Depression Sanctuary Rules and Guidelines

Depression Sanctuary is a community of mutual respect. You will see this reflected throughout all of our rules. We have tried to set a standard that will keep everyone feeling safe and comfortable.

General Rules:

  • Respect each other, hosts and volunteers.
  • Strong language and vulgarity are prohibited. Use a similar standard of language to what you might hear on major network TV, on the radio, or in any other public forum. Crude sex words are strictly prohibited. Using asterisks or other symbols in place of letters does not make a word okay to use. Please use common sense and courtesy. If you wouldn't say it in polite company you shouldn't say it here.
  • No personal insults to others.
  • No flaming others. If you don't like what someone has to say, the chat room gives you the option to ignore their posts. If you aren't sure how to do this, ask a host.
  • Members must request permission prior to starting a person-to-person chat.
  • Members have the right to refuse to give out any and all personal details.
  • Members have the right to refuse any request for person-to-person chat from another member. They may not, however, refuse a person-to-person chat from a host.
  • Request permission from hosts before beginning a private chat with them. Please respect the fact that hosts are responsible for multiple duties at the same time and do not request a PC with them unless it can't be handled in any other way. Also, please be understanding if they must decline to PC with you right away. It is very stressful for them to have to be in multiple PC's and monitor the room at the same time.

Suicide:

  • Our chat is a support group only. We are not trained or equipped to be a suicide hotline. Please contact a suicide hotline, your personal physician, a hospital emergency room or your local 911 or other emergency contact number for professional assistance.
  • If a member is overwrought and we cannot talk to them, they may be booted out to protect the rest of the group.
  • If you give your personal information to a host or other member and later threaten suicide we reserve the right to contact appropriate authorities; however, no guarantee is made that someone will contact emergency personnel for you. As stated before, we are not equipped to handle crisis situations.

Substance Abuse:

  • Discussion of alcohol or drug use is prohibited. Members who make it known that they are using alcohol or drugs--either through their behavior or a statement to that effect--may be asked to leave until they are sober. Discussion about recovery from alcohol or drug abuse is, however, permitted. If you feel that you are unable to remain sober while participating in chat, a host can make a recommendation for an alcohol or substance abuse recovery chat which may be more appropriate for your needs.

Usernames:

  • Always use the same account to log into the site. The nature of this group requires that people be able to trust who they are speaking with. Please select one username and stick with it.
  • Members cannot select names that are offensive in nature. Names that you may be asked to change are those that refer to: death, suicide, self-harm, harm to others, sex, bodily functions, put downs to others, drug or alcohol abuse, hatred or prejudice.
  • Please note that it is strongly suggested that members do not select names which are derogatory to themselves since our negative thoughts can influence our mood. This is only a suggestion, however. We realize that your chosen nick communicates how you are feeling at the moment. Our goal is for you someday to request a nick change that better reflects your true worth as a person.

Topics:

  • Triggering topics are allowed. Triggering topics include by are not limited to: suicide, self-injury, rape, sexual abuse, drug or alcohol abuse, and domestic violence. Discussions which involve "how to's," graphic details or encourage others to hurt themselves are not allowed. Suicide threats are not allowed (e.g. I am planning to OD tonight), but you may discuss your feelings about suicide. If a topic is a "trigger" for you, it is your responsibility to learn coping strategies to use when this topic comes up. Some suggested strategies are: put those people discussing it on ignore until the topic changes, take a buddy into PC with you for support or temporarily remove yourself from the room.
  • Joking and having fun are permitted provided that it is not interfering with the ability of other members to seek and give support. If even one person is in need, members will be asked to get serious until that person has been assisted. Remember, our primary purpose is to offer each other support.
  • Cybersex and picking up "dates" is not allowed on this site.
  • Sex is off-topic unless it is within the context of your depression or medication side-effects.
  • You may be asked to change topics if the topic is controversial and is creating a great deal of arguing in the room. Religion is one example of such a topic.
  • Jokes which are off-color, racist, homophobic or otherwise offensive are not permitted.
  • No spamming the chat room, Q & A or other areas of the site with advertisements of any type.
  • Please keep in mind that that all chatters are able to see the recent room history when they log in. This means that everything you say may potentially be seen by all other members. If you want to have a truly private conversation with another member then you will want to make sure you are in private chat even if they room is empty at that moment.

Etiquette:

  • All caps is considered to be shouting. Please don't use it.
  • Don't monopolize the screen by posting excessively-long song lyrics, long stories or jokes, or other off-topic messages.
  • Don't make the same post in multiple places on the site.
  • Depression Sanctuary is an English-language site. We request that all members use English in the chat rooms. If English is not your first language, you are welcome to speak to others in your native language provided that these conversations are held in private chat. If English is your first language, but you wish to practice what you have learned of another language they are several chat rooms available around the Internet where you can practice. We suggest that you practice in those and come to Depression Sanctuary solely for seeking depression support. The use of languages other than English in the chat is distracting to others and does not allow for your full participation in the group.

Q & A:

  • At times we may make small edits to your questions on the Q & A portion of the site.  We will not edit the substance of your question, but may make small changes to spelling, grammar, word selection or sentence structure in order to improve readability.
  • Your question may be edited or deleted if it violates any of our guidelines.
  • The questions you post are not private.  Make certain that you do not list any of your personal information such as name, address or phone number.
  • Your questions may be reposted elsewhere on the site or promoted through social media if we feel they would be helpful to other members.

 

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