A Discussion area for people who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia, or who think they might have schizophrenia (or who have a closely related disorder or symptoms, or who suffer from hearing voices). Please read the information below about these forum / community guidelines.
Please try to focus your discussions generally be around the topic of schizophrenia, or topics related to your experience of schizophrenia, and issues or symptoms related to schizophrenia.
Site User Guidelines:
Our web community actively encourages the following values:
Respect and Compassion
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.
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.
• 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.
• Ethical Behavior
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) will be banned from our community.
Our members join our community to share with other people living with similar illnesses. Because many of our forums are 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.
• Friendship, Not Romance
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.
We ask that you only post when you are not under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Our community is simply a group of friends giving and getting feedback from each other. We try to run our site democratically. We do have an administrative staff, but they are often busy elsewhere with their duties.
• Our Community Guidelines
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.
• Suggestion, Not Criticism
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.
• Religious Discussions
Many of our community members have gained great strength from their religious faith while coping with mental illness. Since our community is composed of members of many different faiths; all we ask is that members respect each other’s religions and not try to argue with or convert nonbelievers to their faith. If religion worked for you - thats great - but please don’t force it on other people. If you continually are promoting your religion in your posts - we will ask that you stop and then we will ban you.
• The Debate About 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.
• Banned Activities
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.
No advertisements (for research subjects, support for special projects, or commercial enterprises), or internet links to web sites promoting these activities are allowed. If someone has a research project that they want to publicize - then email the administrator at szwebmaster at yahoo dot com - and if the posting is accepted, one of the moderators will post the message.
Unfortunately, we do not allow links to other, non-English speaking websites (because we can’t determine their content).
• Keeping “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.
We Are Not A Substitute For Professional Care
We encourage you to see your psychiatrist or psychologist or other mental health care person for help if you have having a challenging time.
Due to the extremely large number of users and messages posted - we do not have the moderator “manpower” and “womanpower” to tell every person why their message has been deleted - but it it is, its because one of the moderators felt it violated the spirit or the terms of the guidelines below. We hope we don’t have to do it very frequently - but occasionally we do have to delete messages, and on rare occasion ban the repeat offenders. The administrators tell me that so far we have only banned a few users - of the tens of thousands of visitors - and it is only when someone repeatedly violates the rules and shows lack of respect for the community.