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agate
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Joined: 17 May 2006
Posts: 5700
Location: Oregon

PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 11:19 am    Post subject: Something to ponder about Reply with quote

I'm preaching to the choir here, but it may be worth mentioning anyway...

Something terrible happened on another MS board I've been on (but not especially active in) for over a year. A long-time member, very much liked and very likable, killed himself about a month ago. The news was posted on the board only yesterday.

So far as I know, nobody on that board had a clue that he was feeling so desperate.

There was one post only a few weeks before he died stating that there are many on the board with terrible problems who keep them private. This was in the context of cheering somebody else up (the next statement advised the original poster "So don't think you're alone").

That could have been a clue. But of course it wasn't. I doubt that anyone would have picked up on that and sent him a message asking if he was one of those with terrible problems who were keeping them private.

Some people's calls for help aren't loud enough, particularly on a message board, where they might feel overshadowed by all of the other people's posts and be reluctant (too nice) to impose their own problems on the others.

I think everyone on an MS message board should keep this in mind whenever we're tempted to overwhelm the board with our concerns or to lash out in anger at somebody.

Nobody here does this kind of thing! But I've seen many others on boards who don't think before they post. They just don't stop to realize that somebody might be reading there who is feeling very desperate but not revealing it.

[Getting off soapbox]
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MS diagnosed 1980.

Avonex 2002-2005. Copaxone 2007-2010.


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cricket52



Joined: 03 Oct 2006
Posts: 344
Location: northern Ontario

PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How unfortunate.

I've seen the same thing happen. It can be very traumatic for forum members. It's up to the family to support each other, even then it's not a guarantee :(.
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Matt



Joined: 21 May 2006
Posts: 961

PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You just explained why some trouble makers really get to me. I am really sorry to hear about this guy. These boards are so big, tuicides are known to happen every now and then.
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ewizabeth



Joined: 29 May 2006
Posts: 549
Location: Near Chicago

PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's very sad. Were people picking on him on that board maybe?
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Ewizabeth
DX 01/28/03 RRMS
Formerly Avonex, Rebif & Copaxone
Tysabri 06/07 through 09/09
On Copaxone again since 12/09 and hoping for oral meds to come out!
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lady_express_44



Joined: 22 May 2006
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Location: Vancouver, Canada

PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How very, very sad. :-(

If it's the forum I'm thinking of, I hope it was no one I knew from a few years ago ...? I can't search over there as it won't let a person if they are not a member.

Cherie
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agate
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Joined: 17 May 2006
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Location: Oregon

PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ewizabeth, I'm sorry I didn't see your question until just now! So far as I know, nobody had been picking on him. He was very well liked and respected and was or had been a lawyer.

He seems to have been in his 50s but I'm not sure of his exact age.

Cherie, I don't think he was on the board you're thinking of. At least I never noticed his user name there, though he might have had some other user name there of course.

The board I knew him from was originally run by Teva for people on Copaxone, but Teva shut it down--and some members cared enough to keep it going without Teva. It's still going on (MS Refugees).

A couple of people on this board are also on that board, and they will know who the person is who ended his life.

I read over most of his posts and found none that weren't helpful. He apparently just decided that the time had come when he didn't see life as worth living any more. He may have been thinking about this for a while, judging from some of his posts on the general issue of the right to suicide.

Matt, I agree completely about troublemakers on boards. Some people fail to grasp how fragile the people out there quietly reading the posts may be--or how sad. Time and again someone has joined BrainTalk who says he/she's been reading the posts there for years but never posted anything before. Many, many people are just reading--and who knows what their state of mind is?

For that matter, nobody can really know the state of mind of someone who posts often.
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lady_express_44



Joined: 22 May 2006
Posts: 1314
Location: Vancouver, Canada

PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That makes me so sad. Thanks for letting me know it wasn't someone from one of the forums I frequented at one time though.

Was he very disabled?

:-(

Cherie
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agate
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So far as I know, he wasn't, but then you never know unless you've met the person and seen him over time.

Some people had met him. Maybe more details about him will be forthcoming.

He may have had some other condition he didn't talk about, like terminal cancer. It would probably have been like him not to mention it because he preferred to be supportive on the board and not upset people.
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ewizabeth



Joined: 29 May 2006
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Location: Near Chicago

PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No matter the reason, it's all very sad when someone decides to end their life prematurely. I can understand why someone would due to terminal illness, especially if a lot of pain was sure to follow, but it sure is hard on the survivors.
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Ewizabeth
DX 01/28/03 RRMS
Formerly Avonex, Rebif & Copaxone
Tysabri 06/07 through 09/09
On Copaxone again since 12/09 and hoping for oral meds to come out!
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Matt



Joined: 21 May 2006
Posts: 961

PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ewizabeth wrote:
No matter the reason, it's all very sad when someone decides to end their life prematurely. I can understand why someone would due to terminal illness, especially if a lot of pain was sure to follow, but it sure is hard on the survivors.


Yes, it really is very hard on the survivors. That's why I would not do it except under the most dire circumstances. Depressed people don't always act depressed. That is part of the problem.
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