There has been much activity on this site lately, from a person being described as a ‘troll’.
For me, this issue is all about the practicalities of using this site for its intended purpose - which is to ask for support, and offer support, for AF issues. It becomes challenging to do this when just one person creates daily posts that only serve the poster’s egoistic demands for attention, and also to encourage negative emotional reactions, which he enjoys and feeds off.
This person has said that he suffers with a mental illness and is sorry for any trouble he has caused. Having worked professionally with patients with mental health issues, and also having a family member with bipolar disorder, I can say from experience that mental health issues seem to be a natural part of the human condition; we all have mental health issues of some kind.
However, these imbalanced mental states exist independently from personality traits (such as immaturity and egoistic behaviour). If a person acts selfishly, it is because they chose to do so, not because they are ‘at the mercy’ of their mental health issues. We all have egoistic drives - but they have to be put to one side when we take part in a supportive community such as this one.
Yes, this person could use some help. But not on this site, which is intended solely for AF issues. We are all helpful people on here; we wish this person well, and genuinely hope he finds timely support - but in the appropriate place.
So how can we continue to maintain the wonderful support we give each other on this site for our AF issues? How can we ensure that the genuine new members, are given the support they are asking for without us wondering if we are being deceived?
Perhaps when a new member posts, we could take a little time to look into the ‘energy’ of the post. Does the person seem to be genuinely seeking support? Or are they hoping to incite people to share personal dramas? Trolls are rewarded by a high response rate, negative emotional experiences and psychological trauma, and also by causing dissention among members. And if they are ‘outed’ and we respond with anger, they enjoy this too.
Let our positive ethos remain the underpinning vibe that makes this site so wonderful! May we continue to support each other with honesty and integrity :o)