Finding Support in Online Spaces
Having a family member who is a high conflict person (usually with narcissistic or borderline personality disorder or traits) can make you feel all alone, with no one to talk to who really understands. You may be experiencing anxiety, depression, confusion, and most of all, isolation. And real life support groups are nearly impossible to find.
Fellow members of online spaces offer validation, and members will give you tips and techniques that have worked for others. Online spaces are sacred places where members are wonderfully supportive and can carry you through both good and bad times.
What Is An Online Space?
An online space could be in the form of a message board, a blog, a listserv, a website, a Facebook group, or even a reader comments section. The common denominator is that ithey all allow for interactive discussions with other people who are in similar situations and have similar concerns.
Message boards are the places to start because they offer large, established, well-organized communities that can serve thousands of members. One of the best run ones is BPDFamily, which started as a message board on this site.
Some spaces are heavily moderated (a message board) some semi-moderated (a reader comment section in which messages are viewed before posted) and some are not moderated at all.
How Do I Choose an Online Space?
The resources listed here are ones in which:
* The information either written down or given by moderators or bloggers is accurate. Personality disorders are controversial, and even the top researchers and experts don't agree on basic issues such as what a personality disorder is and how to treat it. These resources tend to offer a variety of views and allow you to form an educated option.
* In Kreger' opinion, the resource does not demean or make negative overgeneralize about large groups of people. They do not pit one population of people against another. They do not look at relationships as a zero sum game in which one person "wins" and the other one "loses."
* The spaces are as drama-free as possible, given that the Internet is full of trolls and people have strong feelings and opinions about personality disorders, high conflict people, and relationships. The lonnger a resources has been in existence, the more likely it is that they have procudures to deal with conflict.
The world of personality disorders on the Internet is an enormous one, and there are many resources other than those listed here.
Message boards are the large whales of online apaces and may have may thousands of members. There is generally a website attached, but the board is the primary feature. Joining is easy and your posts are completely anonymous.
The community is buzzing 24 hours a day and people there are working to improve their lives. The service is anonymous and free. There are sections dedicated to romantic partners, parents of BPD children, and children of BPD parents and siblings. The site works on smart phone, tablet, desktop, and even a borrowed computer.
While you go to a message board, information from a listserv comes to you via email. If you plan to participate in the discussions (there are lurkers aplenty) you will want to join from a web-based email that does not identify you.
This listserv is only for professionals with a license to practice therapy. Here, clinicians and other health care professionals can to discuss the challenges they have with personality disorders and counseling, as well as other subjects. You need to apply and be admitted.
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Conversations with William A. Eddy
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