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Re: Help inform professionals about online groups Dr. Bob

Posted by JenStar on November 3, 2004, at 17:50:35

In reply to Help inform professionals about online groups, posted by Dr. Bob on November 1, 2004, at 15:51:52

I found psychobabble on line by accident while searching for information on Lexapro, which I had been prescribe for extreme anxiety.

I had never before participated in an on-line community talk group but was intrigued and relieved to find others who not only took Lexapro but were eager to share symptoms, tips, and sympathy.

I started on Pschobabble experience by posting on the intro board and talking to some of the really nice women there. But as my anxiety faded and I got off of Lexapro, I drifted over to the Social & the Psch. boards b/c of the unique & interesting discussions there.

Really, there are some VERY interesting discussions, fights, spats, power plays, outbursts, cries for help, cries for attention, attempts at disruption, explosions of unhappiness, good writing, bad grammar, and lies (OK, I can't verify that last one, but I suspect it at times!) and more.

Psychobabble was a life-line of sorts for me in the beginning; it was a way to connect with other people taking the same medicine I was and who could commiserate on side-effects and reasons for needing the drug. I had no one in 'real life' who could serve that exact function and it was great to find an open place to talk about that stuff - a place at once open and private.

Now psychobabble has become for me a once-in-a-while mix of a diary, a soap opera, a tabloid, a vicarious eavesdropping, and an advice board.

Although I do not see a therapist, I enjoy reading about the experiences of those who do. I am genuinely interested in the lives of some of my fellow posters and enjoy reading installments of their messsages to see what they are up to. I share some of my own stories & ideas too, less lately though, and hope that they provide diversion or conversational fodder for others.

I've gotten some very good advice here, some good laughs, and some good ideas for coping with different issues. There is such a diverse group of people here -- from all walks of life, from different places and backgrounds and countries -- it's very cool to hear all of the different ideas and thoughts!

Psychobabble has made me aware that many people who look successful and "with it" on the surface can be suffering extreme unhappiness, despair, loneliness and anguish -- and it makes me wonder more about random people in my life (are they sad on the inside?) It had also made me very, very grateful that I do NOT suffer some of the same conditions about which many people write (suicidal ideation, self-mutilation, depression so profound that jobs are lost and relationships are lost.)

Babble has also enraged me at times -- when I read threads that seem (to me!) to be childish, petty, rude, whiny about rules, generally stupid, fake, or sanctimonious it's hard to withhold my irritation. I sometimes respond rudely myself when I know I should not (because a rude response does little to migitate a bad situation!) and when I definitely would not in real life. Always when I do this I regret it later. In that sense, I suppose, Babble is a place to test out stronger reactions that I might give IRL, and to learn about my own methods of interaction (what works, what doesn't work, what I should stop / start / do more of.)

The anonymity of Babble is both a blessing and a hindrance. It's a blessing because we CAN connect on line in an honest way without revealing our identifications, and it's wonderful b/c you often can't discuss things like depression/ meds/ therapists with 'real life' friends. However, the same anonymity is also a cover, a mask; it's hard to know if people are being honest; it's easy to develop friendships here but hard to develop REAL friendships that stand the test of time and bad breath and dirty looks and messy houses and all that.

I know some people here have gotten beyond the computer and have met/become friends in real life, so I think it's possible to do it if you have the guts and the incentive and you meet the right person on line.

I spent more time here when I was in a depression; now that I'm "better" I spend less time here. I find that the positive feedback cycle of mental health involves (for me) getting out into the real world and participating in the nuts and bolts and less in the bits and bytes. This may vary for others, of course!

Still, though, I like to come here and read about the people I like on Babble. I think this is an excellent site, a well-moderated site, and an important site for many people across the world.

Thanks to Dr. Bob for putting in the monumental effort to manage this world on a daily basis!





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