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Re: Help inform professionals about online groups

Posted by alexandra_k on November 4, 2004, at 19:01:29

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

My dx varies a bit over time but in general reads: generalised anxiety, dysthymia, borderline personality, post traumatic stress. First had contact with the mental health service in 1998. They tell me I'm chronic, though I have improved in my level of functioning and haven't SI'd or attempted for 2 years now.

I started posting to psycho-babble after searching for an online support group and liking the idea of a Dr. moderated as opposed to consumer moderated board. At the time I was in a strange country with no support for my mental health and I found babble to be something of a lifeline. While I was surrounded by people there was nobody that I could talk to about my mood or about certain problems that I was having. By reading other peoples posts I felt less alone and less crazy to see that there are other people in the world who struggle with the same or similar issues to me on a daily basis. I found peoples responses to my posts to be supportive and helpful and I have to say that I mostly find that people respond with good suggestions that I had honestly not been able to think up myself. I find it empowering when people respond positively to the suggestions and support that I offer. Oftentimes I find it easier to give advice to others rather than come up with good advice for myself. It is empowering to think that even when I am in a bad place with my own issues I may still have something helpful to say to another.

I then left babble for a period. I returned after I had returned to my home country and was experiencing problems with my clinicians. I found that I was able to post about things that I was too afraid or ashamed to talk to someone about face to face. Sometimes I would receive responses that let me know that I wasn't the only one going through that, and it would give me the strength and courage to tell my clinicians about it. I discuss things on babble that are helpful to my relationship with my clinicians, such as transference and boundaries.

I vary a bit in terms of the amount of time that I spend here. When I am low it really is my lifeline. When I was terminated by my last clinician I honestly believe that babble was what helped me to get through that relatively unscathed. When I am better I suppose that I do spend less time here, I guess that I tend to put more time into my own work instead. I still try to check out the boards, though, because the more time I spend here the more I see posters as individual people and the more I come to care about them and want to see how things are going with them. While I have friends and I can talk to them about my issues to a certain extent I find that talking about my mental health issues can put a strain on my real-world relationships. I find that babble takes care of my need to tell someone when things are going badly, and my need for a bit of support and that that improves my real-world relationships because it takes that pressure off them.

I don't often request factual information off the boards, but approach such information with a sceptical attitude (but then that is pretty much my approach to life as well!) I think that I fairly much trust babble, because I trust babblers to be critical and not let erroneous information go without comment. Sometimes it is helpful to get information, especially when google just gets too complicated... sometimes a simple answer is best and then one can check up on it to see whether it is correct.




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