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Forums / Staying well / Worried about other users - how are we all doing?

Topic: Worried about other users - how are we all doing?

  1. Chris B
    Community Manager
    • Works for beyondblue managing these forums. Not a mental health professional, but here to help. Email: christopher.banks@beyondblue.org.au
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Chris B avatar
    1757 posts
    26 November 2013

    Hi everyone,

    I thought I'd check in to see how everyone is doing; while the nature of these forums is as a place of support, and it feels good to help others, we need to make sure our own welfare is looked after too.  Sometimes reading the experiences of others can be validating, because we feel 'we've been there', but sometimes it can also be a trigger for bringing up unpleasant feelings.

    I've started this thread so we can have a constructive discussion about helping others and helping ourselves - how do you cope when you read about others in distress?  Do you have a self-care plan in place, and if so, what is it?

    Really looking forward to hearing from you all.


    2 people found this helpful
  2. Jo3
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Jo3 avatar
    2269 posts
    26 November 2013 in reply to Chris B

    Hi Chris,

    I have fallen in a heap again.  I was doing ok, or so I thought but maybe I was wrong. On the weekend I chatted on line with others and helped them deal with their stuff.  but i now don't know why I'm feeling like the way i am. So damn weak, emotional and just not with it at all.

    Self care plan - walk down the beach, listen to music, meditate (all of which I find extremely hard to do right now).  Why is everything getting to me.  

    Sorry it's not much of a reply at all

    Jo

  3. Chris D
    Chris D avatar
    181 posts
    26 November 2013

    Hi Chris and Jo,

    Better than days before but still very much battling. Jo you are NOT weak it's the condition that is talking not you.

    Self Care Plan - listen to music/radio, read book, sleep, watch funny dvd. All at the moment i have shut out because i'm just not up to it.

    Chris

  4. Jo3
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Jo3 avatar
    2269 posts
    26 November 2013 in reply to Chris B

    Hi Chris,

    Maybe being on here is a trigger - but it shouldn't because I am helping others; I'm supporting others because I know and understand what it's like to have depression, anxiety and BPD.  But then if it is - what do I do - stop going on here.  I don't think I could leave because I really need support and help from others as well as me helping others.

    I don't know; I'm not really sure what to think.

    Jo

    1 person found this helpful
  5. Euroatheboat
    Euroatheboat avatar
    4 posts
    26 November 2013 in reply to Chris B
    Hey, its funny that I am depressed and yet I am feeling much better that this place exists.  Well done to you all for being part of a great thing.   Troy
    1 person found this helpful
  6. geoff
    Life Member
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    geoff avatar
    15319 posts
    27 November 2013 in reply to Chris B

    dear Christopher, this is a very thoughtful comment from you, but also a very valid point.

    There are many people who indeed reply to others, but they are not well themselves, as they are struggling with their own aggravations, and their problems just stick to them, or they come and go, and the annoyance of this berates their living standards.

    The excellence of this site is that when they offload their problems is that they begin to feel better only because they can talk to the people on here who have been through the same or very similar circumstances and who understand and can relate to those seeking help.

    Nobody is perfect, and not everybody hits the point from those asking for help, but it's another avenue for them to consider. Geoff.

    1 person found this helpful
  7. Beetle
    Beetle avatar
    236 posts
    27 November 2013

    HI

    This side helps me a lot on the road to accept that i have depression and anxiety. I was only able to get on here after my meds had kicked in. Before It was too much. I could not have even read one post without crying and getting off the rails So i didint. I did call BB  though. now i enjoy to reply to others and hope it may be helpful. I also found it very helpful to get feedback from people who went through similar stuff what makes me feel less " alien".Since im newly diagnosed i still dont know much but can at least share my story,

    My safety plan is: if i feel some post is affecting me, i get offline and do somehting else and if its really bad i would call BB.

    I feel pretty stable at the mo and think i would be able to protect myself from harm.The meds give me some protective shield so that I can think and reflect before I take action. that means the time to realise its the 'beast talking' is prolonged which is good :)

    Great psot chris!

    Beetle

    1 person found this helpful
  8. Guest_3712
    Guest_3712 avatar
    2003 posts
    3 March 2014 in reply to Chris B

    Hi Chris,

    Appreciate the concern and follow up. I am feeling suitably chastised and apologise for the unintended furore surrounding my post.

    How do I cope? I don't know . trying to offer some support for others diverts my thoughts from my own issues, not necessarily the best approach for my own mental health according to my psych, and probably to the professionals at BB

    Yes I feel ,"I've been there" when I read some posts, and yes sometimes I feel so distressed I can't reply even if I wanted to. But then  there are the times where I think, I believe I have something to offer and I'm going to put it out there.

    When I started posting on BB the thing that really appealed to me was that I could say what was on my mind without fear of being ridiculed or challenged.  I have no idea why I think I am in any way qualified to respond to others- obviously given the unrest I have caused  I need to re-assess my involvement.

     I'm not sure how I feel or what to do re the last few days, I don't feel I achieved anything and in fact I believe I may have caused more harm than good.

    So as you have intimated  maybe I need a 'time out'. Please except my apologies anyone I have upset.

    Be kind to your selves

    Stressless

    2 people found this helpful
  9. Chris B
    Community Manager
    • Works for beyondblue managing these forums. Not a mental health professional, but here to help. Email: christopher.banks@beyondblue.org.au
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Chris B avatar
    1757 posts
    3 March 2014 in reply to Guest_3712
    Hi Stressless,

    I apologise if you feel chastised by my responses, that wasn't the intention at all.  Just wanting to flag that among the many different triggers we all have for distress, sometimes the forums can be one of them.  Sometimes it's just the opposite, and talking to others and helping can be a distraction from your own issues, or help you find a solution you hadn't thought of, and that's great too. 

    I started this thread so we could get some discussion going on what we do when the former happens, how does everyone manage themselves around triggers?

    There's no need to apologise for expressing your feelings, sometimes it can be hard reading about other people doing it tough and being stuck behind a computer and unable to do more than write words.  That doesn't mean for a second that any members should feel held back from talking or contributing about what's going on for them out of worry that you might upset others.  That's what our moderators and community rules are here for, this is a non-judgmental space and is here for everyone to use in addition to other supports and services.
    2 people found this helpful
  10. Jo3
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Jo3 avatar
    2269 posts
    3 March 2014 in reply to Chris B

    Hi Chris,

    I agree with what you're saying to Stressless.  I do have a coping plan prepared by myself and my psych.

    It is so easy to get caught up with another member's message especially if it is upsetting or someone crying out for help. Because we all want to help each other.

    I know members on here wanted to help me & Mares over the weekend.  I felt very humble by all the responses we received.  It is so nice to know there are so many beautiful caring people on here that want to help.

     But I understand that BB can only do so much to help us.

    Thank you for your continued support, and a fantastic forum BB has created for us members. 

    Jo

    1 person found this helpful
  11. scorch
    scorch avatar
    182 posts
    5 March 2014 in reply to Chris B

    Hi Chris

    Beyond Blue helps me to know I'm not alone, and it helps to put my feelings in perspective.  Knowing that other people struggle with the same things I do makes me feel like I'm not such a freak.  Makes me feel like it's not my fault, I suffer from an illness - I'm not just some weirdo who can't cope.  I don't have to pretend to have it all together here... I can just be me.

    I do not get triggered by reading about other distress because I figure if they are going through something I would rather know about it and try to support them in some way rather than have them feel like they need to suffer alone.  Of course I feel concern for their wellbeing, and sometimes what is written can be upsetting, but again... I'd rather they post on the forum and let people know that they are struggling than not be allowed to share those feelings/what's going on.

    I love that BB forums edits our posts if they are getting too explicit or give too many details - that is really good, because it can be easy to go too far.  So the edits are a good way to make sure nothing too triggering gets through... But sometimes I feel that we are sometimes too restricted with how much we can share, and therefore don't get a reply that fully addresses our topic/problem/feeling. I received an 'edit' notice recently and I have no idea what I said that stepped over a line, so I hope I don't do it again.

    This is slightly off topic, but it is connected.  Sorry if it should go somewhere else. But seeing as we are being totally honest, I have to say it doesn't feel very nice seeing an email from you guys in my inbox.  I feel like 'I'm so stupid, I screwed up - why do I bother' when all I am trying to do is help people.  It's like I've done something wrong even though I've tried to do the right thing and stick to the rules.  (Although, I received one today and completely understand why you didn't let it go through.  I'm talking about a different email)  I know you guys are only looking out for everyone, but so far getting those couple of emails has been the only triggering thing for me, and that's because they played on my lack of self esteem and feelings of worthlessness that lurk at the back of my mind.

    It's a difficult balance and I imagine we all give you moderators a heck of a headache some times.  But all in all, I think we all appreciate this place and the opportunity it gives us to communicate with people who understand.

    I know I am in a better place now than I was when I signed up last year and that is thanks to this community.   So thank you Chris and the other moderators for all the hard work you do here to help us out.  :)

    2 people found this helpful
  12. Jo3
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Jo3 avatar
    2269 posts
    5 March 2014 in reply to scorch

    Well said Scorch

    I00% agree with you.

    Jo

    1 person found this helpful
  13. cancerianmoon
    cancerianmoon avatar
    52 posts
    6 March 2014 in reply to Chris B

    Dear Christopher,

    Thank you for asking how we're doing!

    I feel more alone and without hope than ever.  I'm new here and posted an intro a few days ago.  Others' stories are helpful in reminding me I'm not the only one feeling this way and there are others who are doing it much tougher.  BUT, it doesn't help ease my pain.  I will keep posting when I need to, as even if I don't get replies I am unloading.  I also get a sense of connection, which is pretty important as I live in a small, rural community.

    Warm regards,

    Cancerianmoon

    1 person found this helpful
  14. Quercus
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
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    Quercus avatar
    3544 posts
    27 June 2017 in reply to Chris B

    Hey Chris,

    Swear this thread wasn't prominent before! This is a great idea!

    I think we all get overwhelmed. It's part of feeling empathy for others. We care. The hardest part I've found is knowing when I need to walk away for a while. Sometimes things hit a bit too close to home.

    Other times it is upsetting to be anonymous and not able to give practical help when someone is at risk. I'm learning to recognise my limits and take things slowly. And as White Rose told me once the best thing about the forums is we all help when we can. So you can't help everyone and that's ok. You give what you can 😊.

    I also limit the amount of new people I post to at one time. There will always be people who post once and never again but if I respond to too many and everyone replies (along with the regulars I like to talk to) I get overwhelmed.

    And last of all... I don't go into certain sections if I suspect they will be too much. I once had another member write to me and just could not make myself open her thread because I suspected it would be too much. I felt guilty. But now I recognise that is absolutely ok. We have to protect ourselves sometimes.

    I hope others write here too this is an important topic. Thanks Chris.

    2 people found this helpful
  15. demonblaster
    Valued Contributor
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    7557 posts
    27 June 2017 in reply to Chris B
    Thanks Chris Hi all :)

    I can relate to some issues here but no it doesn't trigger.

    I want to help people as many do help get em up caring yes but trying not to take it on board

    It's been rough for a few wks more down than up, still trying to pull through but better thanks. Facing demons hard but gotta be done
    Been deadly tired but getting there

    How bout you
    1 person found this helpful
  16. Guest_128
    Guest_128 avatar
    2143 posts
    27 June 2017 in reply to Quercus

    Hi Quercus and Chris,

    I just want to say thanks for this thread,it just helped me to read.

    Later

  17. demonblaster
    Valued Contributor
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    demonblaster avatar
    7557 posts
    28 June 2017 in reply to demonblaster
    Just need to talk for a bit
    Feel like I've caught up on sleep finally but can't shake this depression, I will but so sick of crying & feeling sad, I can't be like this cause when the next BP comes it'll compound, hard enough anyway

    Might go for a walk in a tic when I can get these tears under control.

    Thanks again for this Chris

    Hope you're doing ok :)
  18. Chris B
    Community Manager
    • Works for beyondblue managing these forums. Not a mental health professional, but here to help. Email: christopher.banks@beyondblue.org.au
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Chris B avatar
    1757 posts
    6 July 2017
    Great to see everyone is having a think about taking care of themselves while using the forums.

    Just reviving this thread on a related topic - what happens when we see a thread where the member is yet to receive a reply, or we don't think the replies they have are adequate?

    Getting invested in the journeys of others here can sometimes lead to a sense of panic if we feel that someone is not being helped within a certain timeframe.

    There's a couple of points important to remember here on the forums:

    1. No-one here is obligated to take part in any discussion. The purpose of this space is to share stories with one another and take part in a conversation as peers, as equals. While many people say they find the forums helpful, the forums are not a helpline. Most posts will get a reply the same day, but this is not guaranteed. If you read a post that concerns you in the sense that you think the person may be at imminent risk of harming themselves or someone else, then please report the post to moderators and we'll take a look at it (although it's 99.9% likely we've already seen it). That said, if you're still worried, you can always...

    2. Light the candle - there's a Sara Henderson quote, 'don't wait for the light to appear at the end of the tunnel, stride down there and light the bloody thing yourself!'. I've recently seen our community champions referred to affectionately as 'big guns' and 'heavyweights' by some members. But everyone posting here is a big gun and a heavyweight! You all have unique life experiences and expertise to share. If you see a post that hasn't had a reply, jump in there and say hello. You're not expected to solve anyone's problems, our champions included. Think about the first time you posted here on the forums and how it felt to be acknowledged. Sometimes you won't feel you have anything to contribute to a discussion, and that's absolutely fine. But it only takes a sentence or two to say, "I'm listening and I heard you." Tell the person how their post made you feel and how you hope things will get better for them.

    Does anyone else have suggestions on this?
     
    6 people found this helpful
  19. Fiasco
    Fiasco avatar
    187 posts
    18 July 2017 in reply to Chris B

    Thanks Chris,

    I like what you've written and appreciate it. 😄

    Fi

  20. jonjr
    jonjr avatar
    26 posts
    26 July 2017 in reply to Chris B

    Hi chris

    Firstly nice post.. my opinion at times are that the moderators can be a bit snappy with there moderating so to speak. Alot of times if the subject doesnt fit or is seen as to far its thrown out.....there are varies kinds of illness and degrees of severity. I myself can be very confronting or muddled up. I would like to see those type of posts forwarded or looked at more closely. At times a better reply with a opportunity to seek help or talk to some one could mean a whole lot more than you know.

    1 person found this helpful
  21. demonblaster
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    7557 posts
    28 July 2017 in reply to Chris B
    We take in mulitple amounts of info every day and every now and then something you hear or read somewhere goes pinnnnnggggg and Sarah hendersons comment thanks Chris for putting it up was a ping, "don't wait for the light to appear at the end of the tunnel, stride down there and light the bloody thing yourself" .... Kaboooomb. True survivor, loved her books. Read 2 & I think maybe a third but can't remember.
    1 person found this helpful
  22. Chris B
    Community Manager
    • Works for beyondblue managing these forums. Not a mental health professional, but here to help. Email: christopher.banks@beyondblue.org.au
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Chris B avatar
    1757 posts
    31 July 2017 in reply to jonjr
    Hi Jonjr,

    Thanks for that feedback. With the sheer volume of posts coming through, our moderators unfortunately don't have the time to write personalised responses when we need to edit or (rarely) not publish an entire post. The emails we send are pretty basic, with a reference to the community rule relevant to the post (eg. may cause distress to other members, mentions medication names, etc).

    I'm sorry if this can come across as snappy, it's not our intention. You can always get in touch with us privately if you want to discuss a moderation decision in more detail.

    Generally speaking, if we can't publish an entire post on the forums here it's usually because the forums are not a suitable place to be seeking support on that topic. In that case, we'd encourage members to get in touch with our support service for further advice, as they're professional counsellors. You can contact them by phone, live webchat, or email.
  23. Guest_128
    Guest_128 avatar
    2143 posts
    31 July 2017 in reply to Chris B

    Hey,

    is there a list of words that bin our posts eg by computer or the mods?

    As it would be easier for all on BB and would help condense the dump.

    Later

    2 people found this helpful
  24. Chris B
    Community Manager
    • Works for beyondblue managing these forums. Not a mental health professional, but here to help. Email: christopher.banks@beyondblue.org.au
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Chris B avatar
    1757 posts
    11 August 2017 in reply to Guest_128

    Hi Dory, we can't disclose how our moderation filter works as we don't want to encourage people to 'game the system'. Being familiar with the rules is the easiest way to make sure your posts go through quicker, but sometimes you will still have to wait - that's just the way it works here. If you have any more questions about moderation, please use the moderation thread.

    It would be great to get back on topic here - for those of you who spend time supporting others on the forums, what do you do to make sure that you keep a sense of perspective and stay strong when reading distressing posts?

  25. Guest_128
    Guest_128 avatar
    2143 posts
    11 August 2017 in reply to Chris B

    Hi Chris,thanks for your time,

    Ihave thought about this all day.

    I think you have nailed it,

    How to keep a sense of perspective?

    For me I would say extremely hard,constantly questioning if my thoughts are what others expect from me.

    The way I am,if I don't say things here on the forum straight away chances are I won't come back to that post, I do find it extremely difficult to keep up with everyone,and trying to find the right words to express myself and help.

    I would much rather comfort and support someone else than me.

    Reading other posts and new,I can handle my heart melts and I just want to hug,hold and comfort them. That's the worst .

    I don't know if I have answered your questions Chris.

    Dory🐠

    3 people found this helpful
  26. startingnew
    Valued Contributor
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    startingnew avatar
    5859 posts
    11 August 2017 in reply to Chris B

    HI Chris

    this thread im finding very useful as i often find i get triggered by posts and the first instinct is to panic and write in the moment.

    at the moment ive worked out a better way thats more productive for myself and also the other members. i know that when im triggered that posting whats coming straight off the bat but now ive learnt to log off destress and put in some coping strategies.. breathe... then when i think i can handle it ill come back to the post and then write with a more clearer state of mind. i also remind myself that the post isnt going to go anywhere and i can alwasy come back to it. its more productive and usefull to others if i take that step back and think about what to say rather than jumping straight in from panic mode

    hope this helps

    3 people found this helpful
  27. White Rose
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    White Rose avatar
    6325 posts
    11 August 2017 in reply to startingnew

    Hello SN

    I think your description of waiting before posting is great and I suspect many people use that strategy. It does give you time to stand back and recover after reading a post, to get yourself functioning again. I know there are times when I do this and it's always unexpected because we think we are moving forward. Well we are moving forward as we could not take that step back if we have not moved on a little.

    Once you can do this it becomes so much easier to respond if you have something to say on that topic.

    Mary

    2 people found this helpful
  28. startingnew
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    startingnew avatar
    5859 posts
    11 August 2017 in reply to White Rose

    HI Mary

    yeah when i first joined i found myself getting triggered all the time but there were too panic modes one was that i couldnt handle what was being said and the other was if i didnt respond straight away then i wasnt supporting that person.

    ive since learned that the post isnt going to go anywhere. and while i understand that some topics people are urgently seeking help there are helplines there that they can access and also the mods behind the scenes are 'watching' and an also contact if they think they are in immediate danger.

    i also realised that when i was posting in that state what i was trying to say to that person wasnt getting across easily or it was jumbled and not really making any sense and in a way might have made situations worse for others. so i find this to be the most productive and also safer way for myself and other users

  29. startingnew
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    startingnew avatar
    5859 posts
    11 August 2017 in reply to White Rose

    HI Mary

    i found when i first started here i woul have two different panic states. one of those would be becasue i was triggered and the other one was that i was letting the other person down by not posting straight away.

    i soon realised though that i was doing more harm than good by posting while in a triggered state.

    so now i breathe step abck reassess and then post when i feel ready to do so

    1 person found this helpful
  30. Guest_128
    Guest_128 avatar
    2143 posts
    12 August 2017 in reply to startingnew

    Just saying Star,

    you are amazing,I hope I can become more controlled like you.

    😘

    2 people found this helpful

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