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Kardamom's avatar

What is Fluther's policy regarding asking questions based on delusional thinking?

Asked by Kardamom (30924points) May 10th, 2017 from iPhone

Are all questions created equal, and is it OK to ask questions that are likely based upon a member’s ill mental health?

It is true that none of us are psychiatrists, but it is often quite aparent that some people have lost their grip on reality. If that type of behavior was happening in the workplace, or in one’s home, most people would urge that person to get help, either voluntarily, or by insistence.

I’m just curious about Fluther’s policy. Can anyone ask any question?

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211 Answers

Kardamom's avatar

It’s one thing to ask if people believe in extraterrestrials. It’s quite another to ask on one day what they should do about the green men living in their microwave oven, and on the next day to ask what they should do about the purple men living in their vacuum cleaner, and on the next day to ask what they should do about the chartreuse men living in their popcorn machine.

rojo's avatar

I am all for it.
One mans delusion is another mans reality. Can we really know or question what another persons mind experiences

NomoreY_A's avatar

But, I AM Napoleon, I really AM!

Response moderated
tinyfaery's avatar

I think it’s fine. One thing I do know is letting a certain mod pick and choose what they think should be left up or taken down is absolutely wrong.

Coloma's avatar

It takes all kinds, I have no idea what the “policy” is here for clearly disturbed people but I’d assume their questions are kicked back for modding or they are treated like a troll and banned. In light of a recent suicide threat here I also wonder what, if any, actions the mods can or are at liberty to take. Can they contact the members local police using their IP address or?
All I know is that anyone that is recklessly or repeatedly creating drama should be kicked out, that’s my opinion.

Fluther is not an appropriate medium for mentally disturbed people to showcase their issues or threaten suicide. Putting hundreds of strangers on the spot without any ability to truly help is drama mongering IMO and I am not very sensitive to people that are drama kings and queens. Big difference between a silly and whimsical question and one that clearly demonstrates severe mental health issues.

canidmajor's avatar

I think that none of us are in a position to judge what a stranger’s mental state really is. Your examples in your first post, @Kardamom, are extreme, I haven’t seen questions like that. As for the times I have seen you recommend psychiatric help, even a professional would hesitate to use the word “delusional” without actually meeting the person.
One person’s question about religious faith could be interpreted by another as “delusional”.
Or a question expressing an extremely different political conviction.
Or a Q that refers to one’s pet as their “child”.

janbb's avatar

I’m perplexed by the question as well and where it’s coming from.

Aethelwine's avatar

The last thing we need to do to the mentally ill and depressed in our community is turn them away. As long as their question doesn’t hurt anyone here, what’s it to you or anyone else? Fluther may be the only place they feel comfortable speaking their mind. Most of us have been here for years and we’re almost like family. It’s wrong to turn our backs on each other. Removing a question by someone reaching out may put that person in more danger because they’ll feel alone. I know from personal experience.

Don’t answer their questions if you don’t like them.

janbb's avatar

@jonsblond I agree with you.

Coloma's avatar

@canidmajor Well…I think the examples you have given fall more into beliefs or run of the mill neuroticism not severe mental health issues. Thinking of your pet as a child is not on the same continuum as seeing little green men living in your toaster or thinking your neighbors dog is talking to you.
Neurotic vs. full blown schizophrenia, apples-n-oranges.

canidmajor's avatar

@Coloma: Exactly my point.

tinyfaery's avatar

Is anyone here a licensed therapist? I doubt it and since that is the case, NO ONE can judge the mental state of another. Not even a professional would use the information on fluther to diagnose or instruct. I don’t care if you have seen it, you know people or you think you know everything. You have no right to judge.

I even worked in the mental health field and I would never pick and choose what mental health questions should be taken down. And a mod should not be taking the roll of a therapist by telling others what to do about their mental health questions. A bad decision by a mod could have catastrophic results. (And there is one mod here who apparently thinks they know it all.)

I have been helped by the Jellies a few times. Those few times have gotten me through a lot. Then to find out that a mod takes questions down because they don’t think fluther is the right place. Fuck that.

As always, if you don’t like it, don’t fuckin’ read it.

Jeruba's avatar

I have no idea what the policy might be, @Kardamom, and I can see how there might be a reason to wonder sometimes. As others have said, though, I don’t think we’re really in a position to assess another’s state of mind.

What I think we can look at is what potentially does harm to the community. Someone might have mental health issues that cause him or her to make occasional offbeat posts or assert unusual experiences and perceptions, but it does no one any harm and can even be positive.

A few years ago, for instance, a new member told us that he was a diagnosed schizophrenic who was in treatment. He asked if people wanted to know what that was like, and people did, so he offered to answer questions. He also posted a link to an audio file that sounded like the voices that he heard in his head, so we could get a sense of it. I learned some valuable things from him.

I don’t think he stayed more than a couple of months.

And sometimes we have a user who is mentally ill, or intoxicated, or something, and makes wild posts and attacks people and says bizarre, upsetting things. Again, we’re not trying to make a clinical diagnosis; but we can see that this is not good for the community. The person’s negative posts will get flagged, the person will be warned and maybe suspended, and if he or she keeps it up, banning will follow.

Sometimes this takes years to play out, with an accumulation of incidents and second chances, and sometimes it happens in a matter of days.

In sum, I think the yardstick has to be not what we think we can see in someone else’s mind but what causes a level of disturbance in the community that’s too great to be absorbed in normal interaction.

janbb's avatar

To clarify, I don’t think it is wrong for Jellies to suggest to someone that counseling or therapy might help them. Or that we are out of our depth as an online community. But to suggest a diagnosis is wrong.

I still don’t know which question we are talking about but I don’t think it is wrong for the mods to take down a question if it is running amuck or awash with non-supportive answers. That’s part of their job.

And what my wise colleague to the North just said.

Aethelwine's avatar

I had suicidal thoughts not long ago. I knew in my heart I could never go through with it because my daughter needs me, but the thoughts were there. I created another account to ask the community about my thoughts. I didn’t want the question linked to this account.

A mod messaged me and told me Fluther wasn’t the right place for my question. She gave me a suicide hotline number. That’s not what I needed. I was experiencing a lot of loss with family moving away, still dealing with my mother’s death, being disowned by an in law and loss of friendships. I knew Fluther was what I needed at the moment. When I was turned away it was like a punch in the gut. Another loss. This mod thought she knew what I needed. I didn’t want to hear from a stranger on the phone. I wanted this community.

Yes, the mod knew who I was with that alternate account.

canidmajor's avatar

In cases like @jonsblond,‘s I think it would be really helpful if the guidelines could reflect that such distinctions can be made. Instead of pulling such a thing altogether, maybe suggest alternate wording of something so that the person could indeed get some comfort and perspective from friends here.

Coloma's avatar

I think it’s a matter of discernment and while “friends” in real life on on an online forum such as Fluther can be helpful in certain situations I also think it is inappropriate to burden others with something as serious as a suicide threat. This places a heavy burden on others that are unable to truly help. Case in point with a members grave upset the other day, actually saying they were going to delete their account and kill themselves and their, obviously, distraught and angry responses to those trying to offer comfort…well.
I have not inquired with anyone here as I try to avoid gossipy type stuff but…I have been wondering and worried the past few days as that persons account has, infact, been deleted.

I’m sorry, really I am, for anyone going through extreme turmoil but it is highly inappropriate to make such threats online when the innocent observers have zero ability to intervene other than to flag the question and let the mods handle it. It’s one thing to post a question asking for some cheering up or advice and entirely another matter to actually proclaim suicidal intent and leave everyone here in a state of helplessness. Talk about selfish, it is total bullshit and the mods should remove the question and intervene however they can.

Aethelwine's avatar

Selfish? ffs

canidmajor's avatar

Well, @Coloma , that’s why we have the ability to scroll past those Qs. If the Q is worded in such a way as to indicate that nothing is imminent, I see no problem. As to the Q the other day, it wasn’t asked by, or even on behalf of, the afflicted person, but by a concerned friend who made no mention of the the upset one’s identity. It took a turn later on in the thread that became specific.
I know we can’t unsee stuff, but but we can pass by the things that might upset us with their drama.

Aethelwine's avatar

@Coloma That user is alive. She posted on a mutual friends post this morning on fb. If you don’t want to be burdened by the mentally ill and depressed (talk about selfish) then maybe you should get off the internet. I like you, but this is where we disagree. You clearly have no tolerance or compassion for the mentally ill or depressed.

ucme's avatar

Hi, my name is Alan & i’m a chronic immature boychild as evidenced by this post which could be construed as taking other noted issues lightly.
I just wanna stop giggling when I fire house staff, help me fluther…you may be my only hope :(

Sneki95's avatar

Hey!
Just because you never had men in your home appliances does not mean we are delusional.
Not everyone solved their shit like you did.
Have some compassion, will ya?

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@Kardamom Can you clarify, please? Your examples of delusional thinking are extreme, and I have never seen anything remotely resembling that on Fluther.

This is stigma. It is plain and simple. This is what those of us who have mental illness face every single day. People think we are incapable of rational thought and dismiss us out of hand. Another word for stigma is discrimination.

@Coloma I will not stand by and allow your hate to go unchallenged. You think it’s a burden for someone to have a mental illness and to choose to express their experiences on the internet, do you? ~ I feel so sorry for you that you have to be confronted with the reality that life is often harsh. ~ It’s so sad that people remind you that their experience of life is difficult and they choose to talk about it publicly where you can see it. ~ (I understand that sarcasm does not translate to the written word, so I will state those last 2 sentences were meant to be read sarcastically.) A burden? Really? How can anyone ask any question about any topic at all that is not a burden to someone? A question about new tires might be a burden to one member. A question about a recipe might try the patience of another member. It is possible for any question at all to be a burden to someone. You are cruel and uncaring if you say these people cannot come here for assistance. Cruel!

@jonsblond I am a mental health professional. I am sure you know that I am quick to provide valuable resources about mental health. The Fluther policy has always been to remove questions by individuals who say they are suicidal and to give those persons other options to call for assistance. When we need assistance from our friends on this site, it is possible to word the question without talking about suicide. I have seen questions like that. The community here rallied around those members. Suicide is a different level of need that the owners of this site have determined the site is not prepared to take on. It’s their decision.

Aethelwine's avatar

^The mod could have told me that wording my question differently would have been helpful. Instead she shooed me away. I mentioned in my question that I only had thoughts but I would not follow through because of my daughter. I didn’t say I was going to kill myself.. I hate the telephone and I would never call a hotline to speak to a stranger. I don’t even have enough minutes on my tracfone. I only use it for emergencies and to speak to my dad.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@jonsblond The owners of the site have decided that a question in which a member states they are suicidal is to be removed. It is not the job of the mods to decide the level of the threat. They are to remove the question.

Aethelwine's avatar

Again, she could have been more helpful. She made me feel awful.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@Kardamom Again, why is this question necessary? Almost any question can be construed as resulting from delusional thinking. I know some atheists who view all forms of religion as delusional. What are you trying to get at?

I live in recovery from mental illness. I have experienced delusional thinking. If I ask a question that is poorly written or will not lead to constructive discussion, it can be flagged and removed by the mods. What are you getting at?

Aethelwine's avatar

The other question mentioned in this thread was up for at least 12 hours and you helped the person. Did you flag it since you agree with the mods?

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

What is a delusional question? What I might consider delusional, someone else may consider abstract thinking or perfectly normal. I don’t think any of us are qualified to diagnose or label anyone else as delusional. In saying that, I’ve seen people repeatedly posting questions that suggest the person needs to seek help from qualified mental health practitioners and I have recommended people seek help if I think they need it.

As to questions about suicide, as @Hawaii_Jake has said it is Fluther policy to remove posts that are clearly suggesting the poster is suicidal. Nobody here is qualified to help someone in that state and the risk is people might do more harm than good. It’s also not appropriate for the moderators to be placed in the position of having to manage such a thread.

I would be amazed if the question the other day had not been flagged, but our moderation team is not as available as in the past and so it took a long time for them to take it down. While the original poster was seeking guidance for herself and had good intentions and those contributing may have wanted to help, we have no way of knowing whether the person being discussed found it helpful or was harmed by the question. I say again that the majority of us are not qualified to help those struggling with mental health problems.

chyna's avatar

I can absolutely see the reason that a suicidal post should not be on here. As in the other thread someone posted, after the suicidal person became known, one of the jellies said RIP.
Not only is that mean, cruel and unhelpful, but it could’ve pushed the person over the edge.
We can’t control what some of the jellies on here will say, so I think it is best to be safe in not allowing jellies that are not therapists to try to help, or hinder a potential suicide.

Aethelwine's avatar

As stated above by others, if I had worded my question differently I could have received the help I was looking for. No one told me to do this. I was told I couldn’t be helped here.

I think the policy should be revisited for veteran users. Instead of telling us to call a hotline, maybe suggest wording our question differently so the word suicide isn’t used.

I know what I needed and this mod told me to go away. It made me feel worse. I cried all night feeling even more lonely than I did before I asked.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

@jonsblond, they have a standard response. If you suggested you were suicidal, that response would come into play.

I don’t think the moderators should have tried to coach you into how to write a question that would allow you to seek help from the community if you had indicated you were suicidal. If they are expected to do that for you, they should do it for everyone, and then we come back to the same problem, the community is not a mental health support site and we are not qualified to offer mental health assistance. As @chyna pointed out, there is a great risk of something being said that could cause more harm than good and the site could be held responsible if they did nothing to stop that or could be construed as creating the opportunity for harm to be caused.

Aethelwine's avatar

I said I wouldn’t do it! I was only having thoughts because I was severely depressed. It could have been handled differently. I’m shaking as I type this because of how upsetting it was for me.

It would have been easy to tell me to word it differently. The mods do it all the time!

interesing how the two here telling me to fuck off are people who had issues with me on Facebook because I wouldn’t kiss Clinton’s ass

chyna's avatar

@jonsblond Are you referring to me?

Aethelwine's avatar

Of course not. Jake and Earthbound

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

Or me? I couldn’t care less who you vote for.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

Can you provide some evidence that I’ve got issues with who you vote for? I don’t think I’ve ever even had a conversation with you about your voting intentions and since I’m not in the US, why would I be so invested?

And if you’ve indicated to the mods you are suicidal, they have to act on that. And if you were severely depressed, the same point applies. Most people here are not qualified to give you mental health treatment or counselling.

Aethelwine's avatar

I must have misunderstood your reason for unfriending me but three other jellies did at the same time during a discussion about the election in my page. Jake blocked me because I had a different opinion than he did. I wasn’t even rude.

Aethelwine's avatar

My daughter has a concert.. I’m out

Coloma's avatar

@jonsblond I am glad to hear that and I’m no stranger to depression this last few years going belly up in the recession, I have known some very dark times but I have no desire to share my personal struggles with basic strangers for the most part, that does not mean I lack compassion, but it does mean I feel strongly about what is and is not appropriate and about having some boundaries that don’t infringe on others. Adults should have enough resources at their disposal to not involve random strangers in life or death matters of something as serious as a suicide threat. I’m sorry but it’s called discretion and discretion is a good thing. Again, big difference in stating you are feeling really down or sharing a sad event but to talk suicide online is crossing a boundary and yes, it is selfish, involving others that are incapable of helping and leaving them to wonder if someone really is about to kill themselves at any moment.

@Hawaii_Jake Get off your drama wagon, my sentiments are not cruel nor are they about hating. You represent the very sort of emotionally over reactive drama I loathe. If you want to call me a hater and cruel because I disagree that threatening suicide on an online forum is inappropriate and yes, burdonsome to others that are helpless to make any significant difference than you go right ahead. It’s called self control and boundary setting.

Again, asking for some emotional support is one thing, talking about ones feelings in a situation, sharing sadness, stress, upset, fine, but actually insinuating or directly stating you are going to commit suicide is thoughtless, irresponsible and yes, burdensome to others. I have know plenty of dark times in the last handful of years and am no stranger to the harsh twists and turns that life can throw our way but I save my most intimate sharings for my close friends and loved ones in real life and would never threaten suicide on an online forum. That does not make me a cruel hater, it makes me a mature person with solid boundaries.

Fluther does not give out medical advice nor should it give out psychiatric advice. ‘See your doctor” or “see a therapist” is fine but if If someone threatens suicide I am going to flag their post and hope the mods find a way to intervene. It’s that simple.

canidmajor's avatar

@jonsblond: Nobody here is telling you to fuck off, just reminding you that it happened a certain way because of a policy with which you were already familiar. Why not try to open up a dialog with the mod team to discuss just this? You are so angry with us (a general Fluther us, not singling any group out) so much of the time these days that the compassion you accuse us of not having is, indeed, a bit difficult to find.

The election was over six months ago. Continuing to bring it up is pointless.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

@jonsblond, my reasons for blocking you were because (IMO) you attacked three people I know for their political views and because they were posting political content. That was a line too far for me. I don’t give a rats arse who you voted for or chose not to vote for.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@Coloma Out of curiosity, what is an appropriate way to tell someone you’re suicidal?

canidmajor's avatar

Oh, and @jonsblond, the other question, as I said up there, was not from a suicidal person, but friend wanting to help a friend. The minute it went the other way a number of us flagged it, it was probably taken down as soon as a mod saw it, but with only a few mods these days, (you know, those volunteers who have real lives) I can understand that it might take a while to be seen.

ETA it was a Saturday evening. I hope they were out having a real life, anyway!

Coloma's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake You call a suicide hotline, you call a close friend in real life, you call your family, but sorry, to announce in an online forum is, IMO, attention seeking behavior. Now if someone is utterly and completely alone in the world, perhaps, but they still have all kinds of crisis intervention lines and suicide prevention options to reach out to. If I was really going to kill myself you better believe I wouldn’t be talking about it to anyone. Most people that are really serious don’t.

I also believe that if someone really wants to die that is their choice. I think suicide should be legal and permissible as it is in Belgium for all sorts of reasons with the power of choice in the hands of the potential suicidal person.
I have no problem discussing the issue/topic of suicide, the problem I have is involving others in your drama that places a burden on them to somehow find the words and encouragement to stop you. People that are really serious about taking their lives just do it, anything else is just drama.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

^This should be widely distributed as the new standard for suicidal behavior, @Coloma ‘s Suicide Etiquette. Any deviations from these dictates must be roundly punished. After all, suicidal persons must follow the rules, too.

Coloma's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake That is my opinion, you’re free to disagree as I am to disagree with drama mongering, attention seeking behavior, which IS a hallmark of a of mentally/emotionally disturbed people. If you’re lucid enough to go online and threaten suicide to an audience you’re lucid enough to call a crisis line and get serious about your problems, yep, that’s how I feel. You @Hawaii_Jake are free to put whatever spin you want on my words, but let’s be clear and call it what it is, spin.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@Coloma Let’s be clear that under the rules of logic, what you are attempting to do there is to throw suspicion onto anything I may say after you, because anything I say is suspect, because you say so. You have not proved your point, so all you can do is to simply spout off that I can’t have anything worthy to say, because you say I can’t. Do you see how ridiculous that is? It’s so illogical it’s laughable.

There are no rules for how a person approaches suicide. Each individual gets to define their experience for themselves without your input. You do not matter. Your ideas about proper behavior in a suicidal crisis are irrelevant.

Coloma's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake You’re right, everyone does get to define their own experience but that doesn’t change the facts. It is inappropriate, thoughtless and extremely self centered to threaten suicide in a venue where others are unable to do anything but read and watch the drama unfold. I’m not throwing any suspicion on anything you say I am stating that it is inappropriate, over reactive and illogical of you to call someone a “hater” and “cruel” because they don’t cotton to drama mongering behavior. People can abuse this site just like anything else.

They can post under the influence of drugs or alcohol, behave badly, threaten suicide and take advantage of the site for reasons it is not intended for. Not supporting those reasons is my right and my choice as is stating my opinion that attention seeking behavior is off putting and should not be supported. What’s laughable Jake is your fragile emotional tirades when others disagree with YOU and your all knowing Mr. mental health expert opinions. Well, my opinions are different, get over it, and I might add that I have more than a fair amount of knowledge and while I may have compassion for the mentally unstable I don’t want any part of their histrionic displays and Fluther is not an appropriate venue for such IMO.

DominicY's avatar

I agree with @Coloma in that I don’t think “threats to commit suicide” belong on Fluther (I saw the question that everyone is talking about and was surprised it had been allowed up for so long, though I recognize that isn’t how the question started out) and I also agree it’s “not fair” to the other users, but nothing’s really fair for anyone involved in that situation, so it’s not particularly useful to point that out.

This drama also reminds me why I almost never visit this site anymore. Geez.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

^I am willing to own my part of the drama.

I am disengaging. I will still follow the question, because I’m curious to hear from the OP.

chyna's avatar

This thread hurts my heart. I love fluther and the people here, but the drama is making me sad. I’m going to step back for a few days and not engage either.

Coloma's avatar

I’m fine, I move on easily.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I apologize for biting back. I should have just held my peace and not responded to the other person’s comment.

Aethelwine's avatar

@EarthBound I didn’t “attack.” I called them out for being dicks to people who didn’t vote for Hillary. Just like I do on this site. I call out the jerks.

@candidmajor I think I brought up some valid points for the mods on this thread. And please show me where I have been rude. On second thought, dont. I’m done here.

I’m dealing with MAJOR shit right now and according to many of you you are useless so I’ll leave. One good thing came out of this, @tinyfaery and I are communicating again. At least she cares.

Mimishu1995's avatar

@Coloma The problem is, we cannot know if the OP is trolling or is really dealing with a real problem. You are referring to those too obvious troll threads, but sometimes things aren’t that obvious. And consider this: not everyone has help readily available in their place, and not everyone has a friend they can trust outside Fluther. They could be genuinely asking for help, just not in a right way.

But I also notice one thing: sometimes the problem comes from the OP being unable to assess themselves objectively I see this more in newbies than us oldies. They think the world is against them but in reality they are partly responsible for their own problem. I’m well aware of this possibility but I try not to jump into that conclusion quickly, that’s why it takes me a long time before I tell the OP to “think carefully about themselves before judging the world”, and I always have proof to back up my claim whenever I do that. And after this point if the OP insists on thinking they’re the victim or attacking people with answers they don’t want to hear, then I’m out, no more sympathy.

I agree with @Earthbound_Misfit that suicide threads shouldn’t be made public I have seen that suicide thread you all talked about and I could clearly see that one jelly was on the verge of pushing the OP further to their suicide decision,. It’s just that we shouldn’t think that anyone posting depressive questions as being attention-seekers and it will take you some time to finally decide who the OP truly is.

Jeruba's avatar

@jonsblond, if there’s another time (and of course I hope there isn’t), consider using PM. Anybody on here who really is your friend would not answer you by telling you to go away.

Just be sure to allow for the possibility that such people might be offline at the time, might be overwhelmed by their own stuff just then, or might be the type who freeze up in a crisis, and not take it personally if you don’t hear right back. Try more than one. In fact, come back to this thread and try some of the people in it.

Even if someone can’t help—and I really think it’s a mistake for untrained people to try to play therapist; they can do real harm to a vulnerable person—they might at least want to offer a virtual sympathetic ear. And sometimes that helps more than anything else.

rojo's avatar

How did we come to devolve a question about delusions into a single subject discussion on whether or not talk of suicide is appropriate.
I am delusional, sometimes, but I am not suicidal and I am sure there are suicidal people out there in the real world who are not seriously delusional either.

The two are not the same.

imrainmaker's avatar

I have been taught there’s nothing great than helping fellow being be it in any form even if it causes you some discomfort or requires efforts on your side. What we discuss on this forum are issues in our life be it simple practical problems or emotional stuff / burden we are carrying. We try to lessen it by sharing with others. With my own experience i can it really feels good when you know there’s someone who’s ready to hear you out and help you resolve your issue in whatever way possible. Why exclude mentally ill people from it then? Those who are against it do you think you are sane 100% in all circumstances and don’t act like crazy whatever be the situation? You might be a tough nut but it doesn’t mean you’ll never break down. There’s breaking point for everyone. Only the degree of tolerance is different based on their nature, type of upbringing etc. So I would not discourage anyone to post anything here unless it is hateful or can be hurtful to others.

Mimishu1995's avatar

Ok, to answer the question, I think @Kardamom is talking about those unthinkable questions like the last one about whether pregnant women were evil that question got modded in a hurry. Am I right @Kardamom?

To me those questions are just too unbelievable for someone in the right mind to ask. Those people are either trolling or having some serious problem that is beyond the help of Fluther. I really wish I could help them if they are really having problems, but if it comes to that point, I can only recommend them to go seek some real-life help and move on because I can see that their problem has gone beyond my ability to help.

johnpowell's avatar

So do we not remember when a member here offered to send razor blades to a person that was considering suicide, (and she offered advice on how to use them)? And that is just one of the horrible things she did. Including pretending to be on twitter and saying a raped my sisters 8 year old twins. People thought this was me. I have never had a Twitter account.

Mods, gotta sleep.. Nip any suicide shit in the bud asap. It can become a legal mess. For example with the razor blade thing. If the person had actually done it the legal bills would be massive. Fluther would have simple folded. You have to delete this shit ASAP unless you are Facebook.

Sneki95's avatar

Not that I actually care whether I’m being perceived as evil or not, but my action was called out, so I guess I should explain myself.

Yes, I did tell her to rest in peace. That was written in an affect. It does not mean I sincerely wanted her to die. I still don’t, and I never will.

Here’s the catch, though: if you want to die, you do it. You don’t come to people and beg them to stop you from something you truly, madly want. If you want someone to stop you from doing something, it’s pretty clear you don’t want to do it. I know that because I did the same.

I was thinking about suicide since I know of myself. That is exactly why i didn’t even try to talk her out of it, but have respect for it. When I decide to die, I’d like to have at least one person tell me “I respect your decision”, rather than “I want you to continue suffering because reasons”. I myself have asked a question about suicide once, because I was in a very similar situation as her. I wasn’t given the “oh mah gahd please don’t dah” because I never asked for that, but I was given opinions and point of views that helped me rethink, pipe down and not do anything.

Unlike other people there, I decided to give advice and present a different approach to the OP of the question. Instead of begging the suicide not to die, I tried being considerate and point out the importance of respecting one’s decision, rather than putting yourself in the first plan. It doesn’t mean I want anyone to die; it means I was trying to understand one’s state and be considerate.

That said, the Suicide didn’t want to die. She wanted to be consoled. It became obvious the moment she appeared.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Realizing that, I again tried to be nice directly towards her, and pointed that I respect her decision, whatever happens. I was openly told to fuck off.
And even then, realizing that she wants help and advice, and she’s obviously not herself, I tried – I repeat- tried to give her hand and ask what is the exact problem and how can we help her solve things out. I was, nicely but openly, told to stop. Fine.

If you want to die, then go die. It doesn’t mean I want you to do it, but I respect it. If you don’t want to die, then ask for help. And if you ask for help, call it as it is: asking for help. And don’t push everyone that wants to help you then. Asking for help, and then telling people who try to help you to fuck off? I mean, brother, do you want help or not? Make up your mind.

If you want to call me cruel and mean, then yes, I am all that.
But I don’t want anyone’s death. I was as disturbed and scared shitless for her as anyone else here may have been. And I sincerely, honestly hope she is alive.

It’s fine if you want help. It’s fine if you want to be hugged and to have someone tell you it’s going to be ok. It’s fine if you want advice and opinion of others on how to solve your problems. But don’t scare people with suicide threats, make a whole mess, and get everyone shit in their pants.

Removing such questions, and asking people to seek professionals and talk to the close ones, instead of strangers on the net, is a perfectly righteous decision. This whole situation is a textbook example of it. You can learn from my mistake.

Seek's avatar

Sometimes the people on the net aren’t strangers.

jca's avatar

For those who are wondering, I believe a big motivation for the OP’s question is the recent question (and previous questions) by someone asking if she is being stared at by her boss.

canidmajor's avatar

Ah, but @jonsblond, I didn’t accuse you of being “rude”. I said you accused us, numerous times, of not having compassion. I can compile a partial list for you (I obviously won’t remember every time). Would you like it here or in a PM?
Or do you deny it?

Mimishu1995's avatar

@Sneki95 I can perfectly understand your intention, even back when I read that thread, but sadly the end doesn’t always justify the mean. That is exactly why I think suicide threads shouldn’t be on Fluther. Suicide isn’t something so easy to deal with, and people will risk depressing the OP even more, even if it isn’t intentional and the helpers are doing it out of purely good intention. I just wish that the mods were more clear about it.

And I hate to break this to you @jonsblond, but some questions are not meant to be asked publicly.

I have my fair share of questions that I rather ask in private, and whenever I do, I PM the jellies I consider good friends and can handle the matter. My problem is always solved satisfactorily and privately, and everyone is happy. If asked publicly though, my questions could be misunderstood and land me on unnecessary trouble.

If you really need this community, I advice you to do the same @jonsblond, especially with problems concerning depression. The reason: those problems require very specific kinds of help that only someone who has a good understanding of you and the problem can provide. You just have to gather the members you think understand you and are able to provide you the compassion you need and ask them privately. That way, you can employ the help of the community while avoiding troubles from the mods and zealous members who don’t know how to help. Another advantage of asking in private is that you can make your question as long as you like, as depressing as you like, as far from an actual question as you like, and no one will complain because you are asking someone who understands you. Why bother asking publicly only to receive answers that you don’t like and get your question modded? It’s not like it’s urgent that everyone need to know that you are depressed or something.

Seek's avatar

What I’m reading here is “Come giggle about farting and pancakes all you like, but if you have an actual question about real life things that affect you, don’t make the mistake of thinking we are a community of supportive friends, no matter how many years we’ve known you.”

Seek's avatar

All in all I’m terribly sorry I inconvenienced everyone with my question about how to help my best friend through an unimaginably terrible point in her life. I’m sure it was very hard on all of you to read that.

Maybe we can talk about whether someone’s next house should have a 6— or 7-car garage, or what the jelly below us is doing today. You know, the important things.

Sneki95's avatar

It’s not your fault, Seek. You had the best intentions. Shit went down when she herself showed up. Then it all went awry.
And no I’m not blaiming her, but stating that situation went from relatively calm situation to an urgent state.

NomoreY_A's avatar

@Seek No worries…and since you brought it up, I need a 9 car garage and Olympic size pool. Just sayin’. As my old Pappy used to say, a man’s gotta set his priorities,

Mimishu1995's avatar

@Seek there was nothing wrong with what you were doing. I never thought that person you were referring to was her. I could see that you didn’t want people to know who it was either. And I just meant that suicidal thought is better worked out between the victim and their trusted friends who understand them the most. Someone who is depressed enough to contemplate suicide is already emotionally vunerable enough for an unintentional remark to ruin their life, and not everyone knows how to talk to a suicidal person and the risk of further upsetting the individual is very high. No one wants to unintentionally contribute to the victim’s decision to end their life, and no one wants to see their attempt to help turns into salt to the wound.

Seek's avatar

Gee… it’s almost like that’s why I asked the question in the first place.

Coloma's avatar

@Seek Your question was caring and thoughtful and it’s not your fault the person in question went off the deep end and not only took great offense at your helpful intentions but then went on to total disintegration and publicly threatening suicide One can be very distraught and not completely lose it on others. One of the boundaries I adhere to. I don’t care how upset someone is about something once they start taking out their problems on others is where I draw the line.

You can’t abuse people and then whine because you’re not getting the empathy you so desire. Doesn’t work that way and depression or mental illness is still not an excuse for such behavior.

Mimishu1995's avatar

@Seek the difference between your question and @jonsblond‘s is that you were asking on behalf of someone else. You were not experiencing the same distress as your friend, so your mind was clearer when it came to deciding which advice to take and which wasn’t good enough. You could take the best advice for you then use it to help your friend. @jonsblond was the one that experienced depression and therefore vulnerable to “wrong” advice.

In your case, if your friend hadn’t showed up, you could choose to ignore the hurtful words. @jonsblond couldn’t because she was the owner of the question and it guaranteed that she was always the one to see any hurtful word directed to her.

That is why the actual victim should take the safer way of PMing their trusted friends. You were asking on behalf of your friend and that was a completely different story.

jwalt's avatar

The question under discussion was perfectly appropriate and should not have been modded. I agree with @Seek, this does not seem to be a good forum for asking serious questions.

Given the amount of lurve Seek’s friend had, she seemed like a long time member of this community. I suspect that the OP, in addition to wanting answers for herself, also used this forum to get those answers to her friend via Fluther. For the most part, before her friend revealed herself, the discussion was good. Afterwards, some folks continued to have helpful replies, while others argued with her and treated her like you would a troll. That is why it spiraled into an urgent state.

Folks were happy to answer while the question appeared to be academic…before they knew who it was that was struggling, then hide behind the line ‘no one here is a licensed therapist’ after it becomes real. Sorry to say it, but for questions of this sort (medical, emotional, etc.) they are always real. If you don’t feel qualified to answer a question, FFS, don’t ever answer it!

Seek's avatar

It is exactly an excuse for it.

It’s a symptom of the pain and illness. It’s like getting mad at someone for sneezing when they have a cold.

Cazzie was a long time member here. She was not just my friend. She was OUR FRIEND.

And we owed her better than what she got here.

I’m incredibly disappointed.

jwalt's avatar

The fact that a depressed person is talking is very important…it is a sign that a she had not made a decision, yet. Keep them talking and work on leading them to professional help. Some jellys did just that. Others drove her into silence. Sure she was abusive to some replies. It was on the rest of us to just walk away and ignore the discussion if a line was crossed. You need to distinguish between a troll who just wants to force you into a reply, and a depressed person who is lashing out in their struggles.

Seek's avatar

By the way, she’s reading this thread. Try to remember our posts are public to non-members, too.

canidmajor's avatar

@Seek , there was an outpouring of caring and support both for you and your friend on that thread, and very few inappropriate posts, (remarkably few in fact, considering the public nature of this forum) so I’m not sure why you’re upset about that.

Seek's avatar

Goodie, I get to be wrong again.

Fuck this. I’m out.

jwalt's avatar

@canidmajor. Yes there was, and those replies were wonderful

There was also more than enough self interest too,.‘I can’t handle this question so please make it go away.’ Which seems to be the basis for this meta question.

Coloma's avatar

Man I see a LOT of victim behavior going on. Sheesh…anonymous people on an internet forum are not equipped to offer anything more than words of solace, comfort and an attempt to sway a seriously depressed persons state of mind. If, after repeated attempts of which all are met with resistance and continued statements of the persons desire to do themselves in, well…WTF ..it’s like the boy who cried wolf. After awhile even the kindest person might very well be inclined to say “RIP.”

I mean come on. Either you want help and comfort or you just want to unload and shoot down anyones heartfelt attempts to offer words of comfort and encouragement. When 10, 20, 30 caring replies are met with such resistance well, don’t the non-depressed helpers have a right to get fed up and maybe lash out a bit from frustration? Yes-they-do.

Like anything there are consequences to ones behavior and one of the consequences of repeated attempts to help someone that shoots down every kind word and suggestion is the right of the helper to throw up their hands in frustration and walk away. Depressed people are extremely self centered and while that is understandable given whatever is overwhelming them, there are still limits to what they can expect others to take.

DominicY's avatar

It’s quite a stretch to conclude from the unique situation of a question where a suicidal person posts being inappropriate for this site that we can’t handle serious questions. There are serious questions asked every day and serious answers given. The question was not a bad idea from the start, not at all. But after a certain point, it deserved to be modded. When it no longer became something that the users here could help with, when there’s actually someone’s life potentially at stake.

But yeah, I guess I’ll go back to posting about farting, or whatever the fuck you think people who thought the suicide question lost its viability do.

And no, I’m not out.

Seek's avatar

I’d expect more kindness and understanding out of a group of people I’ve spent almost nine years considering friends than I would a group of anonymous people on a Reddit board.

But hey, I’ve been wrong before.

It’s fine. I used to like knowing I could turn to the Fluther community if I needed somewhere to talk about things. As someone with no family and no close friends to talk to in person, I would take comfort in my online community.

But now, not only was the question modded – which, whatever. It served its purpose for the time, that’s fine, but now people are actually going out of their way to talk shit about the person who the question was about. People who didn’t offer any help or advice claiming to be frustrated on the helping-people’s behalf.

It’s just mean hearted bullshit.

No, I don’t feel comfortable here right now.

Coloma's avatar

@Seek That’s all fine and good but not the issue at hand. The issue is that Fluther is not a mental health forum and that 99% of people here are not equipped to handle suicide threats. It is also an issue of all of us good people trying to offer help and having our sentiments shot down while watching the threats escalate. At that point kind and understanding people might just lose their patience and that does not make them unkind or not understanding. The whole point is that lay people cannot offer much more than words of comfort and encouragement and it is certainly not kind or understanding of another to force their blood on other peoples hands or to bite the hand of those that are trying to help.
I agree that sharing ones issues via pm’s with fluther friends is the way to go, but suicidal questions are not appropriate subject material on a site such as this.

Telling it like it is is not mean hearted bullshit, it is open, honest communication about a highly stressful event that went down here.
More than a few people here were greatly alarmed at this situation, I know I was, hence a needed discussion of what content is appropriate for a site such as this.

Mariah's avatar

If someone thinks asking for help here is potentially going to save their life…..isn’t that worth us taking on a bit of stress?

jwalt's avatar

@Coloma, I do agree that this is not a mental health forum, but it is also a community. Some people may seek help here because they feel comfortable enough with others to ask for help. They view the others as their friends, even if they are only online, their opinions are respected from long term interactions. Most of us are not equipped to handle suicide threats. If you don’t feel comfortable or qualified, then don’t answer.

I suspect the same is true of other types of questions. How many respond to an automotive repair question or a science question (for example) that they really have no qualification to answer?

Does one reject a real-life friend or acquaintance seeking help because we don’t have professional training in any subject? Do we berate them for their struggle? Perhaps at times tough love is needed, but it is a difficult call on when you have to transition to that mode, and it is only done after a long period of interaction. Shutting the person down so soon is basically telling them you don’t care and cannot be bothered. Which seems to be the case and just goes to prove Seek’s conjecture that this forum is not useful for anything important.

I stayed out of the original discussion because I had nothing to add, and felt that I could only make things worse. But I watched it in case there was something I could do. I am sorry if this post makes anyone feel bad, angry, etc. If it does, then maybe they need to evaluate their role in the situation.

How we respond to behaviours here and in real life must depend on the situation. Seek’s friend was in need. This community, one that she seemed to value greatly, failed her.

DominicY's avatar

@Mariah It may be. I think the problem is that it becomes a “high stakes” situation, where a bit of stress can spiral into something far more dangerous. As evidenced by that question, people don’t necessarily know what to say to a suicidal person. They may say something that means well and in their mind should be helpful, but it may just make the whole situation worse. And when, for example, they are told off by the suicidal person (which happened), they may take it personally and again, make things worse. I don’t think it’s impossible for someone to seek help from a forum if they are suicidal, but I think it’s risky territory to be treading into (as @johnpowell‘s example shows). I don’t have a clear solution. I understand why the mods did what they did, is what I’m saying. In today’s world of live-streaming and social media, people commit suicide in real time as people comment and watch. For a brief moment in that question, I thought just that was about to happen.

@jwalt The difference between a science question and this is that a person’s life isn’t at stake. Being unqualified in a science question can be irksome. Being unqualified in a suicide question could put blood on your hands.

jwalt's avatar

Absolutely in agreement @DominicY. You are proving my point in that how we respond to certain types of responses in important. Abusive responses in a science question should be put down without mercy. The same type of response in a life-or-death question needed to be carefully weighed. You cannot respond with either an aggressive argument or asking the question and replied to be moderated. You have shut down a person asking for REAL help, not some BS question on science, politics or religion. It must be handled carefully, and sometimes that means just staying out of it altogether, as I did.

jwalt's avatar

There was an earlier question before any of this came up, and I am paraphrasing: “Would you help someone who was struggling?”

I was disappointed in how many people responded with either “no way, I have my own issues”, or made jokes about kicking them when they were down. At least the answers there are consistent to how this discussion is going. As I said before, it just proves Seek’s point that Fluther may only be for fluff questions, and unless you know the other user, do not believe that they have any real interest in helping.

tinyfaery's avatar

Pretty soon fluther will consist of heartless assholes who think they know everything and can’t STFU when they need to; always have to have last word.

So this was my suicide thread. Never modded. Never taken down. I just needed some helpful words and the Jellies got together to make it happen. This is exactly what Jonsblond needed and she was heartlessly turned away. That mod should not be a mod. Never should have been.

Maybe if you have nothing helpful to say when people are obviously hurting you should stay out if it. Just because you think you have all the answers doesn’t mean you do. Maybe some of you are not as self aware as you think.

So which know-it-all will have this last word? This should be fun.~

Also, if anyone can get in touck with @Seek, please let her know I am thinkng about her.

Mimishu1995's avatar

For a bit of context, maybe someone can link to @jonsblond‘s modded question? Maybe the reason why the question was modded is actually something else other than “being too depressive”, but she failed to understand because her mind was already too messed up?

But if that’s too much then it’s not necessary.

Coloma's avatar

@tinyfaery Has nothing to do with having the last word. A discussion forum permits discussion which is what has taken place here. Some feel this site is appropriate to be used as a suicidal podium and others do not.
It’s no secret that you are a very angry and volatile person and stating that fact does not make anyone cruel or unkind.

Nether does stating that a public forum is not an appropriate medium for seriously depressed and disturbed people to showcase their disturbances and to lash out at those that do try to offer some assistance. Again, it is one thing to seek emotional support during a time of extreme unhappiness as your question reflects but it is not appropriate to put others in a position of damned if they do, damned if they don’t. My offerings in your depression thread were kind, true and encouraging and you conducted yourself with grace and decency. You have never been an easy person to deal with but at least you did not lash out and attack the hands that were trying to feed you some comfort and hope.

Everyone gets what they give and depression and suicidal thoughts does not exempt one from abusive behavior. I’m more than happy to offer words of kindness and support but turn around and bite me for my effort, well…fuck off, deal with your own damn problems if you can’t comport yourself with some small measure of maturity regardless of how unhappy you are.

Coloma's avatar

@jwalt Nobody failed anybody. Talk about guilt tripping.
If someone is going to bite the hand that is trying to help them then yep, RIP. Nobody is responsible, EVER, for anothers actions or reactions.

If a suicidal person is exempt from any personal responsibility for how their words and behaviors effect others well..then the caring posters also reserve the right to be exempt from offering furthur support.

Aethelwine's avatar

On top of my depression I’ve also been dealing with my daughter’s. She came out as bisexual to Jon and I last summer. This school year has been a nightmare for her. She feels alone, hates her teachers and hates her spoiled sports loving classmates. Try being gay in Trumpland at a school with less than 150 students. She has panic attacks in the morning and has now missed 26 days of school. She went to school in tears three times this week.

I’ve wanted to ask how to help her but according to most of you you aren’t qualified. She told me last night that she thinks she’s transgender. I could really use some support but many of you have made it clear you aren’t qualified.

So… Nekkid pancake party. Woohoo. Who’s with me. ~

Coloma's avatar

@jonsblond Why is it somehow bad of us to not be qualified to give advice on such intense matters as suicide or having a transgender child?
Better to be honest and not advise on matters one has no qualifications for than to give poor advice or misleading information. I can offer my support of your struggles but obviously the best approach is to seek out counseling in real life from a professional, whether that is for suicide or coping with a depressed transgender child. People can say they are sorry to hear of your struggles, they can offer fluffy little bits of nothing like “hang in there” or they can suggest getting professional help, which is the highest choice, obviously.

funkdaddy's avatar

@Coloma – There’s an imbalance between someone wanting to argue their worldview and someone who is going through an actual crisis. Is it more important to be right, or to help someone, even if that help is to simply stay out of it? Reserving the right to no longer offer support is a lot different than reversing course.

If help isn’t welcome, that’s not always personal. Perhaps thinking back to a time you weren’t at your best would help? Did you treat everyone fairly?

I’m not attacking you, I’m just trying to point out that we ALL disagree with many things we see and hear. We all have our buttons and things we’re protective of. At some point the damage caused to all involved isn’t worth it.

Aethelwine's avatar

@Coloma Fluther used to be helpful for such serious issues. If you can’t deal with it then stay the fuck out of it. Do you not realize that many of us seek support here because we’ve received it in the past? And many people don’t have the resources available at their fingertip. A little support from a community that has been family is sometimes exactly what some of us need.

It helped @tinyfaery and SUICIDE was a tag in her Q.

Aethelwine's avatar

Look at what I found. This particular mod handled it correctly imo and the question remained.

https://www.fluther.com/191974/how-can-i-shrug-this-depression-away-please-help/

Two mods contributed on this suicide thread.

SergeantQueen's avatar

If someone isn’t qualified to answer a question, then they shouldn’t answer it.
If someone is having a hard time and is asking for advice, they should get advice. If they aren’t showing that they are an imminent danger to themselves or others, then they shouldn’t be modded. People should be allowed to help them in a more thoughtful way.

Coloma's avatar

@funkdaddy I did stay out of it. I also witnessed the insanity that unfolded which has led to this discussion and debate over what is and is not appropriate content for an internet forum. Sure, I have had some really stressful times in the last few years but no, I do not and never have taken my upset out on others and that is something I feel strongly about. It is unacceptable and abusive.

If you are so distraught that you are just looking to lash out at others then maybe you should just keep it to yourself or seek professional help. Victimizing others as a way of relieving yourself of your upset is bullshit.

@jonsblond Again, seeking support is not the same thing as actually threatening suicide online and there are plenty of resources available. I am not talking about seeking support from this community for hard times, I asked for some encouraging words a few years ago when I was going through a really hard time but..I also was gracious towards the responses I received and did not lash out at others or go all drama queen and threaten suicide in response to the replies I received. Sorry, but an online forum can only offer just so much and seeking professional help is the ultimate goal if one is serious about overcoming their problems. I like you @jonsblond, I always have, but..it is obvious due to your personal problems that you are extremely emotionally volatile and are scapegoating a lot of us here because of your unhappy state of mind as was the case the other day in the question which has prompted this discussion.

Asking for words of encouragement and support is one thing, but real life intervention is what’s needed when certain serious situations are above and beyond the scope of others abilities.

cookieman's avatar

Fluther is not just some site on the internet to me and many of you are not strangers. Nor do I see you as simply avatars.

Whatever the details, I think we should approach each other with compassion. If not, we are no better than a million other sites in the web.

jca's avatar

Again, I believe @Kardamom meant this question to be for the girl who thinks everyone is staring at her.

As far as suicide questions, imagine the liability if Fluther were to leave questions like that up and the person went and actually committed suicide. Would Fluther be to blame? Would Fluther be partially liable? Only a lawyer knows for sure, and it would be based on the specific circumstances, but I’m sure it’s not something Fluther wants to deal with from a financial aspect and not from a humanistic aspect, either.

janbb's avatar

Yes, I think this question may have been ill-conceived to begin with and certainly got off the rails. If people have gripes against the mods or a specific issue, why not bring them up with them? Nobody’s perfect and nobody’s always right. We’re all always making judgment calls about what to answer and when to step away. And being a family we have history with people too. FWIW, I did a lot of backstage work on the question the other night, and felt that someone did give a lot of help. Sometimes people are so ready to jump all over each other here that they don’t see the love that has been given. It’s pretty disgusting at times.

And as @jca has said numerous times, this question wasn’t even based on that one although it was worded so coyly, it was hard to know where it was coming from.

Aethelwine's avatar

In the details of this question: I’m just curious about Fluther’s policy. Can anyone ask any question?

Tag- mental illness

I think everything that has been discussed here is appropriate considering the tag and details of the question. If I had a penny for every question that received answers based on the tags or details and not the title Q I’d be a millionaire.

jca's avatar

@jonsblond: People are certainly free to answer any question any way they want to (unless of course it’s in General). You are right that the question itself does have the tag “mental illness,” which the suicidal and support discussion definitely pertains to.

I was referring to way at the top where people were asking “where is this question coming from?”

Aethelwine's avatar

@jca I understand. It would be nice if the OP would explain it better.

jwalt's avatar

@Coloma, guilt trip? Perhaps so, but I am not sure what else to call it other than a failure to help the person. The type of reply to what might be an irrational response should be dictated by what is driving that response. Is it arrogance? Trolling? or as in this case someone in great need who may not be responding as usual? Certainly in the last case, if your response is going to be slapping the other person because you feel they are not appreciative, then it would have been best to walk away and say nothing.

Those that kept attacking her for being a “naughty Flutherite” do bear responsibility for causing the situation to spiral downward. She was not being naughty, she was in a situation that required patience and understanding.

There is plenty of blame to spread all around on what happened here the other day. I would say that even my silence was the wrong thing. I feel that there is some hypocrisy here, in that the question was fine while the person in question was “just someone” Seek knew. After it was revealed who, suddenly folks started hiding behind the idea it was an inappropriate question because somebody’s life was on the line. Hate to break it to you, but there was always someone’s life on the line. But it was all OK as long as the person at risk was anonymous? Right?

jca's avatar

I just took another look at the suicide thread from Saturday night and I don’t see where anybody was particularly nasty to the person who was threatening suicide. I see a lot of helpfulness. I got criticized for what I told her, which was to think of her child. Maybe it’s not something a mental health professional would tell a person (which speaks to why this is not the appropriate forum), but I think “think of your child” is something a parent should do.

jwalt's avatar

So this will be my last post on this subject. Why am I so impassioned about this? It is because recently I had a real life friend (no he is not on Fluther) go through some very hard times, and potentially suicidal. He lashed out…both at friends trying to help and the world in general. My knee-jerk reaction was to respond and react directly to what was being said. The situation got worse.

I quickly realized that a different path was needed. I noticed that also occurred the other day from some members of Fluther. One cannot take every statement from someone who is feeling so lost as a personal attack, no matter how mean it may seem. Though patience and understanding, we were able to get him help…it was not our job to ‘fix’ the problem, it was our job to support him and help him just enough so that he was able to find the help he really needed. You never know where to to whom someone will reach out to, but if they do, you must take them seriously and keep aware of how your actions affect them. Yes, you are not responsible for their actions, but you are responsible for yours, especially if you see that they are adversely affecting them.

Is Fluther a substitute for metal health professionals, hell no. It is a place to offer support when needed, or at lease some here saw it that way. Any question deserves a careful, well thought out answer. Some questions may allow for silly replies, others not. Seek’s original question was deadly serious from the beginning, no matter who the person needing help might have been. It does not change when you find out their identity.

Questions like these will continue to come…so when does it become inappropriate to answer? When does it become so serious that the question should be removed? There seems to be two choices that I can see: (1) every question is reviewed by the moderators before it is allowed to be posted, or (2) we do better in our responses to serious questions, we edit ourselves in how we respond. Personally I like option 2, with the moderators there to help us as needed (the mode we have now). Otherwise Fluther will become a fluff only site, with moderators always worried about allowing a dangerous question through. I already have great sympathy for the tough job they have now, it would be much, much worse if we asked them to do even more.

Coloma's avatar

@jwalt Clearly you’re projecting a lot of your own upset, based on your recent experience with your friend.
What part of there is NO “failure” to help someone in a circumstance such as that are you not understanding?
Nobody can help a suicidal person if they are hell bent on going for it and if ones caring responses are met with venomous retort, ( and lack of appreciation has nothing to do with anything, it is about not accepting abuse in return for ones attempt to help. ) No, threatening suicide is never okay, anonymous or otherwise.

Of course someone in such a dire emotional condition is not going to be themselves but they also don’t get a free pass to abuse others. FYI I already stated that I did not participate in that Q.
My choice, and given what I was witnessing, the highest choice I could make in that moment and situation. Again, let me be clear, questions seeking support and solutions to ones problems are fine, but if they turn to suicide threats and abusive backlash they should be moderated.

Just because someone is depressed and / or suicidal doesn’t give them carte blanche to shit on others at will. Not feeling that serious mental health intervention is an appropriate function of this site does not mean that anyone want to see nothing but “fluff” questions. There’s a whole lot of space between fluff and suicide. I’m sorry but yep, I don’t believe in pandering to peoples emotional fragility.

You want help ask, you want compassion and support, you got it, you want to play mind games, threaten suicide in front of a helpless audience and verbally assault your helpers, well don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out. Pffft1

SavoirFaire's avatar

This is not a [Mod Says] post or official in any way. I haven’t conferred with anyone on the team about it, but I am going to be speaking from the perspective of a mod. Parts of it may read like an attempt to justify things that have happened, and I suppose parts of it really will be exactly that. But I would also like to stress right from the beginning that I am open to feedback about how we should handle this sort of thing in the future.

To state the obvious: suicide questions are complicated. For one, there is a whole world of legal liability to deal with. Ben is the one on the hook if the site runs afoul of the law, and so it is not unreasonable of him to have put in a few policies regarding such questions from the very beginning. But there is also a moral dimension to consider. It can be difficult to determine whether someone will be better off for having asked a question about suicide on Fluther.

Questions about suicide run the gamut from the purely theoretical (“what do you think about suicide?”) to the grimly practical (“how should I commit suicide?”). And yes, we’ve had both of those questions before. We’ve also had everything in between, including requests for kind words and/or for advice on getting through a bout of depression. But it can be difficult to determine when a question is honestly and truly “just hypothetical” or how at risk any given individual is.

We have, therefore, adopted a set of policies to help us figure out how to respond to questions about suicide. And though these policies have been largely laid down from on high, there is room for adjusting them. So while I am about to say what those policies are, I would like to reiterate that they are open for comment. (And while it should be obvious, I will also preface this list with the standard reminder that the team has to be aware of a question or comment in order to take action on it.)

First and foremost, anyone who asks a question or makes a comment that indicates they may be experiencing suicidal thoughts is supposed to receive the standard suicide message, which goes as follows:

“We’re very sorry that you’re going through a tough time, but you need more help than Fluther can give you at the moment. Please contact a suicide hotline such as 1–800-SUICIDE (1–800-784–2433) or 1–800-273-TALK (1–800-273–8255) as soon as possible. We care about you, and want to see you get the help you need!”

Sometimes the message is sent via PM, other times it (or a variation on it) is posted as a response to a question. Now, let’s be completely honest here: this message is sent primarily for legal purposes. I’m not saying that we do not genuinely care about the people we send the message to. We do. But this was, as far as I can tell, the first standardized message created for the site (possibly by Ben and Andrew themselves), and it was crafted accordingly.

I assume this is the message that @jonsblond received (I cannot confirm this because the account where she would have received it has been disabled). If not, then that’s a whole other problem. In any case, the implication of this message is supposed to be that Fluther alone is unlikely to get someone through a bout of depression. It is not meant to turn anyone away. That said, I can understand why it might be interpreted as such. I certainly do not mean to disparage anyone for having taken it that way. Especially given the next policy I am going to discuss.

So here goes part two: after making the difficult determination of whether or not a given question or comment indicates that someone is experiencing suicidal thoughts, we then look at whether that person is a new member (i.e., someone who signed up just to ask about suicide) or an established community member. Established members have their questions left up. New members have their questions pulled and they get sent the standard suicide message.

I do not know what the original thinking behind this policy was since it has been around since before I was even a member here (let alone a mod), and all that my research has turned up is evidence that this policy was put in place very early on. So while it is clear that the policy has existed for a long time, any discussion about why it exists would be in email discussions long forgotten. If I had to give a theory, I would guess that established members are assumed to know what they are getting into by asking about suicide on Fluther, and so we defer to their judgment that asking the community will be helpful to them.

For various reasons, it seems that the account @jonsblond used to ask her question was misidentified as belonging to a completely new user. I don’t want to get into it here, but I’d be happy to give her the full details via PM if she is interested.

Lastly, we do not allow questions that explicitly ask for methods or strategies for committing suicide. Leaving aside the fact that it is illegal in some jurisdiction to provide such information, Fluther is not in the business of helping people kill themselves. For some people, this will seem like the least controversial policy we have on the issue. To others, it will seem like the most controversial (and perhaps even deeply hypocritical). But again, the purpose of this post is to say what the policies are, not to defend them.

Sorry this is so long. If you managed to get this far, here are some adorable polar bears to compensate you for your time. Again, all constructive feedback is welcome.

marinelife's avatar

Everyone is welcome here, and all are equal askers in our eyes. The site does not discriminate based on political, sexual or other orientation. Why for anything else?

Also, it is wonderful that you are not the arbiter of what is OK for the site. Who are you to just say that someone is mentally ill? And what would it matter if you were right? Am I right in recalling that you don’t like people who have imperfect toes? Good gracious, you are judgemental.

Just ignore any questions that you don’t like. You do not get to say what the rest of us read and respond to, thank goodness.

Coloma's avatar

@SavoirFaire Very good, and thank you for clarifying policy. Good to know and I support Fluther in this 100%.

Coloma's avatar

@marinelife @Kardamom Q. is not discriminating in the least, it is a viable question and serious mental illness can be very disruptive whether that is in real life or manifesting on an online forum.
It’s not about trying to mandate what anyone reads or responds to, it is about what the site policy is when it is glaringly apparent someone is not in their right mind whether that is seeing little green men in their toaster or suicidal ideation.

jwalt's avatar

So I will violate my “last post” statement. @Coloma, I am not arguing against moderation of the responses, or even the question. We are in agreement there Coloma. I am quite sure I am reflecting my recent experience, but that does not make it wrong.

But, what part of ‘you don’t drive someone in depression into silence’ don’t YOU get? My argument is and has been about how to deal with the situation that happened, when it is happening in real time. Idealistic rules and regulations are meaningless in the middle of it. Sure, you are right, this is not the right forum for many things, but the proverbial elephant is in the room, will you address it? Or quote rules to it saying it should not exist?

The problem the other day was made worse by quoting rules and regulations to the person in need.

Sure, flag it for review by the mods…that is both desirable and necessary. If their response to your advice is aggressive, etc. Flag it if needed. Try to see when any further interaction is harmful, and do not argue with someone who is in this situation.

I agree that a person in such need is very disruptive (I don’t really like this term here…but I will go with it) to ‘normal’ activities in online or real life. In either case, it is up to the reader to decide if they can help or if it is so disruptive that they cannot deal with it. In an online environment, it is very easy to block it and walk away…it is only disruptive if you keep engaging.

Coloma's avatar

@jwalt Completely agree. Yes, it is impossible to reason with a desperate person and that’s where professional intervention comes in. My point was not to silence anyone only to point out that attacking your benefactor is not a good choice if one sincerely wants help.
Well..it’s been a rousing discussion to say the least but time to saddle up a fresh mount and leave this poor dead horse in the dust. I think we have all learned a lot that will serve us in future encounters with potentially disturbed/distraught individuals and knowing how the mods manage this sort of thing is helpful information.

canidmajor's avatar

@jwalt, no one quoted rules and regulations on @Seek‘s thread. Unless you are talking about a different thread,

Mimishu1995's avatar

@SavoirFaire thank you so much for your clarification. A word from a mod that doesn’t sound subjective is what people need right now. And you also say you welcome constructive feedback, so would you mind if I give you some feedback? More like opinion than feedback :p

First, I think it would be better if the mod team has clarified the same things back on @Seek‘s thread. The modding alone led people to believe that suicide questions weren’t allowed, and subsequently questions asking for help with mental problems weren’t allowed, hence the long debate we saw.

Second, well this isn’t a feedback but more like a guess that needs confirmation from you. I can see that @tinyfaery was very angry about @Seek‘s and @jonsblond‘s questions getting modded and she linked to her “suicide” question that wasn’t modded to show us how inappropriate the modding was. In my opinion, at first glance they all look like sucide questions, but there is one crucial difference between @tinyfaery‘s question and @Seek‘s question that made one question stay and the other get modded (I can’t speak about @jonsblond‘s one though because I don’t even know what it’s about, but back to it later), and that is how the threads progress. @tinyfaery received warm comfort and support and she gladly accepted them, thanking everyone for helping. The thread had a satisfactory resolution. It was clear, however, on @Seek‘s thread that words of comfort alone wasn’t sufficient to solve the problem, as the suicidal member insisted that things were going into shit despite the effort of the responders to calm her down. I guess that whoever modded it could sense that things could get very ugly in any minute so they pushed the question away to avoid further damage to the community. Is my guess right @SavoirFaire? If is’s correct, then I agree that it was a good move, just like how the mods handled previous ugly heated threads.

In the case of @jonsblond‘s question, it could be modded for something else, maybe even trivial like a typo, or it could be heading to the same road as @Seek‘s so that mod had to stop it before things got out of hand.

In either case, I suggest that the mods should make it clearer to members to avoid inconvenience. A lot of people have taken offense that questions that are supposed to be a cry for help are shot down. I can understand the mods’ intention, it’s just that the mods need to clear up the suspicion a bit.

Aethelwine's avatar

@Mimi I was given the general response all members are given according to @Savoir.

I was told they care about me (this is why I assumed they knew who I was) but that Fluther couldn’t help me.. I was then given a suicide hotline. I can’t remember exactly how I worded my question. I think it was “How do you deal with suicidal thoughts?” In my details I mentioned the things I’m dealing with and said I wouldn’t kill myself because my daughter needs me. I was just looking for encouragement.

I received three helpful answers before my question was pulled. Once my question was pulled and I received the standard response from the mod I deleted my account and cried myself to sleep.

Mimishu1995's avatar

@jonsblond are you sure that thread didn’t turn into a war? Do you remember seeing any member saying hurtful or controversial things in that thread? Did you check the question when it was modded to see why it was pushed back?

If it was really true that there was nothing wrong with the thread other than being a thread about suicide, I’m going to make a guess that the mod took the rule way too literally. The fact that she didn’t know that account belonged to you didn’t help either. You didn’t sound as desperate as the one in @Seek‘s thread, so it made it easier for people to offer help, and we could very much have a happy ending like on @tinyfaery‘s thread. As @SavoirFaire said, suicide questions need to be modded just as a precaution for any bad thing that may happen, but if the question isn’t less about someone wanting to take their life and more about a depressed person needing some encouragement, then I think it could at least earn a pass…

Again I haven’t seen that thread, so I can’t jump into any conclusion.

Response moderated
Response moderated
johnpowell's avatar

So I reached out to another community and a mod got back to me right away.

http://imgur.com/a/9inYI

Aethelwine's avatar

I think what @Savoir shared is acceptable. Veteran users should be allowed some leeway. When you are a long time user you know who doesn’t like you. If the person responds with an unhelpful answer it wouldn’t be a surprise to the OP.

most of us are veterans at this point

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Mimishu1995 I meant it when I asked for constructive feedback, so thank you for yours. I’m going to address your questions in reverse order because I think the last one is the most important.

To be perfectly clear, there was nothing wrong with @jonsblond‘s question. It was moderated because it initially appeared to be from a completely new member (and was thereby dealt with according to the second policy I described earlier). It did not turn into a “war” or otherwise devolve into something awful. We made a mistake in removing it—an understandable mistake, but a mistake all the same.

As for @Seek‘s question, it was moderated because we were worried that it was making things worse for the person it was about. We sent @Seek a link to the question so that she would continue to have access to the helpful answers that had been posted without letting the unhelpful answers continue to pile up. It’s not a perfect solution, which is why we also asked @Seek for her input on what should be done with the question (e.g., rejection or reinstatement) since she is closest to the situation.

Lastly, I’m not sure what good it would have done to clarify the policy on suicide questions on @Seek‘s question (especially since it was moderated shortly after it was brought to our attention). As you yourself note, it was only in the wake of that question being moderated that many of these questions came up. But maybe I am misunderstanding your point here. If so, please feel free to elaborate.

Soubresaut's avatar

Thank you @SavoirFaire for the clarifications on the Fluther policy. And for the polar bears! I’m glad they’re written out for everyone here. I think they make sense.

There was something mentioned higher up in the thread that bothered me… and it’s probably a mistake for me to bring it up again, but I’m going to anyway. Several people suggested that if someone mentions suicide, or mentions suicidal thoughts, that they are simply seeking attention, and/or they don’t really “mean” it. These kinds of stigmas make it harder for people moving towards suicide to reach out to people for help. Holding that stigma, spreading and declaring that stigma, causes harm.

Also, as most every stigma, it’s simply not true, though it is a convenient way to dismiss people. I don’t know much about the subject, but I do know that.

I still respect and care about the person in question. I hope they are finding resources and support. I am saddened by the way some people on this site have been so callous towards them. There are people in my life who would not be here if they hadn’t felt like it was okay to reach out for help. (And no, that’s not me projecting. That’s me pointing out why it’s so important to stop perpetuating the stigmas surrounding the subject.)

janbb's avatar

So it was sent back to Seek for her input and it was her question; exactly as it should have been handled. And she still had access to the input. Sounds like a good judgment call to me. It did go on a long time (it was a Saturday night) and one quite qualified Jelly was being helpful to the participant who seemed to have calmed down some. Further comments and some of the side comments were not useful and I think some of the participants would not have wanted their remarks to stay up. So – where’s the beef?

As far as the other issue raised, people who come on here with seemingly the same delusions about people in their workplace pretty much get the same response each time. Maybe eventually they’ll listen, maybe not; but it’s easy enough to roll one’s eye and pass it by or come on with some snark – as the mood hits.

And now we know that the policy is if you are seemingly a new person who expresses suicidal thoughts, the policy is that you will be referred to a hotline.

Coloma's avatar

@Soubresaut I understand what you are saying however, in many instances the person in question IS exhibiting histrionic attention seeking behavior, especially if they are under the influence of alcohol or other mind altering substances in the moment.
Reaching out is fine, I believe people should be able to openly talk about suicide, but there are plenty of emotionally disturbed people that do use threats of suicide as attention seeking ploys due to histrionic disorders when they really have no intention of following through with their threats. They pull the suicide card as a means to manipulate and control others.
I am not, in any way, insinuating that was the case in this situation a few days ago, but, it does happen quite frequently. Obviously all threats need to be taken seriously but that doesn’t minimize the people that do use such threats as a manipulative tactic.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@janbb “So—where’s the beef?”

I have no idea how @Seek feels about how things went. As for @tinyfaery and @jonsblond, my best interpretation of their complaint—and I hope they will correct me if I am wrong—is that (a) there appeared to be an inconsistency in how suicide questions are handled, and (b) what happened in one particular case was particularly unfortunate. I hope that my explanation of the current policy on suicide questions helps clear up (a). All I can do in the case of (b) is apologize.

Aethelwine's avatar

^You are correct. I was under the impression the mod knew who I was when I asked my question. I have no beef with the mod now that things have been cleared up.

And for those who feel this was all unnecessary drama, please try to put yourself in the shoes of a very distraught veteran user who was looking for comfort and felt she was rudely turned away. I am not dealing with only my clinical depression but also some very serious depression and issues with my daughter.

Aethelwine's avatar

Where the heck is Kardamom? Is she ever going to explain? :)

tinyfaery's avatar

@SavoirFaire Yes. That was my issue. I get it about the new user, but I still feel like @jonsblond thread should not have been taken down.

I’m all good.

Coloma's avatar

@jonsblond I don’t think anyone insinuated that YOU were being overly dramatic, but that is the case at times when people are highly stressed and depressed. They become hyper-sensitive and lash out as they take everything personally. I think its important to try and be aware of that tendency when we are highly stressed. I think @Kardamom is probably avoiding this scene like the plague, I don’t blame her. haha

chyna's avatar

@Kardamom was, in fact, asking this question in regards to the user that keeps asking why her bosses keep staring at her. @Kardamom pm’d this info to me right after she asked the question and before it turned into the questions regarding suicide.
I don’t think she would mind my telling this.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@jonsblond “I have no beef with the mod now that things have been cleared up.”

I’m glad to hear it. And let me just take the opportunity here to say I completely agree that this was not unnecessary drama. Issues like these need to be worked through, and I’m glad we did.

@tinyfaery “I get it about the new user, but I still feel like @jonsblond thread should not have been taken down.”

Just to be clear, are you saying that @jonsblond‘s specific question should not have been taken down, or that suicide questions from new users should not be taken down? If it’s the former, I think we are all on the same page now (including everyone on the mod team). The question should not have been taken down, and it’s an unfortunate mistake that it was. If it’s the latter, that’s a trickier issue.

Soubresaut's avatar

@Coloma. Sure, it happens. You claim it happens frequently. You claim I’m minimizing the issue. Do you have any numbers to help show me that this is the case? I haven’t been able to find any. (Although I have found many numbers on suicide, and many sites attempting to dispel pervasive myths/stigmas about the subject. See below.)

I understand the concept of using suicide to threaten or manipulate. I know there are, for example, abusers in relationships that tell the victim “if you leave me, I’ll kill myself.” That’s pretty cut-and-dry. However—and this is a big however—I don’t see where that kind of situation has relevance to the issues that we have been discussing… other than in the way it has been brought up, attempting to label one incident in particular as “abuse,” as “drama mongering,” as someone “taking out their problems on others,” as “histrionic,” etc. Those descriptions are deliberately pejorative. They have no place in the discussion.

There are plenty of resources online to help dispel various myths about suicide: some of the resources that I happened to find And I’m not directing these just at Coloma—I don’t want it to seem that way. I’m just putting them out here, because they touch on various things that various people have mentioned. Also, the “that I” link may not work on all browsers.)

Coloma's avatar

@Soubresaut I never said “frequently” only that it does happen and yes, when someones help is met with abusive remarks well… abuse is abuse regardless of whether the perpetrator is depressed. I don’t know where you got the notion I am accusing YOU of minimizing. I said…all threats need to be taken seriously but that does not minimize the people who do use such threats as a manipulative tactic.
Sheesh…there seems to be a real problem with people taking things personally here.

This is a discussion and nothing more and discussing the various, potential, motives behind depressed and suicidal peoples behavior is just that, part of a discussion.
Regardless of how depressed someone is when they resort to abuse towards their benefactors and make wildly emotionally charged threats, well… calling that behavior drama mongering and histrionic is exactly what it is.
One can be very depressed but still retain some emotional solvency. As far as the “taking out their problems ” on others, it’s no secret that depression fucks with peoples emotions and often creates over reactivity and a need to lash out to discharge negative emotions.

Again, not acceptable if you truly want empathy and help. Nothing perjorative about the truth and in the spirit of the discussion, once again, those descriptions are part of the whole big kettle of irrational behaviors exhibited by many experiencing extreme mental and emotional disturbance. All of which make it exceedingly hard on those that do wish to help and have every place in a discussion about suicide. Suggesting that many suicides take place with no prior warning or disclosure is also a fact and it is true that the more serious minded usually, read: often, not always, do not create a scene prior to their demise.

Aethelwine's avatar

One can be very depressed but still retain some emotional solvency.

This is false. It may be true for some or even most, but not for all. I think you are confusing situational depression with clinical depression.

Coloma's avatar

@jonsblond I am not saying that peoples emotions cannot get the best of them at times when very depressed be that situational or clinical but, unless you have a complete break with reality a person still has enough lucidity to KNOW when they are behaving in a counterproductive way. I have been very depressed a couple of times in recent years after some major life upheavals and while I may have cried to a friend or my daughter and expressed anger at my situation I have never lashed out in an irrational manner and been abusive towards others. Mental health issues are still not an excuse for abuse. You want to rage to the walls, cry, fall on the floor in a heap, fine, but once you start abusing others you are still accountable and you may be avoided or abandoned.

Aethelwine's avatar

You clearly don’t understand major depressive disorder.

Coloma's avatar

@jonsblond So are you saying it is okay to be abusive if someone has a disorder and that said disorder is a pass for abusive behavior?
I understand feeling hopeless, helpless, angry and unmotivated but I don’t think a depressive disorder is an excuse to abuse others, no. Not anymore than being a Schizophrenic is an excuse for murdering. The disease may make someone more high risk for acting out but in the end, there are still consequences.

I also feel very strongly about not putting up with abuse from others, regardless of their mental health condition. Mental health issues effect others just as much as they effect the victim.

canidmajor's avatar

You guys are having two different conversations.

Coloma's avatar

@canidmajor Apparently so. Oh well..it is what it is.

Aethelwine's avatar

Where did I say it is ok?

You are exactly right @canidmajor.

Soubresaut's avatar

@Coloma—I’m sorry if I came across as taking things personally. That was not my intent. I’m actually working quite hard at keeping myself emotionally removed from the discussion.

I guess I misunderstood the intention behind the sentence you’ve repeated for me… However, technically, you did say there are “many instances the person in question IS exhibiting histrionic attention seeking behavior.” You also said, in the sentence before the one I misread and you restated, that “it does happen quite frequently.” If I took those other two statements too literally, I apologize again, but I would hope you see the reason I took it the way I did—that is to say, why I thought you meant frequently when you said it.

I do understand that this is a discussion. My point was that those kinds of statements are at once inaccurate in the larger picture, and not conducive to a constructive conversation. They’re your judgments of a complex and difficult situation that is far removed from your daily experiences and observations… And my pointing that out is also part of the discussion.

It’s not empathy to say “I’ll only feel empathetic towards you so long as you play by my rules.” It’s not help to say “I’ll only help you if you respond to help the way I think you should.”

I am saddened by your insistence on using terms like “abuse,” especially when you said that you understand how emotions can sometimes get the best of people. I don’t think that you can say that you truly understand that, while at the same time labelling those moments from others in the ways that you have chosen to, and making them lines in the sand.

I think if you spent a little time reading up on suicide myths, reading up on suicide warning signs, you might have a better understanding of the dynamics at play… And I hope by saying that, I’m not speaking out of turn. I know I don’t understand these dynamics as well as others on this site with more experience/knowledge/qualifications.

I have some links for warning signs, too.

I hope you also understand that depression is not a universal constant. It is an experience that is acutely individual. Your experiences with depression are not the same as others, and it is unfair to expect that of others.

tinyfaery's avatar

Maybe someone who has never experienced a long term mental disorder shouldn’t be asserting what people who suffer from mental illness are and are not capable of. You will never know. Never. A little depression here and a little anxiety there is absolutely not the same. I do not care who you know that has a mental illness, you will never know what it is like. Never

And a benefactor? That is the incorrect word to describe someone who actually knows what they are doing when helping those with a mental illness. Licensed professionals are not benefactors, they are knowledgeable compassionate people who understand why people with mental illness lash out, don’t easily want to be helped, feel hopeless, cry out for help, self-harm, etc.

If you are neither one of those types of people your opinion is just an opinion, and holds no weight in reality. Don’t even bother trying to help people in crisis. You’ll only do more harm than good.

The last word will come soon.

janbb's avatar

@tinyfaery Unfortunately not the last word. Just the next word.

Coloma's avatar

@tinyfaery Baiting in your usual oh so charming fashion I see.
You’re right, there is no one size fits all when it comes to mental health issues and the last thing in the world I would ever want to do is be in a position of helping people with serious mental health problems, especially those that are abusive. I don’t give a rats ass what your problems are, if you’re abusive you can take a swan dive off the nearest cliff and it won’t bother me one little bit. How’s that for honesty?

Aethelwine's avatar

That’s fucked up Coloma. I just lost any respect I ever had for you.

janbb's avatar

@Coloma Just a suggestion. Why don’t you give it a rest now? You’re only saying the same thing over and over again. It isn’t moving the conversation forward at all.

Coloma's avatar

@jonsblond Fine, I have no respect for those that think their issues absolve them from abusive actions. What’s fucked up is having no compassion for the victims of others mental health issues. It’s a two way street. Protecting yourself from toxic people is important to ones own mental health and there is absolutely nothing wrong in saying so.

@janbb Yes, I’m done, impossible to have any kind of rational discussion with those in the active throughs of their own conditions. There is no “conversation” just sloppy emotional reactivity.

Aethelwine's avatar

@Coloma You have lashed out and said awful things about specific users on this thread who suffer from mental illness. All these people are doing are sharing facts about mental illness. You are the one expressing your opinion emotionally.

What’s your excuse?

cookieman's avatar

@Coloma: I agree with the penguin. Step away from the keyboard for a bit. You’ve made your points clear repeatedly. It’s fine, you don’t have to agree.

I see where you’re coming from to some extent, but now your just beating a dead horse.

It’s okay. Really.

Coloma's avatar

@jonsblond No, you are personalizing things I have said that are not nor were ever intended to be “personal.” I have said nothing about “specific” users here. I have only communicated in general terms. My above comment about taking a swan dive was in reference to ANYONE that is abusive towards those that are trying to help them.

Not YOU, a general statement of my sentiments.
Take a step back and notice would you?
I said, very simply, that I do not consider mental illness to be an excuse for abuse.
The End.

@cookieman Thanks for your input, but I am fine, thank you very much and yes, I have made my points clear, including this one and yes, this horse is beyond dead.

Aethelwine's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake Get off your drama wagon, my sentiments are not cruel nor are they about hating. You represent the very sort of emotionally over reactive drama I loathe.

@tinyfaery t’s no secret that you are a very angry and volatile person.

You also called the user in the other suicidal thread some awful things.

You completely missed my point I was making and instead projected your own emotional feelings and put words in my mouth. I stated facts about major depressive disorder. There’s nothing emotional about that.

janbb's avatar

<——throws flippers in the air

chyna's avatar

OMG, stop, stop stop for fucks sake!

canidmajor's avatar

@janbb and @chyna “I throw my flippers in the air sometimes, singing ayyyy-oh, oh for fuck’s saaaaake-oh”
Everybody sing along!

NomoreY_A's avatar

This is the way you throw your flippers, early in the Morning… 15 miles, on the Flurther canalllll

NomoreY_A's avatar

Got an old mule and his name is Al, mighty slow thinker but a good old pal.

Aethelwine's avatar

I have a perfect example of someone with major depressive disorder lashing out at people they care about. The illness was the cause of the lashing out.

In the past year I have hurt several Fluther friends I cared about. @chyna and @canidmajor were two of them. My illness was the cause. I would never have intentionally been rude and hurtful towards them. I take full responsibility and don’t expect forgiveness. I can only offer an apology.

I have remorse and regret and accept the fact that we’ll never be as close as we were. My illness was an excuse. I never said it was ok to be hurtful, but it’s a fact that the mentally ill do not always have complete control of their actions.

janbb's avatar

humming softly only…...

NomoreY_A's avatar

There ya go, janbb – sing along with Mitch! Opppss….get along mule there’s a steamer at the levy, waitin’ fer this cotton to load, get along mule there’s a steamer at the levy and there’s water at the end of the road

NomoreY_A's avatar

Counting flowers on the wall that don’t bother me at all, playin’ solitaire till dawn, with a deck of fifty one, ... never mind, that’s inappropriate for this thread.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

Sings “I throw my flippers in the air sometimes, singing ayyyy-oh, oh for fuck’s saaaaake-oh”. I have a feeling I’m not singing to the same tune as the rest of you. Hey @NomoreY_A, we could try to fit it to Waltzing Matilda or something like that, whadayathink?

NomoreY_A's avatar

Go for it, Misfit… Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda, I’ll go a-waltzing Matilda with youuuuu… back me up don’t leave me hangin’.

NomoreY_A's avatar

Or – dayoooh, dayoooh, daylight come an I wan go home. Hey Mr. Tally man, tally me bananas, daylight come and I wan go hooome

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda
, You’ll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me

He sang as he watched and waited ‘til his bunny boiled, you’ll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me

NomoreY_A's avatar

Those Aussies don’ t make much sense, but they can sure pitch a pretty tune…

janbb's avatar

She’ll be coming round the mountain when she comes…..

NomoreY_A's avatar

She’ll be coming round the mountain when she comes…

Coloma's avatar

Clearly they’re coming to take us all away here. lol

To the funny farm where life is gay…he he hah hah…

janbb's avatar

She’ll be coming round the mountain, she’ll be coming round the mountain….....

NomoreY_A's avatar

Down south of the border, I rode back one day, there in a veil of white by candle light, she knelt to pray, those mission bells told me, that I shouldn’t stay, down south of the border, down Mexico wayyy

NomoreY_A's avatar

Hey, who changed the sheet music?

janbb's avatar

You did! Ah sheet!

NomoreY_A's avatar

I’m having way too much fun with this, I should stand before you with a heavy heart and an empty wallet

NomoreY_A's avatar

Well been fun but I have to get up at 4 AM and get to work, later gaters!

NomoreY_A's avatar

Love you folks, great bunch!

Coloma's avatar

@NomoreY_A Nice to have a new jelly in the pod. :-)

Mimishu1995's avatar

And I thought this discussion was over now that @SavoirFaire came to clarify…

Come on people! @tinyfaery had her problems sorted out in peace. @jonsblond‘s mess was a mistake. @Seek‘s thread was modded to prevent harmful consequence to the community and she is fine with that now. The problems are all solved! No more use getting up-in-arm with each other!

canidmajor's avatar

@Mimishu1995 did you just the couple dozen posts directly above where people were singing???

_Seek_'s avatar

The question was modded, but the harm to the community – at least in my eyes – was not prevented. Nothing is ok here.

It’s been real, Fluther, but you’re not the site you use to be.

tinyfaery's avatar

^Don’t go.

SergeantQueen's avatar

Why did she leave? what? I am so confused?

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I really don’t know and I don’t care. I’m over the drama and histrionics and I think everyone needs to calm down.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I care about this community. If people want to leave, let them leave. I’m not going to fawn over people who announce they are taking their bat and ball and going home. I don’t care who that is.

Aethelwine's avatar

I care about our members who are hurting.

Aethelwine's avatar

This is why @Sergeant. We used to have a very caring community that didn’t say shitty things about those who are really struggling. @Earthbound knows @Seek is probably looking and will read her rude comment. She could have kept that thought to herself but she didnt.

Aethelwine's avatar

I guess this is a great example of why people dealing with suicidal thoughts or loved ones need to stay the fuck off Fluther. I just learned my daughter is also having suicidal thoughts and reading some of these comments disgusts me.

Aethelwine's avatar

What we have learned on this thread is that there is a segment of Fluther that believes when someone cries for help because they have suicidal thoughts are a burden to the site and they are drama queens.

Message heard loud and clear.

Coloma's avatar

@jonsblond And maybe you should be taking your daughters suicide threats seriously instead of spending your free time on fluther.
You should be seeking immediate counseling and psychiatric intervention for your child instead of bashing those of us here that disagree with using an online community for support of mental health issues far and beyond what can or should be expected.
I agree with @Earthbound_Misfit People need to stow the drama, stay, go, whatever suits you and yes, this is a great example of why serious mental health issues need to be addressed by professionals not an online community.

canidmajor's avatar

I am currently reading a book about the Mad Bomber who terrorized New York City in the 1950s. There are graphic descriptions and body parts.

More soothing than Fluther.

Mariah's avatar

An ill person’s plea for help that might literally save their life > your right to not have “drama” in your life.

I’m with jonsblond on this. Really, really turned off by the lack of empathy shown by many in this thread. I don’t blame Seek for leaving. I’m not feeling too keen on the community right now either. ¯\(ツ)

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

Are you willing to take responsibility for moderating a question where someone with mental health issues and is possibly suicidal is asking for support? You’re a moderator. The moderation team will have responsibility for taking down inappropriate posts, and there will be inappropriate posts.

Are Fluther’s owners prepared to take legal responsibility if something goes wrong and someone kills themselves and the family claims comments made here and not moderated quickly enough contributed to their mental state?

Can you guarantee a moderator will be available to moderate the thread while it is active? Nobody was here to moderate Seek’s thread.

Do you or any of the mods have formal mental health training?

It’s not about being uncaring, it’s about acknowledging we are not equipped to give mental health support.

cookieman's avatar

At this point, I wish the mods would pull this thread and those that care, that wish to reach out to @jonsblond, or @Seek, or @tinyfaery (or whomever) can do so via PM or other means. Everyone else can simply go on their merry way.

Mariah's avatar

I’m not saying I disagree with the moderation policy on these posts, I’m saying I disagree with the attitude of people in this thread saying that other people’s mental health issues are somehow unduly burdensome on them and that they should just shut up and go away rather than reaching out for support.

SergeantQueen's avatar

I believe that if someone is feeling suicidal, and they come to fluther for help, we should provide them with whatever support and advice they need. But, there are exceptions. If someone says, for example, “I’m going to kill myself at 3:00 tomorrow with my dad’s gun” that is a question that shouldn’t be on fluther. It should be modded, but importantly, it needs to be reported to police, if possible. If someone says that they are struggling and suicide is seeming to be the best choice, but they don’t have a plan or anything, then it shouldn’t be modded. That is a cry for help and kind responses and support is what should happen. The first example I gave is also a cry for help, but is a much more serious one.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I don’t think anyone here has a problem with someone who needs emotional support asking for help. The problem occurs if that person intimates they are suicidal. The community has repeatedly offered support and help to people including Seek, Cazzie, Jonsblond and TinyFaery. The idea that the community lacks empathy is ridiculous. Until Cazzie became involved in Seek’s question, people were being supportive of her needs.

When that request for support becomes mental health counselling or an attempt to prevent someone taking their life, the discussion has crossed a line. And whether they’ve been here five minutes or five years, those questions should be pulled. For everyone’s sake. The individual, the moderators, the site and the community. As I’ve said, we are not equipped to deal with such situations.

I’ve seen no evidence of anyone here being turned away when they’ve said “I’m feeling stressed, down, overwhelmed” etc. I’ve actually seen the opposite.

Coloma's avatar

@Earthbound_Misfit Exactly, I concur, fluther has offered much support to many.
However, the mentally unwell people also need to understand that all the nice little words in the world are not a substitute for professional intervention. Someone can ask 10,000 questions and get all the tea and sympathy others can muster but ultimately, what needs to happen is professional and ongoing therapy. There is only just so much that an online group can do for someone before it just becomes a broken record of endless echos and repetitive and hollow words of comfort.

@Mariah Do you think that someones suicide threats do not impact those witnessing their unfoldings in an online forum or in real life?
Mental illness does not exist in a bubble and yes, if someone is greatly disturbed, suicidely depressed, it is selfish for them to keep insisting that others keep giving, giving, giving, with no thought as to how draining and pressuring it can be on those around them. Adults take responsibility for their problems they don’t keep throwing them at others and then getting angry because someone does not have an endless supply of caring and patience. It is perfectly fine to not want to be involved with a disturbed person and equally fine to tell them to seek the help they need in a proper setting.

Just because someone is depressed doesn’t mean others have to absorb all of their crap, mood swings, emotional instability and keep on smiling. Nobody has said to “shut up and go away ” to anyone, all that has been said is to get professional help.

chyna's avatar

Don’t read or participate in the question if it bothers you @Coloma. I hate the religious ones that compare Jesus to the Easter bunny. I don’t even click on them.
Please, don’t feel the need to reply. You have made you feelings, thoughts, issues, opinions well known.

Coloma's avatar

@chyna With all due respect I, as an adult, am perfectly capable of determining when and if I choose to post, stay, go, or otherwise engage. I have returned here in response to @Earthbound_Misfit ‘s sharings and addressed a legitimate point with @Mariah as well as @jonsblond.. Actually I am leaving as I have a movie date with a friend but thanks for jumping in and playing mommy though it was not necessary.

Soubresaut's avatar

Asking people to be respectful about a sensitive topic is not histrionic. It’s not making drama. It’s not asking for more than people are capable of. It’s not asking for Fluther to make itself liable for anything. It’s not asking Fluther to be a stand-in for counselling or psychiatry. It’s just asking for some basic decency.

There are two issues. First: the Fluther policies, which have been resolved. @SavoirFaire cleared that issue up many posts ago, and no one has disputed the policies or their reasons for being in place.

Second: the language that continues to be used around this topic. This is distinct from the first issue. All people are asking for is that everyone employ the golden rule… The whole “do unto others” thing. If you already are, great. If you’re not, please rethink the way you are choosing to engage in the topic. Plenty of people have provided plenty of alternative options.

Also, if someone is in intense emotional pain, stop taking what they’re saying personally. It’s not abuse. It’s not about you. Direct them to places where they can get help—especially if, like most of us here, you aren’t qualified to help—and be as supportive as you can in the meantime. If you find that you can’t do that, and it is okay to recognize that fact, then don’t engage further, and don’t blame the other person.

longgone's avatar

[Mod Says] Since nothing constructive can come out of letting this discussion continue, we have decided to close it.

To all those who’ve been hurt, remember who your friends are. Lots of them can be found in this lagoon.

This discussion has been archived.

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