Forums etiquette: give support to receive support
Hi everyone, particularly any new members who may be reading.
From time to time, we get contacted by members who are unhappy that they haven’t received a lot of replies to their posts. Our community champions work very hard to make sure that all newbies are welcomed when they first post, and we understand that it’s a big step to post for the first time on a forum like this, especially if you aren’t feeling great.
It’s important to remember, though, that these forums are a community of real people, just like you, not a one-on-one support environment like going to see your psychologist.
To get the best out of being here, one of the best tips we can offer is give support to receive support.
Being a good community member means:
- participating in different threads (not just your own),
- replying to people who have taken the time to reply to you (even if it’s just to say thank you), and...
- posting words of emotional support and encouragement when you see others who are hurting and reaching out.
You don’t have to feel obliged to solve the problems of others: that’s not what we’re here for. But you can offer empathy and what you’ve learned from your own life experiences, even if it’s just a line or two, eg. “I don't know what to say, but I want to give you my support and tell you I care about what is happening to you and hope life will get better soon.”
Try to develop an interest in the journeys of others here on the forums. You may be surprised at how good being an active, caring member here can make you feel.
Another good entry point is the social threads in the BB Social Zone. It's a great way to get to know other members and chat away from the heavier discussions.
For those of you who have had good experiences giving support here on the forums, please post below and let us know how it has helped you on your journey.
great advice! I've only been actively involved with the forum for the past few days. However, reading about the struggles and triumphs of others along their journeys has been comforting, encouraging and inspiring!
I have been living with diagnosed depression for over two years now and more recently anxiety has decided to accompany me on my journey. I proactively take all the right steps in consulting with my GP, psychologist and psychiatrist from the Mental Health team of my local hospital. I cannot praise these professionals ENOUGH in the work that they do and the support that they offer. However, on occasion I sometimes feel like I am just another case, as if I'm not being heard. Please do not view this in any way as a degradation against these incredible support professionals, this is just a view I sometimes, personally harbour.
I am getting to the point - I promise. Being on this forum the past few days has helped me realise that I am not alone. I am not crazy and this isn't just affecting me. I felt somewhat empowered and useful for the first time in a long time the other day when I was able to offer some personal advice to a mother who was uncertain of how to help her son deal with his depression, watching my own mum struggle with her frustration in how to support me and sharing with this lady what my mother and I have figured out works for the both of us now.
I am finding the engagement with this community just as therapeutic as any session with my psychologist, if not more because I feel as if I am giving something back 🙂
One reason I reply is that I like the sound of my own voice. Seriously. When I take the time to write I get a different perspective on what is going inside my own head and that can help.
Other reasons though, I want others to have an easier run then I have had, Community matters - I have been supported and I want to give back, I am not alone and nor should anyone else be, and most of all I am interested in what others have to say...
Love the kittenz ChrisB!
Part of my recovery has involved finding more meaning in my life - more purpose. I started to feel a bit emotionally stronger and jumped on the forums. I've found that giving support, kind words and some of my "tips" from my own experience to be extremely rewarding. I've found a sense of community.
There is a bonus when I receive a reply from someone and have them say - thanks I'm feeling a bit better or that they thought they were the only one who felt the feelings they are having. It's a beautiful feeling to know that you've made a difference to someone's life and they feel a little better.
The way I see it is we make a chain of hope when we extend one arm for help and the other gives warmth and support.
Love the kitty kats.
I have been living with a person who does suffer with depression and anxiety at times its really overpowering attempting to bring balance into his life.
For me personally I love to respond to people on the forums and hope to make life a tad better than it is currently for them.
Seeing others living my life experiences puts further prospective on the fragility of life and to bee extremely grateful for what we do have.
trustlife said:That's a good post Chris. I wonder if your IT group could set up a workflow that sent an email to use with "There's been a response to your post".
Yes, that would be very useful. Our forums software doesn't support this currently, so it requires extra work to be done by our developers. It has been much requested, and is in the pipeline.
In the meantime, the easiest way to keep track of your replies is to use the My Threads tab: