Improvements at the Forums @ PsychCentral at the end of 2004 made the community forums even faster and more helpful for members. According to Doc John, "It is an honor and a continuing privilege to provide you with this online support community. It is my hope that by moving to our own dedicated server, we will not experience any further performance issues for years to come."
Doc John added two new forum moderators. Magnate members Rapunzel and Sweet Crusader assumed their new roles in the community earlier this month. Rapunzel is a moderator in the Self Injury and Psychotherapy forums while Sweet Crusader is a moderator in the Dissociative Disorders forum. The new moderators will stay busy keeping up with the 153 new forum users this past month. The total forum membership posted over 7400 posts and 78,000 replies in the past month.
I asked Rapunzel what her thoughts were on becoming a new moderator and she said, "I was honored when Doc John asked me if I would like to be a moderator. For one thing, I think that it's a compliment to be asked, and this community has been an important part of my life for the last year and a half, so it's nice to have the opportunity to give something back. It's also really cool to be joining the moderation team together with Sweet Crusader."
Sweet Crusader had this to say about being a moderator, "I will be moderating in the Dissociative Disorders forum along with my good friend Ozzie from here on out. So far, it's been fun seeing that little green 'M' flag by my name. I appreciate the opportunity to contribute to this community in a new way and I hope I can help keep the forum a safe place to be."
These community forums are a place for members to give and receive support. It was interesting this month to see a very popular thread in the depression forum titled "Just Snap out of it." This thread dealt with the things people say to us when they don't thoroughly understand depression.
Myzen, a forum member said, "Here is a thought. People near to us try to negate our feelings. Why do they do this? It's not because they don't see the depression, it's because they do see it. I think that relatives of depressed people are absolutely scared by depression and the fear that it might happen to them. According to one psychologist, 'It's the elephant in the room' that everyone sees and no one wants to talk about.
In a wider social context, depression is a feared illness. One friend said to me about posting on this board, 'Well, do it if you want to, as long as it doesn't mess with your head and drag you in.' She may have been talking about some treacherous quicksand, not about an honest and caring support group. The fear was even in her voice as she spoke."
Magnate member __Sky said this on the subject. "While I disagree with someone not being able to tell you how to raise children if they haven't had any themselves, and like teaching, you are absolutely correct in that no one who has not had depression can fully understand it totally. There is book learning and there is experience .and while I wouldn't want anyone's therapist to have been depressed, there's a line they just can't cross when it comes to knowing. My therapist doe not allow me pity parties, as agreed to ..but he does allow discussing how rotten life is for me!"
Member allautumn stated, "My family, my friends, acquaintances very few people in fact seem to understand either of two very important things: One, we have no control over depression. It just happens and two, if we could fix it ourselves, we would have by now! Even something as little as a well-meant "smile" from someone who has absolutely no idea, makes my heart sink. There is something to be said for attitude though. Recognizing symptoms and battling them by monitoring and altering your thoughts positively can be helpful, if you have the ability at the time, so it's not all garbage. But, it is definitely not that simple. No one liner is ever an all-encompassing solution."
Shar, another forum member mentioned her favorite one liner to hate. "I would like to add 'pity party' and 'get off your pity pot' as a couple of my faves. I think those phrases should be against the law to say." Sometimes relatives can be the worst at understanding depression. A relative of mine once said, "You wouldn't be depressed if you would get a life." We give and receive support at the forums. Sometimes we may say something that isn't supportive but we're a very forgiving group and we all keep coming back for the good stuff. I'll see everyone next month!
Susan J. King (aka "Ozzie") is a retired Mother of four. At one time she was the Office Manager of the local newspaper where she wrote articles and poems as well as doing page layout and typesetting. She has been a moderator at PsychCentral.com for approximately one year.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 28 Jan 2005
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Let me listen to me and not to them.
-- Gertrude Stein