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Introducing a mentally ill person to SL?

FD Spark
Prim & Texture Doodler
Join date: 30 Oct 2006
Posts: 4,697
04-25-2008 17:48
The fact your Mom has you that cares is what matters the most.
Like what other posters and Nika said that it might be beneficial if she had
you show her the ropes.
Distraction is really good thing for people who are severely depressed.
Also having others who care about them helps too.
I know this from experience I have had lot of Doctors, Therapist,etc
but I really didn't have anyone who cared in way I could see it.
Most of my first life dealings with people have been for fuel for my depression.
My Second Life sort of gave me opportunity to experience people in new ways
including myself.
Best Medicine sometimes is finding joy and acceptance in one's own
life when things are hard at least in my opinion.
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Halstrom Beck
Registered User
Join date: 12 Sep 2007
Posts: 7
04-26-2008 09:27
Thanks all for the great variety of viewpoints on this, it's great food for thought, when I saw Mum today she was in a very up mood, which was good and Dad was home and they seemed to actually be talking which is another bonus. I'm not sure she's very creative person, but who knows.
I also realised today, I'm not sure SL will even run on their 3 yo computer either as, I think it has onboard graphics, though I have a spare machine that may be better, I could give them. And if I introduced her to SL, I would have to put a lot of time in to show her around and keep an eye on her too.
Kaos Jansma
Registered User
Join date: 2 Jul 2007
Posts: 120
04-26-2008 09:47
i know people in sl who are there because their therapist recommended it
i think that is the key
it was recommended by the person helping them

i don't think you offering that to her or showing sl to her will harm her
i think she would know if she liked it or not

just my opinion
:)
Candie Apple
Senior Mumbler
Join date: 1 Apr 2003
Posts: 477
04-26-2008 10:10
Check the Dreams group run by The Sojourner, and talk to her about your mom.
Sylvia Trilling
Flying Tribe
Join date: 2 Oct 2006
Posts: 1,117
04-26-2008 14:05
I have depression. I was helped by being on medication for three years. I've been off medication for seven years and I am better than I used to be.

Depression is a brain chemistry imbalance. Your mother has a serious depression in that it is not responding to treatment. Depression is not caused by having bad experiences with people or having bad experiences on the internet. I sense in your post an understandable anxiety that if you introduce her to second life and her depression gets worse it will be your fault. Believe me, it doesn't work that way. There is some connection between depression and life circumstances, but it is indirect. Your mother is having a rough time. SL could make her life a little more tolerable, it could even help change her life. But it couldn't harm her. It is the depression that is harming her.
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Lowen Raymaker
Registered User
Join date: 21 Apr 2007
Posts: 185
04-26-2008 16:13
From: Muse Oconnell
To the OP: Contact me if you like, I am willing to discuss this with you.

And yes, I am a professional therapist.


This is very strange. When my friend went to see this "professional therapist" for an hour she ended up passing around the supposed private logs to her "daughter" in SL. Upon finding this out my friend protested that it was an unethical situation and not becoming of a "professional therapist". At which point she decided she was no longer a "professional therapist" and just a "life coach".

I'm glad I found your post here Muse. I'm sure in most states claiming to be a medical professional if you're not is a crime. I'm also sure it's against TOS.
Jesse Barnett
500,000 scoville units
Join date: 21 May 2006
Posts: 4,160
04-26-2008 18:10
From: Lowen Raymaker
I'm also sure it's against TOS.

True or not it, does'nt matter. You have been in SL and the forums long enough to know that posts with allegations against one individual do violate the TOS and Forum Guidelines. The reason for the guidelines is because then it ends up being a matter of "he said, she said" with either or both people being unfairly hurt. LL has always stated that it is no problem bringing problems like this to the attention of others, you just can't do it in thier forum or blog.

Sorry for the thread derailment. Now we return you to your regularly scheduled program.
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I (who is a she not a he) reserve the right to exercise selective comprehension of the OP's question at anytime.
From: someone
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Lowen Raymaker
Registered User
Join date: 21 Apr 2007
Posts: 185
04-26-2008 18:46
Well Jesse I feel that people in SL passing themselves off as medical professionals without credentials is potentially a dangerous situation. In fact I think any medical professional who wants to operate within SL should get approval from LL by providing proof of identity and a medical license. People who pretend to be qualified to dispense medical advice whom have no such training or authority to do so should be banned from SL and potentially arrested depending on their actions while roleplaying as doctor.

Typical of an SL resident though Jesse, you care more about some dumb idea of a forum community than you care about the health of real live people.
OneBeautiful Jewell
Registered User
Join date: 4 May 2007
Posts: 35
04-26-2008 21:47
I hope that you are able to connect your Mother to SL, just the fact that you want her here with you, is so rewarding as a Mother.
And, I'm sure it would give her something to look forward to, meeting up with you!

I'm not a therapist, I'm only the Mom of a Son:-)
And I say- go for it!
Jesse Barnett
500,000 scoville units
Join date: 21 May 2006
Posts: 4,160
04-27-2008 00:08
From: Lowen Raymaker
Well Jesse I feel that people in SL passing themselves off as medical professionals without credentials is potentially a dangerous situation. In fact I think any medical professional who wants to operate within SL should get approval from LL by providing proof of identity and a medical license. People who pretend to be qualified to dispense medical advice whom have no such training or authority to do so should be banned from SL and potentially arrested depending on their actions while roleplaying as doctor.

Typical of an SL resident though Jesse, you care more about some dumb idea of a forum community than you care about the health of real live people.

Well sorry folks but thread is derailed again.

First you do not know me or didn't read my earlier post in this thread. I care a great deal about the health of others and people in general. I spend a great deal of my time also helping others learn. All anyone has to do is click on my name and look at my other posts.

Secondly the reason the rule is here is because we do not know who you are or who Muse is or who anyone is. We do not know who is telling the truth and there is no way to find out the truth. She may have lied or you may have lied. I am not saying that either person is lying and that is the point, we shouldn't have to. In cases like this it doesn't even help if one or both parties bring in other people to vouch for them because we don't know them either. It does not help your case that you are now trying to assasinate the character of another person also. Calm down and relax, hopefully you are trying to help and that is great but this isn't the way to do it.

If you come across a post of someone you feel is misrepresenting themselves and are concerned for another then you just either send a Private Message stating your concerns or contact them in world. This way threads aren't derailed and everyone doesn't have to try to play detective to try to figure out who is really telling the truth.

Kindly remove the post, you made your point and I'll clean up mine and we can all get back to trying to help instead of continuing a side discussion which doesn't help anyone.
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I (who is a she not a he) reserve the right to exercise selective comprehension of the OP's question at anytime.
From: someone
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Rebecca Proudhon
(TM)
Join date: 3 May 2006
Posts: 1,686
04-27-2008 00:24
In the meantime..... If the OP's mom trys out SL and likes it then great, if not then that answers the question. It should be apparent pretty quick if she thinks it is fun and empowering or dull and difficult.
Aeslyn Dae
over and out
Join date: 12 Jul 2007
Posts: 453
04-27-2008 05:40
From the original question it appears this lady is seriously clinically depressed to the point of suicidal feelings, and I'd think it ought to be her RL professional clinicians who give advice about what might help her condition.

While SL can be a liberating experience for people who have social problems or are otherwise just a bit down in the dumps, I feel the negative aspects of SL, such as liars, griefers or emotional blackmailer 'friends' that we all know will home in on the vulnerable here, could have effects that might be very detrimental to anyone with more serious mental illness issues.

I agree with Lowen that unqualified 'therapists' or so called life coaches could do much more harm than good for anyone in a delicate mental state. I'm sure there are RL psychologists or qualified medics inworld but any genuine psychiatric/ psychological help or therapy will be backed with the proper qualifications and membership of recognised professional organisations. I hope these will be checked out in RL.

As for passing private IM logs on without permission that is unforgiveable for anyone, let alone any sort of 'therapist'. If it's true it's an AR situation IMO.

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Aes
Halstrom Beck
Registered User
Join date: 12 Sep 2007
Posts: 7
A much later update
09-24-2009 20:39
Thanks all for your advice, Mum improved a lot wihout SL, it was just one of those big down stages of her cycle I guess.

Later I installed SL on her computer, showed Mum and Dad my avatar, business, some cool places and stuff I had built etc a couple of times, and got a pretty much "that's nice", but no interest response. Overall she's improved over the last 2 years, with positive stuff like new Grandkids helping a lot more than any thing else :)
Smith Peel
Smif v2.0
Join date: 10 Jan 2005
Posts: 1,597
09-24-2009 20:54
From: Halstrom Beck
Thanks all for your advice, Mum improved a lot wihout SL, it was just one of those big down stages of her cycle I guess.

Later I installed SL on her computer, showed Mum and Dad my avatar, business, some cool places and stuff I had built etc a couple of times, and got a pretty much "that's nice", but no interest response. Overall she's improved over the last 2 years, with positive stuff like new Grandkids helping a lot more than any thing else :)


Glad to hear that! Besides a therapist (with RL qualifications), I was gonna suggest a pet (seriously).
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Osprey Therian
I want capslocklock
Join date: 6 Jul 2004
Posts: 5,049
09-24-2009 21:40
From: Halstrom Beck
Thanks all for your advice, Mum improved a lot wihout SL, it was just one of those big down stages of her cycle I guess.

Later I installed SL on her computer, showed Mum and Dad my avatar, business, some cool places and stuff I had built etc a couple of times, and got a pretty much "that's nice", but no interest response. Overall she's improved over the last 2 years, with positive stuff like new Grandkids helping a lot more than any thing else :)


Thank you for posting this, Halstrom.
Darkness Anubis
Registered User
Join date: 14 Jun 2004
Posts: 1,628
09-24-2009 22:21
Most folks do not know this of me. I am on the backside of a very long and severe depression. I have suffered social anxiety disorder all my life on top of that.

At various points in the last few years SL has been both a help and a hinderance.

Because I am part of a pretty insulated family group (RL family in SL with me) that knows and understands my problems I have a pretty "safe" situation. That makes a huge difference. If I am having one of my panic attack if a stranger talks to me days I can take refuge with family and know they will run a blocker for me. If I am feeling brave I know I don't have to go all out and explore solo. When the depression gets so bad I fixate on SL to the exclusion of RL they kick my tail back to RL and help me pull out of it.

It has only really been in the last year or so I got a handle on things to the point where I don't take every criticism of my inworld work to be a very personal criticism of me. That could be a bit of a stumbling block for a very depressed person.

The only solid advice I can give is seriously talk to a professional before you bring your mom here. There are great things about SL. But there alot of things that can be overwhelming too. If you do bring her here be prepared to smooth the way for her as she needs it.
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Kaimi Kyomoon
Kah-EE-mee
Join date: 30 Nov 2006
Posts: 5,664
09-24-2009 22:59
From: Halstrom Beck
Thanks all for your advice, Mum improved a lot wihout SL, it was just one of those big down stages of her cycle I guess.

Later I installed SL on her computer, showed Mum and Dad my avatar, business, some cool places and stuff I had built etc a couple of times, and got a pretty much "that's nice", but no interest response. Overall she's improved over the last 2 years, with positive stuff like new Grandkids helping a lot more than any thing else :)
Thanks for the update, Halstrom. It's good to hear that things are getting better.


Best wishes, Darkness, for your improving quality of life.
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Pserendipity Daniels
Assume sarcasm as default
Join date: 21 Dec 2006
Posts: 8,839
09-25-2009 01:20
Just don't let her on these Forums!

Pep (Maybe Benski could comment from experience.)
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Millie Rowlands
Registered User
Join date: 5 Feb 2009
Posts: 4
09-25-2009 02:13
Just joking around, but I've been quite often questioning the mental health of most SL residents.
Including myself.
Rasecel Masatada
Don't Ask
Join date: 31 Mar 2008
Posts: 108
09-25-2009 05:39
From: Millie Rowlands
Just joking around, but I've been quite often questioning the mental health of most SL residents.
Including myself.


Yeah some days I feel like passing around my Zoloft.
Aeslyn Dae
over and out
Join date: 12 Jul 2007
Posts: 453
09-25-2009 07:26
Halstrom - Good to hear your Mum is finding happier times and new interests. :)

Smith - I believe there've been studies done that indicate caring for a pet is often a real therapeutic help for depression (as you say, in addition to professional help when that's necessary). If a pet is out of the question even starting with something as simple as a few plants in a windowbox, or a piece of garden to care for can also bring a genuine benefit. Sounds too simple to be true to some, but like a lot of simple ideas, it often works.

Darkness - Keep on keeping on, and I wish you all the best too. Some light as well as dark, eh? ;)

I think you are only too right about SL having real pitfalls for folk who are depressed, ill, or vulnerable for whatever other reason. The 'drama' that goes on in SL could really take its toll for anyone that let it get to them, especially when they're not coping too well in RL.

There are fun things and some lovely people in SL - good friends around *if* you can find them, but the not so good side of things can get really unpleasant. IMO there are more than a few creeps who will deliberately seek out the trusting, or anyone they see as an unwary victim, and take some kind of warped delight in screwing with their mind - just because they can.

Maybe I'm being over cynical today but I think it's true.

--
Aes
Melita Magic
On my own terms.
Join date: 5 Jun 2008
Posts: 2,253
09-25-2009 07:31
From: Teeny Leviathan
In all seriousness, maybe this question is best posed to a qualified professional.


This.

But to try to answer your question - pending such time as you have a serious talk about it with her doctor or therapist - do you think she would enjoy Second Life? Which parts of it do you think she would enjoy? Does she like computers? Is she creative?

The learning curve is a bit steep for people who are new. Especially if they are not used to computers or video games. You would have to at least dedicate the first two weeks of her membership to guiding her, showing her around, etc.

If you think it would engage her imagination, then yes. Maybe she could become a realistic small animal or something ilke that, to try to avoid the addictive aspect, or relationship pitfalls. People tend to interact with small animals in a friendly yet not too intrusive way.

Not knowing her, this is the best I can do. If possible a better way might be to visit her more often (again, if possible) or maybe get her involved in something (in first life) that has a future - something bigger than herself. Maybe something to do with charity, also.

ETA - did I get pulled in by a necrothread? Sigh.
Tarina Sewell
Just Browsing Thank you
Join date: 20 Jul 2007
Posts: 2,180
09-25-2009 07:36
From: Halstrom Beck
I have been in SL for 18 months and am well aware of it's addictive properties and been through the cycle, my 60yo mother who is computer literate has beeen suffering depression over the last 20 years, but in the last 2 years, she's become suicidal,never leaving the house, saying she is bored of life and has no reason to stay alive, just wants to die. She's had all the shock therapy and drugs etc the doctors can poke at her. And now she's just deteriating by the day.
My question is should I introduce her to SL to see if she can make herself an interesting life or at least keep in contact with me better, could it make it worse or have I really got nothing to lose, if it gives her a new reason to live?
Anyone had any experience they can share on this subject?
It's probably going to affect my experience here but it's a small price to pay.



My mother who was just released from ICU after being resucitated, is in a nursing home she is not that elderly and in her 60's. She has suffered from depression, is manic depressive and has huge problems with being in crowds. Her will to live has dwindled since my step father passed in 1999.

That saying she is somewhat in the position as your momma. Now, I had thought alot about getting her into second life for the social interactions of others and possibly a support group as well. Unfortunantly she also has arthritis and typing is a problem as well as sometimes she loses her train of thought and I am more afraid of her being taken advantage of as she falls in and out of reality quickly.

I would be concerned about this for your mother as well, there will be people ready to pounce on her and take advantage of her and in her depresssive state might not be able to see it coming at her. It could make the situation worse.

If she is depressed rl, then she wont suddenly be ok in SL and her state will be projected... Of course you also got to think how frustrating it will be for her to be able to even navigate SL, you said she had no experience with PC's.... thus adding to her depression...

Although I can see some aspects of SL maybe helping her I believe she might be hurt easly and you seriously need to consider this.

I really wish there was a magic button for depression that you could just push and it makes it all better... my thoughts are with you and your mommy as having delt with a depressed mom all my life I can totally sympathize.
Joshooah Lovenkraft
Just Joshin'
Join date: 28 Dec 2007
Posts: 1,376
09-25-2009 07:46
You may want to consider speaking with Avalon Birke who is an accredited RL therapist and runs Wellness Island here in SL. She will also provide rl verification of her credentials and might be able to help you determine whether SL is a good fit for your Mom. For those with issues that are outside the scope of what she can professionally and ethically provide in a virtual community, she may also be able to refer you to real life resources to help you.
http://www.slwellness.com/counseling.html
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Melita Magic
On my own terms.
Join date: 5 Jun 2008
Posts: 2,253
09-25-2009 07:49
From: Halstrom Beck
Overall she's improved over the last 2 years, with positive stuff like new Grandkids helping a lot more than any thing else :)


Great to hear.
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