SAFETY AND THE USE OF INTERNET
Complex-Trauma & Structural Dissociation
© Nique, 31 august 2014
What do you need to know about
Support, Advocacy, Help or even Professional help – versus the use of the internet
Because lots of fellow sufferers question safety and trust as they join a (support) group or community, I want to write the following lines to give you all something to think over.
I think those lines are important, so don’t ignore them – give them a change by reading them.
What do we need to know about the mental healthcare workers e.g. fields
Know the basic differences in degrees of psychological working fields and their abbreviations. Lots of people use abbreviations on the internet to impress. Don’t be impressed by an abbreviation without a public mentioned licensee number and working field and working address.
Support groups are nice places to talk with your fellow sufferers, but they also can be very hurtfully. So keep your emotions and yourself safe at all times, because a community holder e.g. owner can’t guaranty you any safety. So please don’t believe otherwise and know that it it’s you and only you who can keep you safe on the internet.
Don’t follow medical advises from people who carry only an online profile with an alias name.
Many people use fake accounts, nothing wrong with that, its even smart in order to communicate safe through the internet. But it’s very badly wrong if they start to advise you, educate you or even analyse or treat you on a medical or therapeutically way with a fake account.
If you accept help from someone by the use of the internet, then know who you’re talking to before you share private information with such a person, and take notice of the following handles.
Your contacts with a medical background
Ask always for a copy of license if someone advises you under the title of Ph.D., clinical- or average Psychologist, SW, LCSW or other likewise practicing working fields. Even students have a scholarship number.
Never accept online counseling or psychological treatment if you don’t know who you are dealing with.
And above all keep in mind: Professionals will keep a professional distance too their clients because they know their ethics. This means also that they don’t join their clients in an online community advocacy or support group.
Follow never education, medical advises or knowledge from people which refuses to identify themselves with their real name and living or working address. Professionals will carry a profile picture to be cognizable, because they don’t want to hide and they do want to be trustworthy.
Professionals will always identify themselves and they have also no problems with being recognizable.
What does it mean? Members provide each other with various types of help, nonprofessional and nonmaterial, for a particular shared, usually burdensome, characteristic. Members with the same issues can come together for sharing coping strategies, to feel more empowered and for a sense of community. The help may take the form of providing and evaluating relevant information, relating personal experiences, listening to and accepting others experiences, providing sympathetic understanding and establishing social.
What does it mean: It’s a commonly used English term (the emphasis is on the first syllable) that indicated the work of organizations that are committed to the rights of certain groups, e.g. women, minorities or children.
The term literally means ‘ voice ‘ or ‘ defense ‘
How to join safely a Support or Advocacy Group or community
After all those warnings you could get scared to join an online support or advocacy group e.g. community, don’t because that isn’t necessary if you keep on guard with your own safety!
So I will give you also some handles to Join safely a support or advocacy group on the internet.
Make sure you don’t use your real or full name – and please don’t use double accounts because it’s very important to be recognizable for other community users and members. Make as less as possible changes in you profile.
Don’t share your real personal name and living details, it adds no value to a membership of an online support or advocacy community or group because the moderators and owners can’t protect your personal details and they also don’t need them. Even professionals keep their personal home address privately.
Don’t take this lithely and help new members to start safely by sharing and advising those handles.
Do not to another person what you don’t like done to you, treat them as how you would like to be treated !!
You can easily share your personal story if you don’t share your photo, real name and address. So it is not harmful to tell someone what your experiences were and what harmed you so much. What your emotions are and why you join this group, etc..
But keep in mind to do it on a way that they can’t trace your story back to your personal address and name. With an alias you are pretty safe in a Google+ community and within G+ you stay the boss over your own messages. This in contrast with the use of a forum such as a php forum or likewise where the administrators and management can censure or edit your personal messages.
Don’t share personal pictures or likewise – family pictures if you don’t want to be recognizable all over the place. Pictures will be very easily found by search engines like a google picture robot and likewise search engines.
Support Groups with a mental healthcare issue as there topic title
Joining a group with a mental health issue, for example:
Support groups Complex-Trauma, or a DID group or a BPD group or a Trauma and dissociation group, etc..
Know this, knot it even in your ears:
In such a group you will meet other people with also a mental health issues. They can be very friendly, they are most likely fellow sufferers and it can very easily feel very trust worthy. But also there you need to keep something very important in your mind!
The behavior of someone with a mental health issue can change in an instant and under the influence of their mental health issue. It is also not uncommon that this activates a disturbed chain reaction in such a group. On such a moment take a step back, take a brake (a day or even two days or as long is needed) until the group has calmed down. Don’t let yourself talking in to something if you had nothing to do with a or the conflict yourself. In other words ‘mind you own business’.
This sounds hard but it isn’t.
Very often a conflict accelerates by the interference of others.
Support means also: help conflicting members to talk with each other – don’t talk for them, don’t talk about them and also don’t interfere with the conflict: Help them to talk with each other and stay neutral
Always keep in mind – everything you say can be used against you because you can’t predict the behavior of an individual with a mental illness as you also can’t predict the behavior of a healthy person. So avoid private conversations as much as possible in a mental health issue group or community. The more open you communicate, the more safe a community and you are. It’s very honorable if we can help each other and it will always be our intention, but do it in the open of the group and back off during a conflict.
Then you guarantee your own safety at the best.
And at the end I want to write:
Keep always your own mental health and well being on the top level of your social
PRIORITIES AND ACTIVITIES.
Internet is as safe as you make it safe – for and by – yourself !
Create or keep a natural and healthy distrust towards the use of social activities on the net
Make the Net useful for You
CE at the Dutch Top Referent Trauma Center, Assen-Drenthe – The Netherlands