RJ and Mental Illness

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 21, 2013 11:10 PM GMT
    This thread was inspired by a recent off-topic conversation about a certain member's mental illness. I believe that thread has been (or soon will be) taken down due to inappropriate personally identifying comments, so let's not repeat that mistake here. Please post only general remarks that are not directed toward any particular person.

    Obviously, there are many people on RJ -- like any Internet site -- who have social problems. Some are angry, depressed, hateful, awkward, narcissistic, or unable to engage in intellectually honest debate. Others' personal issues rise to the level of diagnosed mental illness. We have members suffering from major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, Tourette's syndrome, and more. (These groups are not, of course, mutually exclusive.)

    What do you think is our obligation, as a community on RJ, to deal with abusive behavior that may happen to originate from someone who is mentally ill? They may have an area of specialty or two in which they post meaningful, helpful comments, but 99% of their posts are mean-spirited trolling. Some have suggested they deserve a free pass due to their mental illness. Do they? Isn't that equating mental illness with poor behavior?

    Last paragraph EDITED at 3:38AM EST.
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    May 21, 2013 11:11 PM GMT
    Personally, I don't think so.

    When someone reaches out for help and seems genuinely willing to help themselves, I will offer guidance -- whether or not I happen to like the person. I think the world will be a better place if we are compassionate toward those with conditions that are not their own fault, much as we wouldn't judge diabetics or short people. (Right?)

    But when someone is endangering others, I don't think we have to sit idly by and watch them do it.
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    May 21, 2013 11:42 PM GMT
    Aristoshark saidWho exactly is endangering anyone? This is the internet. Unless they show up at your home, it's all just smoke.


    Completely agree.

    OP:

    That certainly isn't to say that anybody should be given a free pass, but, we should each be able to use individual discernment, obligation free, to act, ignore or react in whichever way we each feel fit and most appropriate for that specific instance (within the loose confines of site rules/applicable laws- both of which, in reality, are usually only enforced in the most extreme and serious of cases).
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    May 21, 2013 11:49 PM GMT
    shortbutsweet saidPersonally, I don't think so.

    When someone reaches out for help and seems genuinely willing to help themselves, I will offer guidance -- whether or not I happen to like the person. I think the world will be a better place if we are compassionate toward those with conditions that are not their own fault, much as we wouldn't judge diabetics or short people. (Right?)

    But when someone is endangering others, I don't think we have to sit idly by and watch them do it.


    I agree with your comments 100%. I have people in my life that have some pretty serious issues and I help them as much as I possibly can. But I help them because they're honest about their problems. People that behave inappropriately in my life and are not even aware of their actions do not get to stay in my life very long. I personally have a lower tolerance level for online interactions as I do not know these people and probably never will. So if someone starts acting crazy online, I'm not going to pat them on the head and say "there there" because you never know if they're just trolling you or the level of their dysfunction.
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    May 21, 2013 11:52 PM GMT
    Aristoshark saidWho exactly is endangering anyone? This is the internet. Unless they show up at your home, it's all just smoke.


    Tell that to law enforcement. If you actually think it's legal to make death threats online or otherwise, you do not know the law.
  • HottJoe

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    May 21, 2013 11:55 PM GMT
    This thread could be about anyone.
  • Fable

    Posts: 3866

    May 22, 2013 12:07 AM GMT
    Scruffypup said
    Aristoshark saidWho exactly is endangering anyone? This is the internet. Unless they show up at your home, it's all just smoke.


    Tell that to law enforcement. If you actually think it's legal to make death threats online or otherwise, you do not know the law.



    what country are you in.

    what country are other people in.

    tumblr_m103sq2PmP1r3zat8.gif


    get me arrested.


    hmmmkthxbai.


    icon_rolleyes.gif

    EDIT: Also when someone else posted that kill yourself meme, why didnt you take that seriously?
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    May 22, 2013 12:14 AM GMT
    HottJoe saidThis thread could be about anyone.


    Iz sorry Joe. We wuz hoping U wouldn't find out. icon_redface.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 22, 2013 12:15 AM GMT
    One the one hand it is good to see mental illness as similar to a physical handicap because people need to understand that the brain is physical, psychology isn't simply thin air and so a person can act differently depending on the day, inner-chemistry, meds, interpersonal chemistry, life events, etc.

    On the other hand, there's probably not a lot of people trying to run down pedestrians with their electric wheelchairs. Not of lot of face slapping with malformed arms. And we wouldn't put up with it if we saw it. If you saw someone (even your friend) hitting someone else (especially if that someone else was already down) over the head with their wheelchair, you should probably say something.

    And if a third party came in and said, hey, wheelchair person, stop hitting that troubled guy with your wheelchair, probably you wouldn't just go off into the face of that third party.

    Mental illness can get serious. When people refuse their boundaries and become abusive enough of others, guess what can happen.
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    May 22, 2013 12:29 AM GMT
    _SAGE_ said
    Aristoshark saidWho exactly is endangering anyone? This is the internet. Unless they show up at your home, it's all just smoke.


    Completely agree.

    OP:

    That certainly isn't to say that anybody should be given a free pass, but, we should each be able to use individual discernment, obligation free, to act, ignore or react in whichever way we each feel fit and most appropriate for that specific instance (within the loose confines of site rules/applicable laws- both of which, in reality, are usually only enforced in the most extreme and serious of cases).


    Let's not get lost in semantics. While I recognize that participation in this forum is voluntary, what I mean by the word "endangering" in my personal post is the same as what I mean by "harming" in the original post. I don't believe we need to tolerate abusive behavior, just because we have the option of leaving.
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    May 22, 2013 12:49 AM GMT
    shortbutsweet said
    _SAGE_ said
    Aristoshark saidWho exactly is endangering anyone? This is the internet. Unless they show up at your home, it's all just smoke.


    Completely agree.

    OP:

    That certainly isn't to say that anybody should be given a free pass, but, we should each be able to use individual discernment, obligation free, to act, ignore or react in whichever way we each feel fit and most appropriate for that specific instance (within the loose confines of site rules/applicable laws- both of which, in reality, are usually only enforced in the most extreme and serious of cases).


    Let's not get lost in semantics. While I recognize that participation in this forum is voluntary, what I mean by the word "endangering" in my personal post is the same as what I mean by "harming" in the original post. I don't believe we need to tolerate abusive behavior, just because we have the option of leaving.



    But how, exactly, are they harming others?

    Potentially hurting their feelings? Perhaps.

    Are we all not liable to hurt other's feelings to some extent at one point or another? If so, surely this means we should have some sort of benchmark of 'harm' that requires an official response and sanction. I believe this benchmark is provided in site rules and applicable laws of whatever jurisdiction/state a person lives in.

    I didn't suggest that anybody should tolerate abusive behaviour just because we have the option of leaving. That wasn't what I was either implying or stating.

    What I mean is, we all have a myriad of options in response to those situations. E.g. Confront; subvert; ignore; trivialise; report; leave; private message; lampoon; attack, laugh; re-interpret; crusade; encourage; persuade, etc etc, the list goes on.

    Each situation and person is different.

    Intentions are too varied and open to interpretation, just as the the effects of words posted online are open to speculation for us all to agree on a single, blanket response to everything posted that could possibly offend others.

    What is required, in my opinion, is individual discernment.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 22, 2013 12:55 AM GMT
    Well I already know that I am crazy and pretty fucked up. I am man enough to say that shit

    But I am gonna clean up my act. Forreal this time
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 22, 2013 1:04 AM GMT
    _SAGE_ saidBut how, exactly, are they harming others?

    Potentially hurting their feelings? Perhaps.

    Are we all not liable to hurt other's feelings to some extent at one point or another? If so, surely this means we should have some sort of benchmark of 'harm' that requires an official response and sanction. I believe this benchmark is provided in site rules and applicable laws of whatever jurisdiction/state a person lives in.

    I didn't suggest that anybody should tolerate abusive behaviour just because we have the option of leaving. That wasn't what I was either implying or stating.

    What I mean is, we all have a myriad of options in response to those situations. E.g. Confront; subvert; ignore; trivialise; report; leave; private message; lampoon; attack, laugh; re-interpret; crusade; encourage; persuade, etc etc, the list goes on.

    Each situation and person is different.

    Intentions are too varied and open to interpretation, just as the the effects of words posted online are open to speculation for us all to agree on a single, blanket response to everything posted that could possibly offend others.

    What is required, in my opinion, is individual discernment.


    Indeed, we do have options. This thread is not about one specific incident to which one person responded. It a general exploration of those options. I believe some are better than others.
  • Rhi_Bran

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    May 22, 2013 1:22 AM GMT
    trbld said
    fable saidEDIT: Also when someone else posted that kill yourself meme, why didnt you take that seriously?
    Apparently everybody is avoiding answering this question.


    icon_rolleyes.gif I post that in most grimdark threads.

    If you're going to post on the internet, you must be aware that if you do not make it plain that you have a clinical condition, people will assume that you do not. And never bare your heart on the internet if you don't want people playing tiddlywinks with your emotions. Otherwise you're just handing it a loaded gun.
  • Rhi_Bran

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    May 22, 2013 1:37 AM GMT
    trbld said
    Rhi_Bran said
    trbld said
    fable saidEDIT: Also when someone else posted that kill yourself meme, why didnt you take that seriously?
    Apparently everybody is avoiding answering this question.
    icon_rolleyes.gif I post that in most grimdark threads.
    Well obviously that makes it okay.


    Do I actually want people to kill themselves? No, of course not. But whenever someone posts a thread stating essentially "things suck right now and I feel I have no reason to live", I just like to throw out one of the viable options. Life's a tautology: you can either do it, or you can't.

    But it's not like I have to give you lessons on dishonesty or catty behavior.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 22, 2013 1:38 AM GMT
    trbld said
    Rhi_Bran said
    trbld said
    fable saidEDIT: Also when someone else posted that kill yourself meme, why didnt you take that seriously?
    Apparently everybody is avoiding answering this question.
    icon_rolleyes.gif I post that in most grimdark threads.
    Well obviously that makes it okay.

    I am not familiar with that particular meme. Would someone post it here, please?
  • Rhi_Bran

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    May 22, 2013 1:39 AM GMT
    shortbutsweet said
    trbld said
    Rhi_Bran said
    trbld said
    fable saidEDIT: Also when someone else posted that kill yourself meme, why didnt you take that seriously?
    Apparently everybody is avoiding answering this question.
    icon_rolleyes.gif I post that in most grimdark threads.
    Well obviously that makes it okay.

    I am not familiar with that particular meme. Would someone post it here, please?


    3qc53x.jpg
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 22, 2013 1:43 AM GMT
    Is this thread about me icon_question.gif
    icon_evil.gif
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    May 22, 2013 1:50 AM GMT
    Rhi_Bran said
    trbld said
    Rhi_Bran said
    trbld said
    fable saidEDIT: Also when someone else posted that kill yourself meme, why didnt you take that seriously?
    Apparently everybody is avoiding answering this question.
    icon_rolleyes.gif I post that in most grimdark threads.
    Well obviously that makes it okay.


    Do I actually want people to kill themselves? No, of course not. But whenever someone posts a thread stating essentially "things suck right now and I feel I have no reason to live", I just like to throw out one of the viable options. Life's a tautology: you can either do it, or you can't.

    But it's not like I have to give you lessons on dishonesty or catty behavior.

    Thanks for posting the meme. So, here's my question for you. We have been given the Sage advice to use our discernment in deciding how to respond to others' comments. What about when posting a meme (or comment) like this one? Do you make a distinction between someone who is just whining about their unhappy life -- mostly because they won't get off their ass and do something -- and someone who is truly in grave danger of committing suicide? Would you post that meme in the latter case?
  • Rhi_Bran

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    May 22, 2013 2:03 AM GMT
    To be honest? No, I would not. But I must also ask myself why people would post such things about themselves on a public forum if they considered themselves emotionally compromised.
  • Rhi_Bran

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    May 22, 2013 2:09 AM GMT
    trbld saidbecause it's difficult to talk to people you actually know


    Wait. What? Is it like that for everyone?
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    May 22, 2013 2:14 AM GMT
    Rhi_Bran saidTo be honest? No, I would not. But I must also ask myself why people would post such things about themselves on a public forum if they considered themselves emotionally compromised.

    This brings up two areas for further discussion:

    You are capable of making a distinction about when it is appropriate to employ black humor and when it is not. Some others don't seem able to. They are pretty much uniformly cruel and seem to be testing their ability to push someone over the edge on the Internet. If one seems intent on inspiring other members to commit suicide, regardless of the legality, what should we do as a community? "I was just kidding -- I didn't mean for him to really do it" is a pretty weak excuse after the fact.

    Second, people who consider themselves emotionally compromised may not be in a position to think logically about the threats they are exposing themselves to. The bully's excuse is always, "Well, he shouldn't have come here if he didn't have a thick skin." Really? Perhaps one of the factors bringing them to the state they are in is the lack of people in the real world with whom they can talk. If we jump all over them, what does that say about us?

    These questions, you understand, are general and not directed specifically at you.
  • Fable

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    May 22, 2013 2:21 AM GMT
    Rhi_Bran said
    trbld saidbecause it's difficult to talk to people you actually know


    Wait. What? Is it like that for everyone?




    ugggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh -,,-
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    May 22, 2013 2:26 AM GMT
    trbld said
    Rhi_Bran saidTo be honest? No, I would not. But I must also ask myself why people would post such things about themselves on a public forum if they considered themselves emotionally compromised.
    because it's difficult to talk to people you actually know, the anonimity makes it easier to express yourself.


    There are some things that should not be expressed. Just because you have a thought or emotion, does not mean it should be shared with others. Some things are best reserved for your therapist to hear.
  • Rhi_Bran

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    May 22, 2013 2:26 AM GMT
    I see what you are saying and I understand, of course. I am not making excuses, I simply am unable to comprehend why anyone would turn to the internet for advice. That's a stove I've been badly burned on. There are such things as free (or at least cheap) therapists. But now, I suppose you're going to come back with something akin to, "well, does that make it right for YOU to do it?". No, no it does not.

    To whoever made that thread: please excuse me. I erred. I post without thinking sometimes, and can put needless venom into what I say.

    Let's move on.