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Forum for emotional difficulties - Idea
I know none or few of us are professionals in the mental health field or marriage guidance field, but it seems to me we are regularly getting cries for help from people with difficulties. I wondered if it might be a compassionate thing to do to have a forum specifically for that kind of problem? To distinguish it from the run of the mill problems with meditation or other practice that we all experience?
We could have some useful links to helpful sites members have come across, that deal with that sort of thing in a Buddhist-friendly way. Also, many of us have been mental health service users, had marital difficulties or emotional problems, who might be able to share our experiences and thus support others. We do this anyway, I'm just thinking a specific forum might be a more organised way of doing it.
We could also have clear disclaimers that none of us are giving professional advice, and to seek the help of a doctor/counsellor/therapist if needed.
perhaps the forum title could just be "problems" or something general of the sort. i can think of many threads posted in the past that could fall under this category.
Personally and talking without much foundation,
i think mixing "healty with unhealty" its the best way to heal.
This is particularly important if they are alcoholics,heavy drug users, self-harming, or suicidal. Also, as with any internet chat group, people can get a range of different suggestions which may be helpful, but on the other hand may definately not be helpful for their difficulties.
You assume that it would be strictly helpful. I worry about the full gamut of what could go horribly wrong.
It's the one sub-forum on this site that is not open to surfing searches.
I think that's good, and I think that's sufficient.
I'm on a couple of health groups which do this very successfully. Occasionally a troll does come on and make unhelpful "suggestions" but is the responsibility of all the members to be clear that we are not doctors and internet advice is only suggestions, not professional advice.
I think we should have such disclaimers anyway, incidentally. Not that people who are mentally unwell will necessarily take any notice of them.
My concern is mixing medical problems with spiritual ones. OK, so the dividing line is not huge, very often, but I dislike the idea that Buddhism is being sold as a cure for mental health problems. That is not the primary purpose of Buddhism. It also gives people the impression that if their illness prevents them from being calm and serene, they have failed as a Buddhist.
I have mental health problems myself, incidentally, so I'm not trying to be prejudiced. But to me it is not the reason I became a Buddhist.
I agree with that totally. It upsets me also.
I was not suggesting we treat people or give them medical advice - quite the opposite, in fact. But if someone posts with a particular problem and someone else says "Oh yes, I've had that and this was how I dealt with the problem", that can be very helpful. It's the principle on which a majority of self-help groups (online and in real life) are based.
Sure, it is not the purpose of why we come here - but it clearly is the purpose of why many people come on to Buddhist sites. I've seen it many times. On some sites, there is hardly a Buddhist on there. They're all people with problems, looking for solutions. And I don't mean that to sound un-compassionate - of course those people and their problems are important. It's just when things get unbalanced and the board becomes something it is not meant to be.
Now I reckon I sound really mean about people with problems. That's not what I mean and I know a lot of people get into Buddhism through personal problems. But I think most of us are on the same page here. I'm sorry if my idea wasn't great.
Thank you for suggesting it. I hope conversely, you don't feel 'shouted down'.
I think Buddhism being linked to a cure for mental health problems is because its opens your mind amd empowers you to be able to help yourself.
I think buddhism could help you from the experience of breaking your leg. But if I would call an ambulance and hopefully a shot of drugs and set the bone first. After that they can practice buddhism while on crutches.
Ah with those examples the scenario changes. My dad has a mental illness and the stress of helping his condition adds a knock on stress to my mum. So I can help my mum by taking her to yoga with me - showing her a meditation out of a book i picked up recently. I can help that - but If Im reading a discussion which i think could help a person to decide what next step is - thats ok. I get involved.
I've found meditation to work wonders for me, but sometimes people do need to talk to people that they dont meet on a daily basis (or know) and get these issues out to realise how severe or trivial a problem is.