THE Addab community
support forums for the pursuit of mental wellness
Who can participate?
Anyone over the age of 18 can be a member of Art de Erica Community. Anyone under the age of 18 may participate with assistance and supervision through a Guardian’s account.
Our community’s common thread is the pursuit of mental wellness.
You do not have to have a mental health diagnosis to improve your mental wellness. However, many of our members will likely have one or more mental health or substance abuse diagnoses. Our members also include those with loved ones with mental health and substance abuse diagnoses and/or professionals that work in the mental health field. Members may also include those who simply want to learn more about mental health and wellness in a comfortable and supportive environment.
While the name of this community narrows in on depression, anxiety, and bipolar, we are open to all mental health challenges, including mood disorders, personality disorders, eating disorders, addiction disorders, and trauma disorders.
What is the purpose?
The Art de Erica community exists to provide a collaborative and supportive space for community members to ask questions, seek advice, share their personal experiences, and find educational and support resources.
This community is built around believing we are better together, knowing the journey to mental wellness is ever-evolving and ongoing, as well as easier to overcome challenges with support and empowerment through education.
Be Brave & Engage!
We approach our discussions and posts with kindness, support, and always assume the best intentions of others.
Welcome new members, share your tips, and show them different ways they can engage with the AdDAB Community.
If you are a new member, we can’t wait to meet you! Please introduce yourself; our community is waiting for you!
We encourage AdDAB members to give and receive support. This can be found in sharing their stories, experiences, and advice from their times of distress and wellness.
When giving advice, please be mindful to stay within your level of expertise.
Sharing your experiences or what has helped you cope with a similar struggle someone else may be facing is welcome, but we need to remain mindful that each person and family is so unique in their personal circumstances that what works for one may not work for another.
You may offer suggestions as just that, a suggestion. Your personal experience should be one of many possible suggestions someone may consider.
Community members with professional credentials (doctors, therapists, social workers, etc.) who want to be identified as such can earn a special mental health professional badge (upon validation) so members can easily identify when advice or ideas are coming from a licensed mental health professional.
If you do engage through our community avenues with a licensed professional through AdDAB, your relationship with them is NOT a patient/doctor, patient/therapist, etc. relationship. They are here to interact, engage, and in some cases, volunteer to moderate and assist in keeping discussions productive.
Topics to Avoid
No medication details. Do not reference specific prescription medication by names and/or dosages. Do not seek medication advice. You may discuss medication generally (“I started a new medication last week and have really been struggling with sleepiness”), but no members should discuss what medications they take (past or present), side effects, experiences, and so forth while naming the medication. What works for one person can have a completely different outcome for someone else. We do not want to discourage or scare anyone away from their potential treatment course. The only people qualified to have those discussions are psychiatrists (or other physicians with experience in the mental health arena).
No diagnosing or treatment advice. Again, the only people qualified to diagnose an individual are licensed professionals / physicians. Treatment includes a wide spectrum of options that need to be individualized to the person’s unique needs. We encourage people to share their experiences and what has worked well for you, but do not try to “prescribe” what forms of treatment others should pursue. Our default should always be to redirect others to pursue a professional for diagnosis and treatment options. Avoid advice or content that could be damaging, unhelpful, or distressing to others.
No self-harming, suicidal, traumatic, or abusive situations in graphic, explicit, or technical details. Suicidal thoughts and self-harming behavior are a common struggle for many of us with many mental health disorders. Many with mental illnesses also have experienced forms of personal trauma and/or abuse. These are very important topics to have conversations about and to receive support for, as well as support others in need. That said, harmful thoughts feed harmful thoughts. For that reason, we need to keep in mind that conversations about these hard topics can cause more harm than help. These conversations can be generalized (“I attempted suicide three years ago” or “I have been self-harming since I was 13” or “I was sexually abused most of my childhood”). What we want to avoid is going into great detail, explaining the methods or recreating the specific story or scenario in explicit detail, etc.
Sex, politics, and religion. This commonly results in tension, right? There is a reason for that. This hot-button topic is another situation in which we allow you to generally speak about these topics, but try to avoid singling someone out for a difference of opinion. Here are useful ways to do so: “As someone who didn’t have a great support system, I found that finding a church congregation really helped me feel connected.” or “What’s been happening politically and in the news right now has really been making my anxiety sky high!” It makes the point without alienating someone else in the discussion.
Inherently negative posts. It is so easy to get down, to feel sorry for ourselves, to feel helpless, to be overwhelmed, frustrated, or even angry about our situations. Posts within the community should be constructive, informative, and supportive. Of course, we want you to share how you are feeling and provide a platform where you can receive support from others. That said, some people struggle with being stuck in a negative mindset and are unable to receive words of encouragement, helpful suggestions, and have a lack of willingness to take steps toward improving their mental wellness and/or situations. Remember that our harmful thoughts feed harmful thoughts, so we need to protect the culture of our community of support, openness, and the pursuit of improving their mental wellness.
Hard but Healthy Conversations
It is important to discuss hard topics. For many of us, those hard topics are why we are here. We embrace conversations about mental illness, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, LGBTQIA, socioeconomic status, and so forth as it crosses into our mental wellness journeys.
To have tough conversations, we must maintain a mindset of respect and consideration for one another. Acknowledge that our experiences and backgrounds are widely varied. We are in different stages and roles as it pertains to mental wellness, and we need to listen without judgment. Appreciate that others can have an opinion different from yours, and both of you can have valid points about the same topic while holding differing views and beliefs.
To make sure you are being a supportive AdDAB member when engaging with the community, ask yourself these questions before you hit the post button:
Will this discussion help provide support, resources, education or assist others in gaining more perspective on the topic being discussed?
If you were new to our community, would it be easy for this post or response to be felt as attacking, disrespectful, intolerant or discriminatory to others?
Does my post or response target a specific person in a critical, unfair or negative way?
Try your best to see things from the point of view of the AdDAB members you are having conversations with. Use your good judgment, and always be kind and empathetic.
Respectfully disagree when opinions do not align. In discussions where there is significant disagreement, members are encouraged to stop commenting before creating the impression that they are attacking, harassing, and/or bullying other members.
If you do see this happening, please report it through the Moderation Request Form on the AdDAB website.
Communicate with Kindness and Respect
Treat others online as you would in person, face-to-face. We are not here to tear one another down, only to offer support and lift each other up.
Assume best intent. This includes holding one another in high regard, treating each other with respect and being tolerant toward personal experiences, viewpoints, or opinions that may differ from your own.
No bullying, harassing, discriminating against, or degrading members. This can include mocking, expressing criticisms against others, or hate speech. There should be no discouraging, intimidating, or undermining the thoughts or opinions of others. Repeated, unwanted contact is a form of harassment. Members who violate these rules will be removed from the community.
Return What You Learn
The Partial Hospitalization Program I attended had a “rule” to share the skills, education and activities we learned with others. Not only does this reinforce the skills or knowledge for yourself, but it creates a sense of purpose while increasing communication and understanding with others around you.
We encourage our members to share their learned skills, experiences, education and activities that support good mental health and well-being. Do not hesitate in sharing knowledge within your experience and level of expertise. It's likely someone will find it useful or interesting.
When you provide information, please share your sources.
Share the skills and knowledge you learn with your family, friends and those close to you. Others can provide more support and understanding if you are starting on the same page. (Plus, many times, these skills and insights are ones they can use too!)
Please remember that anyone can join our community. For that reason, do not post personal information that you would not be comfortable with strangers knowing about you.
We recommend creating usernames that do not personally identify you, such as your first and last name.
Do not post any information that may identify you or anyone else, such as your mailing address, email address, social media profiles, or phone number.
AdDAB will maintain a social media presence, including a private Facebook group for members. Anyone is invited to participate, follow, share, and/or join these interaction avenues. We encourage those with diagnosed or suspected mental health diagnoses to refrain from friending or privately messaging one another, and to instead maintain communication through community avenues such as the private FB group or the website forums. The reason for this is that each person is at a different stage in their mental wellness journey, and can strongly impact one another’s path (sometimes positive, but many times negatively) when a one-to-many relationship transitions to a one-to-one relationship.
For example, let’s say two people suffering from depression befriend one another, and one seems to be doing really well a couple of months later. Good things are happening such as an increase in pay, being hired by a new client, new travel plans, getting married, or even having a baby. It can be easy for the second person to become discouraged or wonder why they aren’t in a similar place as their friend, which will only feed the cycle of depression further.
This same rule can apply with addiction relapses, suicidal ideation, or even just feeling pressure or a sense of responsibility as individual support for someone else when you have your own needs to focus on. By maintaining support through a large and collaborative community, you ensure that we each can focus on our individual path while still receiving the friendship, support, and education we may be seeking.
Protecting and Respecting the Privacy of Others
Our community is built on mutual respect.
Under no circumstances should any member share conversations, screenshots, photos or details that would potentially identify another person in a public forum without the group member’s explicit permission.
All AdDAB members must respect others’ privacy and boundaries. Allow others to share their personal information (experiences, ideas, problems, etc.) at the rate they are comfortable engaging. We are all different in how comfortable we are in sharing personal information. Reminder: For your safety, do not share your full name, address, e-mail, social media profiles, phone number, etc.
No Unsolicited Selling or Promotion
We do not allow self or affiliate promotions and sales. This includes, but is not limited to:
Personal website or blog links
Social media profile links
Sales funnels/lead magnets
Requests for money/fundraising
Affiliate/referral program links
Direct “contact me for services” messages
This protects all members of the community from potential scams.
There is a difference between blatant self-promotion and sharing resources, education, or creative works, photos, videos, etc. that are pertinent to the conversation where you do not personally benefit in some way.
Our moderators will intervene when these Community Rules have been broken.
We reserve the right to remove posts or deactivate accounts at our discretion.
There are some instances where a user’s account may be deactivated indefinitely. Generally, we will follow a progressive feedback model before moving offending users to “read-only” (no commenting) status. We do not want to remove a support source for those in need, specifically if it can be corrected with feedback or hinders their progress because of the loss of community rights.
The removal model is:
First offense: 1 day “read-only” status
Second offense: 1 week “read-only” status
Third offense: 1 month “read-only” status
Fourth offense: Permanent “read-only” status
We count on our community to help us maintain our friendly and supportive environment. We may not read or see a post right away, so we encourage members to report a Moderation Request via the website for more immediate attention.
If a post raises a serious concern about your personal safety or the safety of others, we may try to contact you or pass your contact details on to authorities who can help protect your safety or the safety of others (mental health crisis services, police, etc.).
An example would be a suicidal or homicidal post that shows planned intent, or actively abusive situations.
Again, welcome to the AdDAB Community! Come say hello!