This is double edged sword. These places helped me in my journey but they need to be strongly moderated. There are a lot of creeps that want to exploit people. There are a lot of narcissistic echo chembers. But they also have battle tested techniques and “Know How” that is unprecedented.
Without strong anti-toxic culture and ruthless moderation these places could be a pitfall for someone.
The groups need an established core of well informed and experienced people to work together and shape the culture of the community. The moderation team also needs to be responsive and consistent.
I got pulled into being part of one of those teams years ago. It was a pretty simple formula to make the community healthy: The creeps/spammers got banned and reported. The ignorant got educated in a logical and coherent manner by a team approach. The trolls were played with for a while then banned when they eventually violated a rule.
A good group can save lives and help a lot of people. A bad one can further harm the already damaged and vulnerable. There are many of both groups out there.
Yeah, why would you trust a professional with legal responsibilities and a duty of care when you can go to an anonymous forum where I’m sure everyone tells the truth all the time and always has your best interests at heart!
Obviously I’m being facetious and I get your point that taking to your peers is very important, but careful not to slip into the rampant anti-intellectualism and distrust of “so-called experts” which fuels all the insane conspiracy shit we see all over the internet nowadays.
Unfortunately in many places in America, if one went to a local professional to seek help escaping abusive parents or a cult scenario, you actually have a decent chance of encountering a professional who is either a fraud/quack with a nonsense degree from a degree mill, or they might just be totally fine with parental abuse or the local cult.
They might decide that the child is delusional (because no parent would ever be /that/ bad, right?) and has unfounded aggression issues, classify them as mentally ill and remand them to a modern day asylum (mental health facility) which are generally staffed by overworked and underpaid employees … at best.
That kind of thing happens a lot more often than a lot of people realize.
Maybe check out how Dr. Phil seems to have had no problem his entire career sending unruly children to what are effective labor camps in the middle of no where.
Oh and lets just continue to pretend that the field of therapists and psychologists hasnt had a huge problem of uh, becoming sexually intimate with their clients, and lets also pretend that problem is completely solved.
Oh and lets also pretend that mental health facilities totally all attract the most well paid and tenured psychiatrists who never ever prescribe mind altering medication based on a single evaluation of a client in a 5 minute conversation, while the child is likely in a panicked state from either fleeing massive trauma, or being traumatically forced to go somewhere they do not want to go.
It sucks. If you can find a /good/ therapist or what not, they can literally save your life. But if you don’t, well, not so great. And a child is not going to be able to recognize the difference most of the time, until its too late.
Well that’s shit, no wonder online discussion groups / safe spaces are so popular over there. That does raise a different issue though, the USA-dominated (and consequently often USA-centric) view presumably warps the view of people seeking help from places where they can and should be talking to real medical professionals.
Yeah… Americans have very expensive, fairly low quality healthcare compared to much of the rest of the developed world… and we also have garbage quality public education compared to much of the developed world.
If you are an average, poor, barely educated American kid from an abusive family, chances are you do not even realize that people from other countries use the internet as well.
The ‘joke’ during the Bush years was that Americans learn geography through our wars.
This isnt a joke anymore. Our education systems are worse today, in general, than when I was a kid… Most American kids are basically unaware of the rest of the world, other than a few famous landmarks from a movie or music video.
I met an 18 year old a few months ago who was an otherwise capable and reasonable person… but I had to explain to him that the Iron Man movies were not documentaries.
He actually thought they were at least based on real life events, genuinely.
And he was actually fleeing an abusive family.
In America these days, schools are terrible, Parents are usually very overworked, very stressed out, come home from work and either go to bed, or zone out with TV, Video Games or Booze or Drugs.
They rarely spend quality time with their kids, as the average American worker is far worse off in many respects than many other parts of the developed world.
But uh anyway… yeah Americans usually just assume by default that everyone on the internet speaking english is also American, at least via text, myself included usually, unless some particular non American vernacular or cultural reference is used or whatever.
Usually when you tell the average American that basically most Europeans and many Asians and Africans are just also taught English in addition to their mother tongues during standard childhood education, they do not even believe you, or are astounded by this fact. (Exception to this is; Unless they are from a recently immigrated family.)
I am not quite sure what you mean, or if I am understanding what you are saying near the end of your comment though.
Are… poor, abused, poorly educated American children somehow going to be able to access quality mental healthcare from outside their country? How would they pay for it? How would they travel to it?
Or do you more mean that basically people should use like country flags on such discussion groups so that people at least generally know what country their given advice should apply to?
Weighing in for Southern European mental health care, family support and abuse support. Believe me, you will be better off talking to friends or fellow sufferers online or offline than trying your luck in the public system. Pills is all you get here, and prescribed somewhat hit-or-miss after what amounts to a 15 min interview, most of which are spent by the doctor typing your data into his computer.
If you need help for domestic abuse, be prepared for hours of bureaucracy while reliving and retelling your trauma to a host of police and social security professionals repeatedly. Then relocated to somewhere where you receive the bare minimum of care. I was lucky to never need it but have witnessed it, and frankly would consider any offers from unknown van-dwellers before this.
The only way to get the help you need is to research your stuff well beforehand, and then wheedle out of the system what you need by annoying the bureaucrats till they give up.
Maybe some non-Europeans could weigh in with their perspective as well.
Yeah this actually sounds very similar to the American system, generally speaking.
Short interview by uncaring overworked ‘professional’ who is basically just checking off some boxes to summarily prescribe mind altering medication (when that kind of stuff should actually only be administered after many many discussions between a patient, therapist and qualified psychiatrist?).
Trauma victims being continually retraumatized and frustrated and stresses out further by being forced to now do critical analytic comprehension of a Byzantine amount of paperwork while they are more or less in shock to prove they were traumatized, making everything much, much worse for them mentally, in a system that supposedly exists to help them?
Heard similarly bad stories from Scandinavia, of all places. If you’re vulnerable, it’s very easy to fall between the cracks, with doctors who abuse their power or make bad mistakes.
Also, the replication crisis really undermines psychology’s claims to scientific knowledge.
Of course, I’m not a scientologist, so I’m not going to claim that people shouldn’t go to see a mental health professional. Anti-depressants do work, therapy can and often does work, but as you say you really need to do your resaerch beforehand, and preferably have family or friends to defend your interests. Otherwise you’ll fall between the cracks just when you’re at your most vulnerable.
Same goes for elderly homes. Personally, I think I’ll kill myself before I ever get that far. If you don’t have family to check up on you, you’re quite likely to be neglected, exploited or abused.
anti-intellectualism and distrust of “so-called experts
Experts or authorities?
Here some conspiracy for you: A lot of psychiatry (not all) is made up shit rooted in old white guys’ ideas about how to keep unruly youngsters and women in check. The DSM is a vague symptom list sponsored by the pharma industry and gets changed every few years or so (glad they took the gay out).
I consider the output of (the scientifically connected side of) psychiatry, together with the output of my peers, together with my own perception when I make decisions about my own wellbeing - if that alone is anti-intellectual and conspiratic to you, you might be adhering to scientism rather than science.
If suspect that if we gave the mentally ill 2k and told them to go on a nice holiday, buy some healthy food, take care of their most urgent bills, many of them would be better off than after a mandatory hold in an underfunded mental health ward or a prescription of xanax from an overworked general practicioner.
High quality mental health care is probably far better, but that’s not what most people have access to.