Banned from Depression Forums

Yes, it’s true. I was banned yesterday from a depression forum. Despite deciding to write about it, I am not after revenge or anything like that, and for that reason I am not going to mention any names or the depression forum in question, but I want to share what happened as I feel I was treated really badly… perhaps others might disagree.

The background to this particular story started when my doctor switched me from Lofepramine onto Sertraline. As is usual with any new drug that is prescribed to me,  I searched the internet for information about Sertraline. I read all the usual blurb, and noticed that it was recommended to avoid alcohol. I enjoy my wine so that is a big deal for me, so I did a search for ‘sertraline and alcohol’, so I could gauge how much of a big deal it really was or whether this was just a general precautionary thing… a rule that could tolerate a little bending so to speak…

I came across this particular forum which had many, many replies to a thread which asked the same question I wanted to know: is it ok to drink, even a little, while on Sertraline? There were three pages of replies to this thread, and it seemed that every single reply held one horror story or another about terribly dramatic, horrible experiences when drinking on Sertraline. My heart sank, but hidden in amongst these were one or two other replies which were trying to dispel a lot of the inaccuracies that were being stated in most of these posts. It all seemed a bit odd and terribly over-dramatic, so I moved on and continued reading about it elsewhere on the net.

Ultimately I decided I would continue to drink in moderation, as I had with both Fluoxetine and Lofepramine (without incident). I remained very alert to any potential unwanted side effects, but I decided I would be my own judge on this. Three weeks later and everything is fine. Alcohol is having no strange effect and the Sertraline is working wonders. I thought back to all the comments I had read on this depression forum and decided I would go back and add my own experience into the mix just to bring some balance to the thread and offer useful information about my own personal experience on the subject, to people like myself who were looking for honest reality about the subject…

Here’s my post:

Hi,
I have just finished my first month on Sertraline. I switched from Lofepramine and before that Fluoxetine. I always read up on each drug before taking it, which is how I found this forum. I have signed up to this forum so I can post for the benefit of those who are similar to me with their drinking habits and to share my experience on this subject.

I’m male, 42 years old, I live by myself and I drink alcohol pretty much every evening and I love it. I do not drink to get drunk. I have between 1 and 3 glasses of wine (usually red), occasionally I swap that for 2 or 3 cans of lager. Every night. I am a constant, regular drinker but do not usually drink large quantities.

When I was prescribed Fluoxetine, I asked if I could drink alcohol and my doctor said ‘yes in moderation’. So I continued to drink and had no bad/unusual effects from the alcohol. I moved from Fluoxetine because of other side effects which were effecting me.
When my doctor prescribed me Lofepramine, there had been no discussion about alcohol. When I picked up the prescription it said on the label ‘not to be taken with alcohol’ (or something similar). I checked it out on the internet and despite all the startling warnings from seemingly everyone, I decided to continue drinking and judge for myself. Again, there were no noticeable bad or unusual effects from the alcohol.

When I moved from Lofepramine onto Sertraline, I again looked it up on the internet as the label said ‘not to be taken with alcohol), and after reading this thread on this forum, became very concerned about all the horror stories and warnings, but again decided to continue drinking as usual and judge for myself – I remained however, very conscious of the warnings.

I’ve now been on Sertraline for a month and once again, there have been no bad or unusual effects. I don’t get ‘more drunk than usual’, I don’t have ‘terrible hangovers’, I don’t become aggressive or angry and more importantly, it is not diminishing the effect of the drug which seems to be working fantastically well.

I am left wondering about all these terrible stories and experiences. Let’s not forget that regardless of what medication you are taking, if you drink too much, you will get a hangover! I do not want to belittle or bring in to question anyone else’s experience here, but I did feel the need to add a little balance to this thread for the benefit of other people like myself whose evening tipple is terribly important!

I wrote it with honesty and openess. It was was the kind of post I was looking for when I was searching for information about it. I felt quite good about myself for taking the time to share my experience.

Then I got an email…

RescueMyLife,
I just unapproved your topic <removed to protect identity>sertraline mixed with alcoholwhich goes completely against all our Terms Of Service.

[quote]DF will not discuss posts dealing with illegal drugs and/or alcohol abuse while you are on medications or not. Clearly alcohol is a depressant. Self medicating with illegal drugs or alcohol will not be discussed on these boards. Your posts will be deleted and you will get a formal warning.
We do have a Substance Abuse Forum for members who are able to discuss their abuse with alcohol, drugs, co-dependency and who are in recovery.

We are here to help one another in recovery. Alcohol is a depressant. Anybody that drinks while taking an antidepressant is taking irresponsible chances with their physical and mental health!

There are specific warnings not to combine alcohol and antidepressants.

1. Both are processed by your liver and you risk liver damage.
2. Drinking affects how much of the meds are absorbed into your body.
3. Meds affect how the alcohol is absorbed and can result in being extremely drunk, huge hangovers, and/or alcohol poisoning and chances of seizures.
4. Alcohol is a depressant – you are making your mental health worse by drinking.
Do you *really* need to drink? What is more important, having a couple drinks, or getting your mental health in order?
Is it realistic to ask people not to drink? In our minds, yes. Pregnant women stop for 9 months because they know it isn’t safe to drink – for your mental health, surely you can not drink for the time you are on antidepressants. It’s a matter of setting your priorities straight.

If you personally choose to drink and mess up your mind, go for it, but don’t come whining back here when you drop into a pit of depression. There are enough people here that tried and learned the hard way. But don’t go around telling other members that it’s alright to drink while on meds when it is not.

We do not want to know how ‘well’ and ‘good’ you felt self medicating. (Whether it is from alcohol or illegal drugs)
Your posts will be edited and you may be warned by Administrators, as we will have no part in such discussions on these forums.
It is not in your best interest and posting such can trigger other members. There is no substitute for getting the help that you need through therapy and legal medications.
We suggest doing a search on alcohol (here on DF) and see what you come up with, as we have implemented these forums rules for a very long time. (2002)
Your Antidepressants And Alcohol, Don’t Feel free to PM the Admin/Mod Team if you have any questions. -Forum Admin[/quote]
Take good care of you
<name of admin removed>

Now, I must admit, that when I first read this, I did not notice that she was ‘quoting’ the forum rulebook, so thought these were her personal words to me… I was furious. Unfortunately, when I read the email that was generated by the website to let me know I’d had a message sent to me, I could not see that the main body of comments were actually quoted. So my reply was perhaps a little harsh… however, the fact remained that I was upset and angry to have received such an unpleasant email when I was just trying to help by sharing my experience. True to form, ‘outraged from London’ immediately started typing a reply… and here it is:

Wow. Your message has left me nearly speechless. How incredibly self-righteous and rude you are.

If you refuse to hear a rational point of view from a sane, intelligent fellow MH sufferer about their personal experience on a subject or question posted in your forum, then you shouldn’t let the subject run AT ALL. How dare you say my opinion is any less valid than anyone elses. Other people’s abuse or problem with alcohol which I may remind you is a LEGAL substance, is neither my fault nor responsibility – I don’t see why my personal experience should not be shared with those looking for truth, just because it might upset somebody. How ridiculous.

I now understand why the thread I posted in is so utterly and completely misleading to unfortunate people like myself who are looking for honest experience about an important subject. Your total demonization of alcohol helps nobody. It might surprise you to hear that the vast majority of people drink alcohol responsibly – not to get smashed out of their faces.

Your ‘opinion’ about alcohol is just that – your opinion. Personally, I believe in honesty and freedom of speech. What happened to that?

Your ‘specific warnings’ about alcohol and anti-depressants are based on no proven medical study – I have read extremely widely on the subject – have you?? it does not appear so.

Your statement “you are making your mental health worse by drinking” is rubbish. I am very much on the road to recovery and still enjoy drinking alcohol responsibly.

“Is it realistic to ask people not to drink? In our minds, yes.” – Well I respect your opinion and wholeheartedly disagree. What a shame you can’t show me the same courtesy and respect my opinion.

“It’s a matter of setting your priorities straight.” Well once again, thank you for your opinion, but I do have my priorities straight. Making myself miserable by abstaining from something that gives me enormous pleasure I would argue is completely counter-productive and would actually be damaging to my mental health. That’s MY opinion.

“If you personally choose to drink and mess up your mind, go for it, but don’t come whining back here when you drop into a pit of depression.” – My god I don’t even know where to start with this perfectly despicable statement. Firstly, I DO choose to drink and it is NOT messing up my mind. Secondly, your implication that people in the pits of depression come onto your forum to ‘whine’ about it, is nothing short of outrageous. Is that all us depressed people do in your opinion? Whine about it? Next you’ll be telling me to ‘snap out of it’. Unbelievable.

My personal experience is no less valid than anyone elses on this forum – just because you don’t happen to agree is your problem. It certainly doesn’t give you the right to censor and then insult me.

I write a blog which is all about my fight with depression. It is honest, open and about my personal experience and views. It has helped countless other people suffering depression who are less able to express themselves verbally or in writing. I don’t pretend to be perfect and I know that not everyone will agree with everything that I say. I certainly don’t take the attitude that I am right and all other opinions are wrong. So, when people leave a comment about one of my posts disagreeing or questioning any element or something I’ve said, I don’t slap them down and tell them they’re wrong or bad for their opinion. I welcome and thank them for their opinion and their honesty.

We all have problems and struggles with mental health here, and we all fight them the best we can and in our own way – with or without help. I do not consider myself to be ‘self-medicating’ with alcohol, as I don’t drink it to ‘make myself feel better’ or to ‘forget’ or any other such reason and I think that is an incredibly important distinction to make. I drink it because I appreciate it and enjoy it. I thought that was perfectly clear in my post.

If this forum will not allow open discusssion about such important issues, then I want no part it. Such narrow-minded and blinkered attitudes and opinions help nobody.

Thank you for your rude, patronizing and deeply unpleasant message. I will never post here again. I will take my very relevant post which you have discarded as trash and post it on my blog instead – along with your message, and open up a proper discussion. Unlike you, I will not be censoring anybody’s comments just because I happen to disagree. I will welcome them.

You take care of you– and perhaps think about your attitude towards other peoples opinions and personal experiences before trampling on them with such self-righteous bigotry.

What an incredibly unpleasant afternoon you’ve given to me, when all I was trying to do was help.

I hope nobody does the same to you.

RescueMyLife

Quite a rant huh? I believe I had a point… perhaps I pushed it a little further than was strictly necessary…. but actually, I am still angry at their attitude. I hate reading back emails/messages that I have written in the heat of the moment when I feel an injustice has been done towards me – I do have a tendency to go a little ‘over the top’…. At least I didn’t resort to swearing and kept the tone down to a simmering fury rather than a ranting rage… there’s progress for you.

So fair enough – I had my say and that was that…. except I couldn’t quite resist…

…. the ‘welcome to new members’ section of the forum. Before I knew what was happening I had written and posted the following…

Warm Welcome?

I am a MH sufferer who is recovering well with the help of antidepressants and I am new today to this forum.
My first post on these forums was removed and I received a very unpleasant message from the admin team for my trouble.
My post was about my personal experience about a particular question that another user was specifically asking about.
I found the thread because I was looking for answers to the same question about a month ago. I noticed the responses all seemed to be very one-sided. My personal experience didn’t tally with anything I had read here so I decided to post my experience on the subject.
My post was honest, helpful and truthful.
My post was deleted because it contravened this forums rules (it was regarding alcohol and anti-depressants)
Censorship.

I feel unwelcome and demonized here.

Thanks <name of depression forum> – now you can delete this post too.

RescueMyLife

…sigh… Yes I know I know – I shouldn’t have done it, but I was so annoyed and upset and they were making out how lovely and supportive they were to all us newcomers, whereas actually they had just knocked me to the ground and kicked me in the face. Again I must point out that I wasn’t rude… and nor did I swear.

Anyway they banished me from the site for all time. I am persona non grata, the devil, an outcast, unwelcome, a troublemaker and a drunk, trying to poison the minds of poor, defenseless MH sufferers.

I would be very interested to hear other people’s opinions about this – I promise I won’t sent you a horrible email if I don’t like what I hear… I may well argue my point if I disagree though… to my mind, it’s ultimately about truth or censorship. I will always go for truth.

Thanks for reading.

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About RescueMyLife

I am a single man, 45 years old living in London and working in the media. My life is complex and I have decided to try and make some sense of it. I am writing this blog anonymously as I believe that only by remaining anonymous can I be honest and speak freely about my thoughts and feelings. I have no idea where this blog will take me...
This entry was posted in Self Discovery. Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Banned from Depression Forums

  1. Ethiaa says:

    Those ‘terms of service’ are really very patronising in my opinion. It’s very sad you had that kind of experience and that such an inflexible approach was taken by whoever moderated that forum.

    By the way, you left the name of the forum in question on your quoted post at the end.

    • RescueMyLife says:

      Thanks for your comment Ethiaa and thanks especially for telling me I’d left the name of the forum in the last quote!! I have removed it now.
      You see – I could have just summed up the whole thing with your opening line and saved myself all the aggravation!
      All the best
      RML

  2. Pandora says:

    I think I know the forums to which you’re referring. My experience of them was that most people meant well, but they didn’t seem to be able to manage to express that in anything other than patronising ways.

    Also, I remember posting about a real-life issue – in my case it was about work, but it was similar to your alcohol query in that it was about practical living with mental illness – and, whilst none of the responses or messages were offensive, they were completely lacking in insight and advice.

    It seems to me that that was exactly what you were trying to offer, and they rewarded you with a bitchy, condescending email. I applaud you for not taking it lying down. Have you received any response from them?

    Take care

    Pan

    PS. For what it’s worth, I still drink twice a week or so and am taking an anti-psychotic, anti-depressant and a mood stabiliser. There was one occasion just after the anti-psychotic was increased that I was horrendously pissed and passed out, but aside from that one incident, I’ve had no ill effects at all (and I’ve been taking some form of psychiatric medication for nearly 15 years!). I’m not saying that is a universal experience, but I think it’s reasonable enough to tell people that alcohol doesn’t necessarily screw up the effects of medication. So, again, I can’t see anything wrong with the post you made.

    • RescueMyLife says:

      Hi Pandora, good to hear from you. You’ve pretty much hit the nail on the head. I had a message from another admin when they took down my post in the ‘newcomer welcome’ section and she was perfectly pleasant about it. However, I also got a snooty message from the original admin telling me (with tangible satisfaction) that I had been banned for ‘flaming’ the admin in my post in the welcome newcomers section. She didn’t respond to any point in my message to her, but finished up with something like ‘tell your pdoc about your use of alcohol and see what he has to say’. It wasn’t said with love. Once I had read that message I was promptly banned and could no longer log in to the forum or speak to anyone about it.
      Thanks for the words of support… I was starting to wonder whether I was missing some really big point!
      RML

  3. anne says:

    Hello, I am very guilty of writing whilst in the midst of a red haze (usually to my employer who seems to be lining up to start legal action so that’s a bit unfortunate). On the other hand I also tend to put finger to keyboard too hastily when I sometimes feel activated in a positive way. My problem is that in my ensuing verbosity so much of the message I am trying to convey is lost. Your original post was clearly stated, balanced and would have been genuinely helpful to someone seeking the answer to a concern similar to yours. It is appaling that this was removed. As with all these forums, the reader is perfectly at liberty to take on board the point being made or move on to the next post.

    My current medication is venlafaxine and I had the misfortune to land on a forum about the drug that scared the living daylights out of me. In reality, I have found the drug to suit me well. In so many cases it is only ever the negatives that seem to be reported. I had thought (possibly naively) that it was only those with a grievance that felt moved to post but maybe I have totally underestimated the power of the moderator.

    Perhaps I might have counselled against the post in the welcome page but as you say it was not offensive.

    I have become totally bored by the comments from various MH workers to the effect that I am a strong woman, I can get through this, I have such good insight. Reporting this is in no way meant to be boastful – I remain as disgusted at my weakness and lack of confidence as I have for some time. I cannot believe I will ever function again at my former levels and I shall remain as the down trodden ineffective waste of space that I presently feel. But just maybe there is something in what they say – not all forum moderators will have your eloquence or insight. Don’t let it stop you making your contributions. As you say, your thoughts and commentary have helped a lot of others. Please continue. As the big man said “this above all, to thine own self be true”.

    Go well.
    Anne

    • RescueMyLife says:

      Hi Anne,
      I have got a lot better about not hitting ‘send’ straight away to emails written in anger. I still write them, but walk away from them for a couple of hours or overnight. Sure enough when I go back to them I always end up heavily editing and toning down. Ultimately I have learned that an angry email never achieves anything… I still enjoy writing them though even if I don’t send them!
      This particular experience has changed my view of mental health forums and the advice available on the internet. As you say – it’s mainly people with a grievance who post… and now the knowledge that unpopular opinions are simply removed.
      I can at least in this instance hold my head high knowing that I behaved politely… even as I described my outrage. I’m learning!
      I hope you can stop being so down on yourself and approach your life with a little more acceptance. You might feel like a waste of space but you have as much right to life as anyone else.
      If you feel like a waste of space, then I think you are probably spending too much time comparing yourself to others… I’m very guilty of that myself, but I fight it every day… I think I’m winning at the moment.
      Take care of yourself
      RML

  4. Palusko says:

    Your first mistake was to seek an answer to a major medical question on the Internet. Of course, everything is on the Internet…including a lot of crap.
    Secondly, you fell into the “trap” of thinking, that forums are somehow different than real life communities. You were new, and came with a completely opposite experience than veteran members of that forum. You had no chance. The admin maybe did you a favor. I would bet anything that if your post wasn’t removed, your post – and you as a person – would be torn to pieces by the majority. I’m not saying that’s the way it should be. Not at all! But unfortunately, that’s how it usually is.
    And thirdly, you yourself did not really want an answer, you wanted an answer that would suit your needs. If you indeed wanted an honest answer, and if you believed you could find it on the Internet, you would have to admit, that alcohol is a big no no – because that’s what 95% of all the information you found seemed to suggest. Yet, you decided to stick to your habits, and test this “collective wisdom”. Your experience maybe proved them wrong, but that does not change the fact, that you probably never determined to actually quit drinking – you wanted a way around it.
    And as for sharing your experience – that would indeed be welcome by many. But you’d have to first get around the second point I mentioned above. Forums are a lot like politics – truth and experience sometimes is not enough. You need a recognition and often also an ally who will help to spread it around.
    All and all, you are your own master, you did what you wanted to do. The fact that it did not sit well with others – oh well…

    • RescueMyLife says:

      Hi Palusko,
      Sorry this is such a late response to your comment. You are of course absolutely right on nearly every point. The only thing I slightly disagree with, is seeking information on a major medical question. I am fully aware that there is a lot of flawed and unqualified ‘information’ on the internet, but if you view everything you read as such – especially on forums – then it’s ok. I never take any single thing I read as gospel, which is why I extensively search everywhere – forums, professional institutions, personal blogs, studies etc. At the end of this kind of research, you are left with a ‘general impression’ of the actual truth… bearing in mind a lot of these things effect different people in different ways so there is never a ‘correct answer’.
      You are absolutely correct in pointing out that what I was actually looking for was the 5% of opinion that said that drinking while on Sertraline was ok, and that I didn’t want to hear the 95% of people who said it was bad. In my defense I was trying to see through the mass of information provided by people who demonize alcohol period. I’m not interested in their opinions as they are not helpful to anyone. I drink, so yes I was more interested in finding other drinkers perspectives on the subject as their opinions were more pertinent to me.
      Your view of these kinds of forums is spot on – they can be very political places and I did come charging in like a bull in a china shop with a rather controversial opinion. Oops.
      Thank you for your comment and for pointing out a couple of very pertinent truths!
      RML

  5. Cara says:

    I drink whilst taking sertraline :s and ive been fine, haha you just was honest, but tbh you need a forum where you can just be yourself kinda thing, life is hard enough as it is lol

    • RescueMyLife says:

      Hi Cara,
      Well that’s 2 of us who had no problem drinking on Sertraline…!
      If only I had spoken to you first then perhaps I wouldn’t have needed to open my big flapping mouth & subsequently been cast out like the devil himself!
      RML

      • Cara says:

        lol.you never know what to expect from the internet. lots of keyboard warriors around haha, hope your doing okay!

  6. WM says:

    I’m a mods manager of a large forum, and IMO, that particular forum has an emotionally charged TOS, and the mod also made a big mistake by not making it clear that the content sent to you was a TOS quote. These two factors together put them at risk for conflicts with upset members, and they should address those, especially given the size of that forum — it is HUGE!

    However, in general, once a member crosses the line and puts complaints about admin on a forum instead of working it through with management, they’ve become a liability to the stability of the community and (if it is a well-moderated forum) they will typically be banned asap.

    If you ever find yourself in this kind of situation again, work through it with the forum mods BY ASKING LOTS MORE QUESTIONS and by keeping the issue completely off the forum. That will get you much better results, and you will help the forum management to learn from their mistakes, too. Because if you just give up and blast them and they ban you, they might never realize that the whole problem started when their TOS was not **QUOTED** when used, or that its wording is a little too emotional/personal to begin with, which increases the risk that it will result in unhappy members.

    • RescueMyLife says:

      Hi WM, you are of course absolutely right, and in hindsight, my reaction, although polite, was absolutely wrong. I don’t get involved or participate in many forums and even when I do it is sporadic at best. I am therefore not attuned to the finer nuances of correct behaviour in such places. It never occurred to me that my honesty about a personal experience could cause actual offense!
      I am a stickler for courtesy and manners though and if someone is rude to me, I will tell them so. I think in this particular instance my asking lots more questions would have proved a total waste of time. My opinion/personal experience was not welcome and that was that. The mods behaviour was rude and inappropriate and I reacted as I would to any rude person…. and I was banned. They didn’t like what I had to say and I didn’t like what they had to say… we were never going to be going out on a date!
      I have no interest in any forum that actively demonizes any and all consumption of alcohol – these are the kinds of people who believe homosexuality can be cured. I fear for the minds they might be poisoning with their bigoted views. I certainly saw no point in engaging with them further… even had I been able to!
      Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this – it’s good to hear a forum mods opinion.
      RML

  7. Sybs says:

    Whether the moderators of the forum liked it or not, let’s face it, most people want to know if they can continue to have a drink while on meds. I, like you, love a glass of wine or 3 most evenings and am on Sertraline so was relieved to find that alcohol seems to have no detrimental effect with the drug, but as you say, if I were to drink loads then I would feel pretty awful regardless of whether I was on meds or not. I do, however, know what it feels like to drink with a drug that does not mix with alcohol – it was a certain type of antibiotic. I had a few sips of a weak gin and tonic and felt awful.

    • RescueMyLife says:

      I totally agree – I just wanted to know the truth of the situation, I didn’t want to be lectured to about my drinking habits or the evils of alcohol!
      Interestingly, now I’m off the meds completely, I find I am generally drinking slightly less…
      RML

      • Cara says:

        nice one! im drinking less too since my husbard to be left me, altho the setraline stopped working im on effoxer. I have alot of respect people who come off anti d’s .

  8. Cat says:

    Hi
    I don’t think there was anything wrong in what you posted – it was done eloquently and reasonably. I, too, would be most put out to have such a patronising email sent to me. Yes, maybe it flouts their TOS, but where do you draw the line? The question was about alcohol and meds – if we were to go by their opinion the whole discussion thread should not have been on the forum if they say it was triggering. Yes, some things are triggering to some, but if people are to speak honestly and without prejudice then there has to be some acceptance that some people will be triggered by something, but who knows what that would be. The email you were sent was terrible in my opinion – patronising and imposing ONE view on the world as you are experiencing it. What next – if I said I smoked tobacco, would I get banned?
    You had a genuine question and experience. You weren’t saying “hey everyone, it’s OK to get drunk and have your meds”. Surely the point of forums is to discuss our experiences?

  9. Susan says:

    Wow. I need to know what site was this? I have been having the same experience with SurvivingAntidepressants.org ! It’s unbelievable to me, and gets me so angry and upset that instead of allowing free speech and sharing of ideas, my posts are constantly scrutinized and discredited by a very condescending bitchy self-righteous administrator with a holier-than-thou attitude! Someone actually posted a complaint against them on the Ripoff report website. You should add your story on there as well. I finally couldn’t take it, and gave this admistrator a piece of my mind. I’m sure that she’ll ban me by the end of the day today.

  10. Susan says:

    Also, to really know if alcohol is affecting your depression or combining it with antidepressants, you just have to do an experiment and not drink for a month or two, and see if there are any changes. I also love to have an occasional glass of wine with dinner, and have never seen any difference in my depression whether I drink or not.

  11. CkYorkshire says:

    Phew…..thank The Lord I found this……

    If I can have my usual few red wines, which is habitual and therefore something I am used to and thoroughly enjoy whilst taking Sertaline then I am delighted. Why should I have to totally regulate my lifestyle just to incorporate something which is going to enhance my mood ? To be honest I think I would be more depressed thinking my love of fine wine was over! The Bank Holiday is upon us and my friend is over from Dublin, really, she’d end up taking my Sertaline with me if out to eat and me on the San Peligrino…… 😀

    • Cat says:

      Firstly, I must thank you. Yes, thank you for bringing a smile to my currently miserable and troubled face. You really were the Devil incarnate! For an Administrator to suggest anyone comes to their Forum, “whining” is appalling. Indeed, in their ridiculous little minds, you were the trouble-making-drunk, who could only threaten the minds of the poor depressives. There was no reasoning with them, and approaching the atrocious behaviour with questions, could never be productive

      I have recently had to resign from my Administration role on a Depression Forum, because of similar narrow-minded and dangerous ideas of founding Admin. As a result, there were a number of us who left to create our own Forum
      http://thedepressionforum.freeforums.net/
      just to provide us with a safe and supportive environment to share our experiences, without fear of our posts being removed. Of course, we have TOS, but only about a handful of rules. As long as it is legal, appropriate, and not abusive, pretty much any opinion is welcome

      Removing posts only devalues the author and should only ever be done in extreme circumstances, and with the agreement of other Admin. I think the person that initially wrote to you, was a bit strong with her personal misinformed views.

      I have little experience of Forum’s. However, what I have seen makes me wonder if there should be some sort of regulatory body to keep such dangerous people on a leash.

      As for their TOS; if it states that nobody can have a different LEGAL view to their own….well, what can I say?

      There is very little definite scientific evidence for much and no forum should ever allow a thread to happen, unless they are prepared to hear opposing ideas and experiences. One person’s experience of antidepressants and alcohol can be very different from another’s.

      I thought your post was insightful, educational and impartial. Nowhere did I read you saying you were right. If they truly believe their opinion is correct, then how can they possibly expect to change anyone’s mind with their judgemental dismissiveness?

      In saying all that, I would have to agree with an earlier post from a Forum Mod, WM. Airing your negative views about a forum, another member, or admin, does threaten the harmony and stability of any Forum. But, I appreciate you recognise this yourself and my motor mouth and thumping fingers (on keyboard!) would probably have stormed in a similar fashion.

      You’re a good writer. I’ve enjoyed reading some of your threads. We are very alike in so many ways; it has been like reading about parts of me! I wish you all the best….

  12. maria says:

    Sorry you had to go through that! What a load of bollocks to be fair. Keyboard warriors at their best pffft.

  13. Crunchasaurus says:

    Wow…just wow. I’m just thankful you were in such a place mentally that you felt able to stand up for yourself and others rather than letting the patronising admin drag you down. God knows if I’d been on the receiving end of that at certain points in my depression saga it would certainly have had a devastating effect on my mood!

    However, I’m in a much better place now and am considering coming off of sertraline (hence how I found your wonderful blog) and thought I’d throw in my 10 pence with regards to my own experience drinking whilst on sertraline (currently 100mg/day).

    I’m fairly young (22) and probably what most would describe as a binge drinker – not drinking regularly but when I do, drinking more than is recommended. I’d found that I’d be absolutely fine up until a certain point, at which I would ‘hulk out’ and become very aggressive and occasionally violent (it might also be worth noting I’m female, so it’s not really any ‘laddishness’ coming into play) . However I quickly learnt my new limits, and if I stick to them, all is well. I’ve not really noticed any differences with what I’d call minor drinking – a couple of glasses of vino or a pint or 2 at the pub. Of course I’m comparing all of this to my pre-depression, pre-medication days.

    I’m not saying that everyone is fine to go out and get slaughtered whilst on meds, this is just my own experience and I appreciate that it may be different to that of others. I will also add that if one is already in a bad mood or feeling down, alcohol is probably not the most sensible option as it will more than likely exacerbate your negative feelings (also found this out the hard way)

    Stay well and be strong guys and gals x

  14. Delinquent Angel says:

    Geez, folks get enough of the “New Paternalism” from government entities without
    getting spanked and sent to bed with no Kahlua & milk and cookies.from Administrators
    of a so-called support entity operating from a cult mind (AA).

    What about the ‘trigger’ they delivered in admonishing you with the effect of
    taking away your very human and most valuable personal experience.

    The Temperance Movement just changed their name, it seems, yet are still
    skilled in serving up a heaping dose of shame with a twist of bitters.

    I think it’s a filthy rumour that it’s the 21st Century when 19th Century attitudes
    are in the driving seat.

    Horse-apples I say!

    Good for you on advocating for your humanity and not the ‘Biblical’ perfick expectations
    of people who are too scared to bow to the reality, in case it drives a red-hot poker
    up their bottoms.

  15. jennifer says:

    Hi,
    I am all with you on this one, some people are on AD long term and drinking alcohol (which is legal) is some times part of peoples way of living (like mine). I too love a couple glasses of wine several nights a week and also have found it suitable to my body to do so, while on sertraline. The majority of these admin people on these forums are probably like many doctors who have not personally had experience on AD themselves and are not the ones who have to get on with their lives while on them. This topic is one I always google if/when I am trialling a new AD (due to unwanted side effects I am unlucky to get on on a lot of AD’s not related to alcohol may I add) as drinking wine and having a takeaway is how I choose to spend my time unwinding with my husband after a hard day/ week with work, the kids etc and doesn’t mean we have an alcohol problem. Your response and experience would have helped myself and gave me hope as not everybody is the same, as we all take and react differently to medication/ alcohol etc. To have a forum about the subject with only responses with people not finding it suitable, would give me no hope and more negative feelings towards my future on the AD in question (and also dishearten me/make me more depressed if it suited me brilliantly otherwise) not knowing the admin were removing the posts with the responses of good reactions drinking alcohol while on sertraline, they are causing more harm than good. After all like you said what is the point having a forum on the subject with opportunity for everyone to give their experience if they are not letting them give it. I think you have been very calm and preserved because it would be very easy to eff and jeff at the clueless bleep bleep bleeps 🙂 Also their response to you was bang out of order, after all you are taking these AD for a reason in the first place so they have to remember they should be sensitive with everyone who has an experience etc when responding to them. They have obviously got no clue and need to maybe retake their qualification and maybe do some more work experience! In future I would recommend them to leave all posts like yours and if needed for legal reasons add a post to the bottom saying something like; “we are not encouraging people to drink alcohol on the AD in question and need to remind this experience may not be the same for everybody so please take care” that isn”t hard is it! So anonymous drowning man, I hope you are ok and feel better for writing this post as you are not alone, I support you on this, take care, Jen x

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