Official forum rules (updated)

Below are the updated Official Forum Guidelines. The TLDR section is first, followed by further details on each topic.

TLDR RULES:

BANNED TOPICS

ONLY ALLOWED IN A RECOVERY-BASED CONTEXT

Remember: We are not a substitute for professional care! We are not a substitute for speaking with a professional concerning your medications or physical health. We cannot offer medical advice.

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BE NICE TO EACH OTHER:

In order to encourage respect and compassion in our web community, we ask that community members refrain from telling others how they should live their lives (e.g., “get rid of that person” or “get off that medication”). We believe that feedback or advice is most helpful if it is offered as a suggestion or through an example of a personal experience. This teaching by personal example is much more respectful to others than direct advice giving.

Our community believes in “The Golden Rule” (that we should treat others the way we want them to treat us). Thus members writing to condone unethical behavior (e.g., genocide, murder, violence, hatred, sexism, racism, other types of prejudice) will be banned from our community.

Our members ask first if their advice is wanted before giving it to another member. This way, members can decide when they are ready to hear advice and feedback. We have learned that feedback or advice is most helpful if it is offered as a suggestion or through an example of a personal experience, but not as a criticism.

Our administrative staff will actively discourage “drama” in our community. Please trust our administrator’s judgment in this regard.

No incel type posts. We do not tolerate misogyny or misandry or homophobia.

It is our policy to warn anyone showing flagrant disrespect e.g., foul language, and to delete their disrespectful posting. If this disrespect persists, the member is banned from the community. Likewise, we will warn anyone showing religious intolerance , and delete their intolerant posting. If this religious intolerance persists, the member is banned from the community.

This site is provided to you for free, and you are free to disagree with other posters, but if you stoop to personal abuse or attacks, your post(s) will be deleted. If you are insulted then report the post. Please do not retaliate. If you do retaliate you are no better then the abuser and you too will treated as an abuser as stated above. Retaliation by anyone against another is in no way showing any respect for yourself, the person who offended you, nor the rest of the readers of the forums.

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ONLY ONE ACCOUNT PER PERSON/NO PSEUDOSCIENCE

We want our web community to be a gathering place for sincere, helpful people whose wisdom you can trust. That is why our staff will routinely remove messages that promote false claims of miraculous cures or other untruths. Since trust is so important, we do not allow members posting with 2 separate identities (posing as 2 different individuals). Any member doing this will be banned from our community.

Unfortunately, we do not allow links to other, non-English speaking websites because we can’t determine their content, and automatic translation programs are unreliable.

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REMAIN ANONYMOUS

Our members join our community to share with other people living with similar illnesses. Because our forum is public, we must keep our identities completely anonymous. In that way, we can discuss the role our significant others play in our lives without publicly embarrassing them. Likewise, we keep anonymous so that teachers, employers, fellow students or coworkers can not “Google” and identify our community posts. To protect your anonymity, members should not communicate with each other off this site. We ask that members not exchange phone numbers or meet in person. Our experience is that these ‘offsite’ relationships can be disastrous (especially when one member becomes pathologically dependent or manipulative towards the other). Basically - be careful. If you ever meet anyone offline - be sure that a friend or family member has full information about the person you are meeting - phone number, email address, and information like that.

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NO POSTS CONCERNING IMMINENT SUICIDE

This support community is an inappropriate resource for those who are imminently at risk of harming themselves or others. These are medical emergencies that require immediate psychiatric care from trained professionals.

Unfortunately, some individuals are chronically suicidal and repeatedly post “farewell” suicide notes to our community. We appreciate that such suicidal posts are a “cry for help”, but these posts about imminent suicide are extremely upsetting for our other members.

Since our members are totally anonymous, we lack the ability to locate the member who posts a suicidal “farewell” letter. Thus the posting of a “farewell” suicide note serves no purpose, other than to seriously upset our entire community.

If you need immediate help, please refer to our CRISIS INTERVENTION RESOURCES

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DON’T TRY TO DATE OTHER MEMBERS

This is not a social networking website to meet new romantic partners. In fact, we strongly caution against romances between community members. We ask that member-to-member romantic messages and/or lover’s quarrels not be posted. We believe that it is an invasion of privacy to have our community read member-to-member love letters. There are web sites that focus on dating for the mentally ill - such as http://www.nolongerlonely.com/ that we encourage you to visit if you are looking for romance.

• Members Preying On Other Members

Certain predatory individuals join self-help groups to prey on vulnerable members. These individuals initially “sound good”. They may even read self-help books to improve their false public image of being a compassionate, understanding community member. Their real goal is to meet other members in person to prey on their emotional vulnerabilities in order to get status, money or sex.

To prevent this, we ask that you never reveal your real identity or meet with another member in person. Psychiatrically, it is extremely risky to meet other members in person for the purpose of romance.

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DON’T POST WHILE INTOXICATED/POSTS ABOUT DRUGS/ALCOHOL

We ask that you only post when you are not under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Additionally, discussions of drug and alcohol abuse that is not recovery oriented, is not allowed in these forums. Research shows that drug and alcohol abuse greatly reduce people’s ability to recover from mental illness and we are a recovery-oriented website.

Drugs like ketamine and marijuana, that have potential medicinal use as well as the potential to be abused, can only be discussed for their legal medicinal uses.

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NO HARASSMENT OF STAFF

The moderator team is comprised entirely of volunteers. They are all human people with real life responsibilities, and as such, occasionally make mistakes. If you feel the mod team has made a mistake, you may contact them privately in PM to discuss the matter. The mod team will attempt to work with you to find a solution in the PM, provided you speak in a respectful manner consistent with the rest of the rules. Keep in mind that posts are sometimes deleted, so you might not have the full picture on why a certain call was made.

Any attempts to criticize calls made by moderators on the public board will be shut down, and result in a suspension.

This is to prevent burnout among the volunteer staff, and ensure they can continue working in a positive environment free from harassment/abuse. It is also to create a positive forum atmosphere for everyone, and minimize drama.

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NO ADVERTISEMENTS

No advertisements (for research subjects, support for special projects, or commercial enterprises), or internet links to sites promoting these activities are allowed. If someone has a research project that they want to publicize - please contact moderators or SzAdmin.

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KEEP ON TOPIC

We have many forums; each forum discusses a specific topic. In that way, members can join discussions that are specifically relevant to their needs. Sometimes a member accidentally posts something that would be better located in another forum. Our administrative staff will then transfer that post to the more appropriate forum.

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FLAG POSTS THAT BREAK RULES

Our Community Guidelines are fairly enforced by our administrative staff. Unfortunately, our administrators don’t have the time to read every post. Thus our administrators rely on our members to direct them to those posts which need administrative attention.

If you ARE insulted then report the post…PLEASE do NOT retaliate. If you do retaliate you are no better then the abuser and you too will treated as an abuser as stated above. Retaliation by anyone against another is in no way showing any respect for yourself, the person who offended you, nor the rest of the readers of the forums.

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NO POSTING ABOUT ILLEGAL ACTIVITY

Please no pointers, how-tos, advocating etc of any illegal activity, including (but not restricted to) getting illegal drugs, telling people to do illegal activities, etc. these are our rules, but there are laws and punishment in all countries regarding this issue.

Remember that this is a public site, and can be viewed by anyone with or without an account.

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NO REPEAT POSTS

If no one answers your question, bump it rather than posting it again and please don’t post the same question in every forum, just the most appropriate one. Reading the same thing over and over again is the best way to annoy people and the worst way to get answers.

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DON’T REVIVE ZOMBIE THREADS

Typically, we like to leave inactive threads alone and just start a new thread instead. This is different than how some forums are run, but we do it this way because it frequently upsets users to have old topics revived when they are no longer relevant. It can also be frustrating to the person who revived the thread when they don’t get a reply, because the original poster is no longer active or no longer finds the topic relevant. Feel free to start a new thread on this topic.

Threads are considered to be zombie threads if they have gone more than 3 months with no reply.

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KEEP IT PG-13

Please refrain from using any vulgar or inflammatory language that would offend someone else.

Please, no pornographic material nor pointers to it. We understand that sexual health is a component of mental health, and we do allow discussions on these topics. But keep it PG-13, and do not use graphic/erotic descriptions. Clinically accurate terminology is best for our purposes.

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EUTHANASIA

Discussions of Euthanasia/Assisted suicide are not allowed on these forums. We have found that it upsets people, encourages more people to contemplate suicide and causes more people to make suicide threats on the forums.

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ABORTION

Many of our members have strong religious convictions concerning abortion. Thus we ask that our members respect each other’s differing points of view regarding abortion. Specifically, we ask that members not debate the topic of abortion in our communities.

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RELIGION

We know that many people who have experienced mental illness find comfort and healing in belonging to a religion. Unfortunately, many people with psychotic disorders experience delusions of a religious character, and some have had traumatic experiences with religion or with attempts to heal their illness through religious activities such as exorcism. To facilitate recovery, and to make this a safe place for everyone, we ask that users avoid mentioning their beliefs. We also ask that users not get into discussions about their own or others’ beliefs, or lack of belief, as many would find this hurtful or offensive.

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POLITICS

Politics are often divisive and create unnecessary arguments within our community. This undermines the purpose of this forum as a recovery oriented website. Discussing politics would divide our community into factions and obstruct our goals here.

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ONLY ALLOWED IN A RECOVERY-BASED CONTEXT (UNUSUAL BELIEFS)

The unusual beliefs category is for seeking help in overcoming delusions. It is not for trying to convince others that your delusion is true. If a thread about delusions stops being recovery-oriented, it will be shut down.

Similarly, we understand that members in recovery may enjoy philosophical debates about certain topics (aliens, government conspiracies, simulation theory, etc.) but those discussions are highly triggering to those who suffer from delusions. Any topics meant to debate these things will be shut down to keep this a safe environment for everyone.

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