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  1. #1

    How does participation in this online forum help you?

    How does particticipation in this online forum help you? Does it allow you to concentrate more on yourself and other people and interests in your “real” life?

    I have been thinking about this question and hoping others will share their insights.


    For me, I have found in this short period of time that I have been involved here – reading and listening and sometimes writing and commenting and asking for and receiving help, that my ability to focus on completely separate things and the people in my life is much easier when I am away from here. I am feeling stronger, more optimistic and able to deal with my life beyond my "issues".

    It has been an ongoing struggle for me to deal with my mom’s mental illness since I was very young. I have had and still do have people in my life to turn to for support – sometimes all I need is the ear of someone I trust willing to listen to how I am feeling. But I have also always been very conscious of not wanting to burden others as I have sometimes felt burdened by my mom’s issues, so for me this forum is becoming such a healthy place to focus on mental health without becoming consumed by it. It fills a big need for me – thank you! Balance is a delicate skill, but it can be learned!

    I love the fact that many people here do provide emotional support and I “feel” that connection even though we don’t know one another personally and likely never will. I am finding a freedom in that knowledge and it is making my life much more manageable and enjoyable because when I am speaking with others in my life or in the company of those closest to me – the ones I would normally go to when my problems felt overwhelming – I am finding that I can concentrate on all the other happier things we also share in common and I am loving that shift of focus.

    I don’t like being overly needy and I like that I have options when I do feel that way. I am sure others in my life will like the difference as well. It’s not fair to expect those closest to us to always understand or be available to help. I wish my mom was interested in participating in such a forum – or group – for her own good and mine! I like that I have had the good sense over the years to be selective about the people I have opened up with – and these are mutually supportive relationships which is very important to me – but I also like the restraint I have shown by not leaning on others too much. I have learned how to stand on my own two feet and I have respect for the needs of others. These things make me feel proud of how much I have endured without having to go to the extreme of discontinuing my relationship with my mom. I like the fact that I still have the capacity to accept and love her despite the obstacles of her mental health issues. For those of you whom have felt that such action was necessary to your survival, my heart goes out to you because I imagine that would be one of the most heartbreaking situations to have to come to terms with! We all have to discover the best solutions to our own problems, but it is wonderful that we don’t have to do it completely alone!

    I do not ask for help easily, nor do I want to become the kind of person that needs help all the time. Independence is something I value in myself and others – perhaps because I do have trust issues and because I allow others to invade my boundaries and then resent them for taking advantage when instead I need to risk being unpopular or misunderstood or disappointing to others and protect myself and accept my own and others’ limitations. I find it draining when others around me are negative and constantly complaining – and I especially find it difficult to cope with these people when they have infinite expectations that I will listen and advise yet they seem never able or willing to adopt a more positive view or take action that could improve their lot in life. But as much as these people – some of them loved ones – drive me crazy, as I do them as well sometimes – I do understand and I am happy for that gift. So for me I am finding the participation on this forum really helpful. I feel refreshed and able to focus on all the joys of life as well. Now I am starting to remember that I and others don’t only have broken spirits and minds – we have choices – and we can learn how to make the best of our lives by making the best choices possible for our own best interests.

    Wishing you all the best!

  2. #2

    Re: How does participation in this online forum help you?

    Finding compassionate genuine people is hard. With this forum I had to look no further.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    British Columbia
    Posts
    3,857

    Re: How does participation in this online forum help you?

    I have been a part of Psychlinks for a couple of years now. This forum is a combination of support and self-help. You get both which is fantastic. Psychlinks has built my confidence back up after PTSD and addictions took it down.

    People are genuine. The most important thing for me: There are both professionals, people with mental health issues and people just interested in the topics we discuss. For those of us who have dealt with mental illness on a first name basis, I have found that we are so much more then having mental health issues. We are also parents, partners, friends, lawyers, doctors, therapists...and every other profession imaginable who also deal with mental heath concerns.

    It's about the whole person.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Southern Illinois, USA
    Posts
    272

    Re: How does participation in this online forum help you?

    For me, this place means that I have a friend any time of the day or night. I don't really have friends that I can talk to about these sorts of things out in "real life," so this forum is absolutely invaluable to me.

    When I feel I'm reaching the breaking point, there's a safe place I can come and know that I'll find a helping hand. When I'm feeling all right, I have the opportunity to reach out to others who are hurting. And sometimes, just knowing that I'm not alone makes all the difference in the world.

  5. #5

    Re: How does participation in this online forum help you?

    How to count the ways? This is where I ground myself a little. For many years now, I just thought that I was weird, different, not particularly likable or distinguishable. I came here at the height of a crisis following rape. I remember distinctly feeling completely alone - no one understood where I was mentally, including me.

    This was my last ditch effort to rejoin the world versus what I was contemplating. And I'm grateful every day for having done so. The rape itself was one thing, the knowledge it brought with it put me over the edge. I couldn't even verbalize it. This is where I learned to verbalize a lot of my issues. I feel like a baby learning its first steps .

    When I first came here, I read every single thread on this site. I sometimes felt a little overwhelmed with all the things that I was learning, and sometimes a little dumb frankly .

    But thank goodness for this site; its wealth of information, its amazing membership - I also felt as though I could come here day and night and ask for support- and I always received it. Thank you

    I still come here because, as I stated above, it's a little bit of my sanctuary. I come here and I know that I won't feel judged. That irrespective of my issues, I'll be heard and supported. And, most important for me...I keep learning, every single day that I'm here. About me and my issues and about other things that, while they may not be directly relevant to me, are still important to me.

    I'm reading this over feeling a tad melodramatic - but I won't delete it because it took me this long to mull the question over and formulate why it is that I'm here all the time!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    70

    Re: How does participation in this online forum help you?

    Im a newcomer to this site and feel relieved to have stumbled upon it! Quick and thoughtful replies. I am not alone, this is huge. I read others stories, blogs, posts. thank goodness for this community

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    474

    Re: How does participation in this online forum help you?

    This forum gives me the freedom to write down my feelings knowing that I am going to get honest and objective advise and opinions, whether it is what I wanted to hear or not. When you share with your friends and family, they are not always objective cause they are "already on your side" no matter how wrong you are.

    I stumbled upon it on a day where I was feeling so down and low and wanted to ask some advise. The first thread I saw was from Dr. Baxter on a family he visited with a little boy that was doing exactly what my son was doing at the time. It changed my whole mind over to my son and I forgot all about my issue till later. I had time to rest from my mind and I felt good as new and sorted out my issues without really discussing it. I felt great and realized at a later stage that I would have gotten the advise I needed if I asked the questions but still got what I needed in a different way.

    I also realized that, even though I don't always have advise or stuff to add, that I learn a lot in reading how other people have compassion and advise for one another. I read different opinions on the same issues and become more aware of how other people feel.

    This is an awesome forum

    By the way, Trust

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