes only harm. Note that I have no direct or even indirect evidence for this last, I'm the absolute last person who would get involved in such things, even as I am also about the absolute last person who has the ability to form connections with other humans.

    In sum, I personally think that on balance this site is a good thing, but that it is also not an unmixed blessing.

    I don't think this analogy works, for the simple reason that no one at SF is offering any encouragement, even passive encouragement, to suicide, self-harm, etc., as your former associates doubtless did to substance abuse. (My personal experience is that hardcore drug users don't have friends, which is why I didn't use that term. The drug comes first, last and is also everything in between. Sounds rather harsh, but that's been my -- fortunately limited -- experience.)

    I think a week is too soon to form any final opinions, but on balance this place seems to be working for you, and that's the main thing. Perhaps what you might want to do is think about what specifically somebody should not be reading in your view and maybe make a suggestion via the "letters to the management" on a change or changes to the Terms of Service? No guarantee you'll effect a change of course, but who knows?

    Ironically, the one thing about this site I've noticed is that I feel as alone here as I do in everyday life. But that's me. I've decided I'm simply as incapable of forming personal connections as I am of dunking a basketball and that this is something there's no way around. I'd pretty much concluded this before I joined the site and I now realize that that's just how it is.
  6. Rangoon

    Rangoon Active Member

    Interesting post gmork, I probably lean towards your argument that on the balance of things the forum does more good then harm, certainly in my case anyway. In a selfish sense I suppose one of the reasons it has helped is because I have read so many harrowing tales of abuse etc. that I think to myself "What have I got to be miserable about compared to what some have been through!". It does'nt mean I don't feel sorry for people who have experienced tragic events, it just means that I realise how lucky I am to not have been through the same level of tragedy, and that atleast is something to feel positive about.

    But as you said in your post, I think for me the most comforting thing about the forum is that I now know I'm not alone in feeling suicidal, others are experiencing it also, I no longer feel like the only person in the world who is strugling to keep my act together, again I suppose I'm taking comfort in other people's misery. There must be a word for that, it's not Schaganfreud because I'm not taking pleasure but definately taking comfort.

    May I ask you a question, why do you think you find it hard to form personal connections?
  7. LostSpirit

    LostSpirit Well-Known Member

    There is times, this forum depress's me and at times like that i can't bring myself to post much, but mostly its nice to be able to talk/exchange messages with people who know exactly whats it like to feel the way you do,

    and i have found if i do feel down, then i wont read the suicide threads, i will go and reply to some of the general/fun threads

    glad you are feeling a bit better
  8. Rangoon

    Rangoon Active Member

    Yes, thanks LostSpirit. The PMs you exchanged with me really did help me alot. I was feeling so down that day and could not see the light but you really helped me come through it. Maybe all I needed was someone I could pour my heart out to, thanks for listening.

    Big Hugs x
  9. LostSpirit

    LostSpirit Well-Known Member

    Anytime, x
  10. samanalea

    samanalea Member

    i must say that i am rather cautious by now about what scroll through in this forum because it does happen rather frequently that posts on here trigger me. but if i know reading here might be a bad idea due to the state i am in that day i usually just hang out in the chat which most of the time does a good job at either cheering me up or at least at leading my thoughts into different directions.

    in my experience it is rather positive in the balance to have people around who go through same or similar emotional problems. simply because one can talk openly to them about one´s thoughts and feelings. as weird as it may sound it´s often easier for me to have a fun time with someone who is depressed as well as with someone who isn´t and has never been. but that might just be how that works for me.

    take care
  11. worlds edge

    worlds edge Well-Known Member

    I hadn't quite thought about it that way, but that's an interesting point. I've not been hospitalized in my adult life (only three months as an adolescent), have certainly been off and on suicidal, etc., but at the same time I've never been without a roof over my head or any of the problems that some confront here. And quite frankly I suspect I would do nowhere near as well as as some seem to.

    I don't really have a good answer. I suppose for the same reason some are good athletes, good musicians, good chess players or what have you and others are not. And I am decidedly in the "not" category when it comes to making connections with others. I'm pretty much at peace with myself on that point of my personality at this point. It is just how things are, so I don't really invest much energy thinking about it, never mind trying to change it.

    The only reason I mentioned it in the context of this thread is that when I found this place and the Wing of Madness site (where I no longer post) I actually did think to myself that I'd find people, well, like me. My mistake, of course.
  12. fromthatshow

    fromthatshow Staff Alumni SF Supporter

    It uplifts me :sf:
  13. trina

    trina Guest


    I find it rather disgusting and embarrassing that this forum still exists, to be honest. I feel a deep sense of pity for the growing congregation of users who are obviously mentally ill based on their circular discussions and lack of ability to view the full picture. Many are in desperate need of professional care; yet they remain here on the internet, perhaps addicted, denying their problems and spiraling further into sickness.
  14. danz

    danz Well-Known Member

    Re: eww

    You make some good points but nobody has a gun to their head or is being forced to stay. I think you’re wrong when you say we lack the ability to view the full picture. Maybe we see the whole picture for what it is, maybe people like you and the professional care offered are so fake that they paint their own little perfect pictures and look down on people who see things differently. Anyway if you’re so disgusted and embarrassed by the site then leave.

    Take your deep sense of pity with you, it’s not needed.
  15. helena

    helena Staff Alumni

    Re: eww

    embarassing AND disgusting!!!
    I never thought this site would ever been qualified like that!
    I wander if you thing people should just shut themselves down when, even having threapy, they think noone undesrtands or relates to them.
    Internet has became or allways have been a source to make contacts, find things out, look out for people that think the same way as you, share same interests....so why not using it to create a safe place to be able to talk about things you only say to yourself or exchange experiences also through therapy and other scientic methods besides only the down spiral of sickness.
    A lot of people were perhaps allready addicted or dependant on internet for some kind of social life if you can call it like that, and i am not going to give you a list of sucesses or a relay of sucess stories of people that REALLY felt talking about their problems around here gave them more insight on their own problems or provide them with pieces of good advice to help them cope.
    This is not a solution, but if you read the posts around, you can see that time and time again people are advicing therapy, "real life" solutions or possible outways to their misery.
    I guess this is all I had to say about this, and I hope it brings this site and the energy people are puttting on helping others on a better daylight to you.
  16. trina

    trina Guest

    Why are members attacking scientific and medical communities? Look at the Soap Box section. What kind of impression do you expect from visitors?
  17. helena

    helena Staff Alumni

    The soap box is about the only place where people can flame in some way on about anything: science, religion, women, racism....
    I don't think new visitors go automatically to the soap box on their first visit here....I don't think people are looking for a soap box when they type suicide on google, the way most people say they find this forum.
  18. Cath

    Cath Staff Alumni

    Re: eww

    You got it wrong, you should be pitying yourself and people closed minded like you :laugh:
    In my opinion people come here because they want support with people who understand which they don't get in real life.
    If professionals done their job properly there would be alot less people here :rolleyes:

  19. jameslyons

    jameslyons Well-Known Member

    Re: eww

    Triggering Response Warning

    I'm sorry, but you're spouting sophomoric psychology/caregiving 101. It's garbage. And I get the feeling that you're here because somebody you cared about hurt themselves, maybe killed themselves, and you're lashing out.

    The true "big picture" is that everything we do is subjective. Nobody is pragmatically objective. If you had to live with one tenth of the emotional suffering felt by the majority of members, and only for one tenth of the time that they have, then you can start talking about the big picture. Otherwise, don't. You want to talk big picture? Want to talk about overdosing? Trying to hang yourself? What it feels like to split open your arm in search of a vein and artery to pierce? You want to talk about flashbacks where you re-experience sensations of being abused. The big picture like that? Or maybe, I should just be glad I have an internet to look at pornography when not eating a spinach salad.
  20. jameslyons

    jameslyons Well-Known Member

    Who cares what visitors think? Move to the next link if you don't like the site.

    As to the original post:

    I was suicidal and depressed before coming to this site. I feel a lot of comfort knowing that other people suffer similar afflictions. In my real world, the only suicidal people I know were the family members that offed themselves. Bad role model. :tongue:. Plus, the majority of the non-afflicted population absolutely alienate you for revealing your true feelings. Just look at Trina's response. Even if she is a member, a possibility, she has condemned the lot of us as nutters. Worse than nutters, we're willful nutters out to ruin it for everybody else.

    Plus, I met cool people here. I like the site, and I've been helped through crisis periods via the site.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 3, 2009
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