Meta Question

yankeetooter's avatar

What would happen if someone came on here feeling really down?

Asked by yankeetooter (8516 points ) June 13th, 2011

Maybe they just needed to talk to some people about how they were feeling, which is certainly better than isolating yourself from everyone when you are feeling really low.

Now their question is deemed too risque’, too near to crossing the line, so it gets deleted. How do you think this makes the person feel? Better?

(Wonder how long before this gets deleted…if so, it’s been nice my friends…)

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

39 Answers

sarahtalkpretty's avatar

I think about that often. Sometimes it’s hard to know if a person is serious or trolling. If it is serious it might be better to have the question deleted than to incur the reactions that will inevitably follow. I mean, this depressed person may end up getting verbally abused instead of helped. Posting questions on the internet doesn’t substitute for getting help. Maybe if the question is deleted the person will go reach out to people who can really help. In cases where people have gone online after hurting themselves, it would be great if authorities could be contacted, but the internet is a big place. Sometimes it may not be possible.

marinelife's avatar

@yankeetooter Why would this question be deleted? You are being ridiculously paranoid.

Also, questions that do not meet the guidelines are never just deleted. they are sent back to the asker with suggestions for editing to make them acceptable.

What are you implying if what you were saying was true, which it isn’t? That Fluther would be guilty of “making people feel bad”?

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

There have been numerous times I’ve come to Fluther feeling depressed. I’ve asked many questions about mental illness and depression. I think the trick is that I’ve always asked questions in a way that benefited the collective as a whole.

yankeetooter's avatar

@marinelife…maybe this one won’t be, but the first one certainly was…

And I tried to edit the first question, and explain that I wasn’t suicidal, just really sad, but the question never got resubmitted…

No, I’m not blaming Fluther, but sometimes people are reaching out for positive feedback, and the response I got just made me feel crappier…

yankeetooter's avatar

@hawaii_jake,...Sorry my first thoughts were to get some “cheering” advice, and a few “Come to your senses” responses…guess I wasn’t considering others enough, except for the one I hurt…

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Shouldn’t this be moved to Meta?

People post questions on the Fluther site that deal with feeling really down. Many Jellies answer them based upon their own experience or empathy. This is why Fluther is a safe haven for asking questions that people do not ask friends and relations. They get a mix of the brutal truth, support in potential guidance, and on occasion, complete garbage.

yankeetooter's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer…I wasn’t sure which one to place it under…I guess they’ll move it if they want.

My experiences on here have been 5% garbage (that may be too high), and equal doses of brutal truth and support in potential guidance, which is why I posted in the first place. If I’d actually been suicidal, I don’t think I would be posting on Fluther…

marinelife's avatar

@yankeetooter I’m sorry. I did not realize that you were the one feeling down. Please see the PM that I just sent you. Take care.

MilkyWay's avatar

I was feeling really down a couple of day ago when I asked that suicide question. It got removed but the mods were pretty sympathetic and Auggie was really helpful. It seems like Fluther is always able to cheer me up and take all my bad thoughts away.

yankeetooter's avatar

Hope you’re feeling better, @queenie…I certainly know what that feels like…

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@yankeetooter In my experience on Fluther, it is much like life: we have people who agree or disagree with our vewipoints, or possibly take it into consideration without posting a response.

This may be taking a leap, but most members are introverts. They do not feel comfortable speaking their opinion in a live situation. And yet they want to. In this example, they hold their tongue. Any internet site where opinions can be shared with a degree of animosity, they are just that: opinions, unless valid facts are offered.

Just like life, some of responses on Fluther need to be brushed aside. It can be difficult to do, but if you want to stick around, it is a requirement. The feedback from others on this site can be educational, no matter how much it stings. It is just a matter of taking it into consideration and accepting it or discarding it.

MilkyWay's avatar

@yankeetooter I am thank you dear, and remember, there’s always someone you can talk to.
PM me if you like, we can be buddies ;)

yankeetooter's avatar

Thanks, @queenie. I’m going to lie down for a bit..hardly slept last night and that’s not helping me deal with everything…

yankeetooter's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer…thanks…I can take feedback. Just, having my question deleted was like a slap in the face…

chyna's avatar

@yankeetooter I don’t know if you got a chance to read my response to your other question, but it was that you may never be able to get the other person to forgive you, but you can learn from that experience and grow from it. I’m sorry you are feeling so down.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@yankeetooter Many of us have felt the same way. It helps when the moderators explain why a question is up for moderation or is deleted. It also helped by reading the Fluther Guidelines. It is unfortunate that there is no user-friendly guide to being a member of Fluther, but for now, that is the way that it is.

SpatzieLover's avatar

{{{{{{{{{{{{{{Healing thoughts & Positivity}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

augustlan's avatar

[mod says] We have a policy of removing questions that seem to be suicide notes or calls for help from someone in a suicidal state of mind. From long experience, this just isn’t the best place to get that kind of help. We always send a nice PM with numbers to the appropriate suicide hotlines.

Since your previous question included the lines ”...life is not even worth living” and ”...the pain is just too much to deal with”, I think we made the right call in this case. We’re genuinely sorry you’re hurting, and hope you get the help you need.

wundayatta's avatar

There are other ways to express yourself when you are feeling down. There is inevitably a question that feeds right into your mood. Like this one. For me. Now. When I’m getting depressed.

I rely on people on fluther to cheer me up. It kind of goes a little weirdly at first, because when I feel like this I have to both ask for help and deny it when it is offered, because I really want it, but I don’t feel I can let myself have it. I should be able to take care of this myself.

I need to be cared for by friends, and as pathetic as it sounds, the closest thing I have to what could be called a friend is here on fluther. Honestly, I don’t know how else to reach out. I don’t know who to reach out to.

Anyway, no one should bother to respond to me. I’ll get over it. I’m just having a bad evening. I just have some work to do. I’m working on it. Partly by answering this question. I should feel better any moment now. Or worse. We’ll see what happens. I’m just really really tired now, and my wife wants to have a heavy talk. Stay tuned. Maybe something exciting will happen.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@augustlan So why isn’t that in the guidelines?

jonsblond's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs I have a feeling someone wanting to commit suicide (or wanting attention) and tell Fluther about it doesn’t have time to read the guidelines. just a thought I think a quick response from a mod with a hotline number is more helpful.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@jonsblond Well, probably not – but it seems wrong to have a policy that no one can find out about until they’ve violated it.

jonsblond's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs Well crap. You must be one of those people that needs a warning on their McDonald’s coffee cup.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@jonsblond It’s common sense that coffee would be hot. But tons and tons of Q&A forums allow suicide questions, so it’s not necessarily obvious. Plus, it’s the same idea that you can’t hand out a ticket for speeding if you didn’t give people some way of finding out what the speed limit was. There’s a name for it… I feel like it might be ex post facto, but then I also feel like that’s not quite right. Here seems like a good point to mention that if it is ex post facto, then the US Constitution forbids ex post facto laws, and not allowing ex post facto laws is generally seen as an essential part of democratic societies.

augustlan's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs I understand where you’re coming from, but we can’t cover every possible scenario in the guidelines. The good thing about not having it posted up front is that people do ask the questions, thus alerting us to their situation. I’d actually rather know if one of our members is suicidal, so that we can get the proper information to them.

Just to be clear, we do allow questions about suicide. As a topic of discussion, it’s perfectly fine.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@augustlan Sure you can. Or, you can not have a policy against it. It’s actually pretty easy. Especially since questions about suicide aren’t exactly so rare that you’d really have to stretch far to think it was a possibility.

jrpowell's avatar

About a year ago someone posted a question similar to the one being discussed here. So someone came along and said something like. “If you send me your address I will send you some razorblades.”

It is better to just delete the questions and not hope that everyone will be helpful and supportive.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@johnpowell My problem isn’t with the actual policy. I mean, it’s not what I would do, but whatever. My problem is when the mods repeatedly say that if you want to find out the guidelines, they’re all listed for everyone to see, only to have secret policies that aren’t listed. And seriously, the shipping for a pack of razor blades is more than they cost at Walgreens. So it was probably a joke.

FutureMemory's avatar

@johnpowell “If you send me your address I will send you some razorblades.”

I think I remember that.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs The guidelines for flagging include *does not prompt a thoughtful discussion or isn’t really a question…usually suicide questions fall into those categories.

augustlan's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs No, we really can’t. I mean, it would be easy enough to include a policy on suicide questions themselves, but not for every question we wouldn’t allow here. Just when we think we’ve seen it all, someone comes along with a totally new inappropriate question. Our guidelines would be pages and pages long if we tried to cover every possible scenario. That’s why there’s that “something else” option when flagging a question.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@augustlan So then just don’t have the policies. Or stop telling people that they can read all the policies on the guidelines page. I mean, it’s one thing to disagree with the libertarian view, it’s a whole other thing to lie about it.

augustlan's avatar

How is omitting any one of never-ending possible scenarios equal to lying? Beyond that, such questions could also be seen as “egocentric attention-grabbing”, which is specifically prohibited here.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Because on threads where people start bitching about the hidden policies that mods have, you deny that you have any. You guys state you have a complete list of all the guidelines, which you now say you don’t. That’s lying. What’s so hard about saying on those threads “You can view the guidelines here (provide link), although there are a few that aren’t listed there”?

laureth's avatar

The company where I work for my day job is pretty sweet. There are decent perks, a reasonable open-door policy, and our CEO keeps us mostly aware of where the company is going. However, there’s one mantra that our CEO likes to keep saying: “I reserve the right, at any time, to make any decision that I feel is right for the company.”

I believe Fluther’s policy must be something like that too. Fluther is a fun place to come and chat, and as long as the guidelines are followed, they’re pretty open about letting us discuss any subject. We can even, within reason, swear, or ask sexually explicit questions. But Fluther (and the mods, who are like Fluther’s prehensile tentacles) must always keep the best interests of Fluther in mind.

Sometimes, that means kicking spammers off of the site, because no one likes to see that. Sometimes, it means keeping true to the spirit of the founders of Fluther, and asking that posts have correct spelling and grammar. But sometimes, as my company’s CEO says, the mods must make decisions that are on the spot, and in the best interests of Fluther, even if not every such situation is spelled out. The guidelines are not meant to shackle the community into doing things that are destructive to it. They are guides that allow us to act, as needed, in the service of the community.

Just off the top of my head, I can think of any number of reasons that letting a suicide note stand, could be destructive to Fluther. The most obvious is unpredictable legal ramifications. The other is the safety of the poster of the note. Another is the cohesiveness of the community. I’m sure there are more. But it’s a terribly sensitive topic, and we do not have the resources or ability at Fluther to deal properly with (literally!) life or death issues. Those require much more than Fluther has to give, and they need to contact people that are in a better position to help them more than we can.

The guidelines are not, no pun intended, a suicide pact. And the reason they are guidelines (a guide!) is to show us the best way to go, a way to navigate through the issues that arise, even if one comes up that is not explicitly listed. The guidelines, the Jellies that contribute, and my fellow mods, all do the heavy lifting that makes Fluther more than the sum of its parts – even if not every person is not always 100% happy with the results.

Finally, we get out of Fluther what we put into it. If we all play nice, then Fluther is a place where people play nice. I know I prefer that to many other options, most of which can be found elsewhere on the Internet. Let’s all be the community members we wish to interact with.

Kardamom's avatar

I must have missed the other question that got deleted. I’ve was heavily involved in the other threads in which you have posted, that had to do with your feelings of rejection and/or isolation from a man in which you fell in love, but were never in a relationship with. So I’m guessing that that question had to do with the fall out of that situation. Correct me if I’m wrong.

I hate to say it, but I didn’t ever see anything good coming out of that whole situation and we tried desperately to help you and get you to avoid doing any further damage to yourself. I know that you were/are plagued by depression and you really need to get into some therapy, with a good therapist that works with people suffering from severe depression, and social anxiety. I know you said that you had been in therapy before and it didn’t help you. But sometimes you have to try out several therapists before you get a good one. Just ask some of the folks here on Fluther that have gone through several therapists before they found the right one. The type of depression that you have cannot be fixed on good intentions and wishful thinking any more than diabetes or heart disease (no pun intended). And because of your depression, it causes you to make decisions, that are not always in your best interest, causing a cyclical chain reaction of bad events and more depression. If you really get help, from a good therapist, it can change your life, and you are much more likely to make better decisions for youself. I am respectfully, but desperately urging you to get some help.

The fact that you fell for a guy that didn’t return your feelings, whilst you were in the middle of a huge depressive episode did not help matters. I wish that you could have taken some of our good advice when you posted those other questions instead of getting angry with us (the messengers) and then doing the opposite of what good sense would suggest. Maybe now that you are back on Fluther, you can re-evaluate some of our answers and try to take some of our suggestions. Otherwise, we’re all kind of back in the same boat. And I don’t mean that nuclear submarine that we were all talking about for the last couple of days.

I have no idea what happened after you sent the fellow the e-mail, but I’m guessing that he either didn’t reply at all or he told you to stop contacting him. I’m so sorry that that happened to you, but it was kind of inevitable. We all did our best to try to help you to avoid that scenario and get you to see that we all were trying to help you and get you to see that you really do need more help than just a website populated with good people with experience and good intentions can give you. We do want to help you, but we can’t do that unless you are willing to take some valuable advice to help yourself. And helping yourself does not involve continuing to do the same exact thing over and over again and hoping for a different outcome. You have to change your thinking and your actions. A lot of us have given you a mountain of valuable ideas/advice on how to start doing that, but we can’t physically shove you onto the road to recovery. You have to step onto that path yourself, one single step at a time. Please give it a try. It sure beats the alternative.

And if you happen to get one of your questions taken down, don’t take it personally. Auggie explained why it was taken down and how the situation was handled, regarding the e-mail that was sent to you with the phone numbers. We don’t live in a perfect world, but Flutherites, in general, seem to be a pretty good bunch of joes, and Fluther in general seems to work a lot better than the rest of the interwebs. I wish you the best of luck. : )

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

What often happens, is that someone who has tried to help you and is still very concerned about you either advises them to contact me or for me to contact them. Many Jellies know my background and qualifications and my willingness to help others.

marinelife's avatar

@Dr_Lawrence I don’t. (Advise other jellies to contact you. I don’t know you from adam. You are just a presence on the Internet.)

@MyNewtBoobs Quit your bitchin’. The Guidelines are there for a reason. They are just what they are labeled: “guidelines” (not “All-Inclusive, Every Situation Rules.”)

yankeetooter's avatar

Thank you, @marinelife…I agree with your first statement…I haven’t been following things enough lately to say yea or nay on the second one…sorry.

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