How to look out for others within the IFC

Hello Everyone

Following a lot of discussion around mental health and disabilities- originally brought up by @William_Chin. I thought i’d share my experience and then how you can help and understand these important society issues a little bit better.

Disabilities:

So in my personal life, I am Dyslexic and I also have ADHD. Both of these things make me struggle in school and those of you in my VA know that my spelling is always really bad and I always have to spell check everything 3-4 times before posting. Of course there are a lot of disabilities around and I sadly cannot comment on every single one of them however I will tell you guys a bit about the ones which are most common in society today. I do believe that if the IFC and IF adjust to helping people with disabilities and make them feel part of this community, it would give people a chance to engage more and find happiness on this forum.

Dyslexia:

The formal definition by the mayo clinic is that- Dyslexia is a learning disorder that involves difficulty reading due to problems identifying speech sounds and learning how they relate to letters and words (decoding). Also called reading disability, dyslexia affects areas of the brain that process language.

Ways it may affect people on the community and how you can help them :

  • VA Entry tests are a huge struggle to do. Perhaps if you are a VA Staff Member you can make special arrangements or possibly even change your entry process to make it better and easier for people with Dyslexia to enter your VA. I know I’m put off when I see long written questions- and it’s even more off putting to be told that your answer isn’t good enough.

  • Don’t correct people’s spelling- It’s a huge self esteem blow for a Dyslexic to be called out on their spelling and can affect how they approach the forum in the near future.
    If a long post is made, perhaps make a summary feature at the end. This way Dyslexic people can process this information a lot easier and a lot simpler than reading an entire paragraph.

If you’d like to find out more about Dyslexia there is a few links:

ADHD:
The formal definition is that Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a chronic condition that affects millions of children and often continues into adulthood. ADHD includes a combination of persistent problems, such as difficulty sustaining attention, hyperactivity and impulsive behavior.

Ways it may affect people on the community and how you can help them :

  • There isn’t a lot of things that people can do on a online forum to support someone with ADHD but the one thing that comes to mind is to be respectful and read up about it

If you’d like to read more about ADHD there are some links here:

Mental Health:

I know a lot of you will agree with me that throughout the pandemic, everyone in the community has at some point felt blue. However I find it concerning when I find members on this forum constantly arguing about silly things, remember if you can only do one thing on the forum just be kind and understand what other people are going through.

Anxiety:

With the ever changing situation around the world it is normal to feel anxious at some point within your daily life. But people with anxiety disorders experience frequent and excessive anxiety, fear, terror and panic in regards to everyday situations. These feelings are unhealthy if they affect your quality of life and prevent you from functioning in a normal manner.

How can you support someone who is feeling anxious?

  • If someone is feeling anxious, the worst thing is to say something like, ‘I can’t believe you’re worried over something like that’. The best way to help someone with anxiety is to ask them what you can do to help them. This may be a flight on one of their favourite routes or just a general conversation about football or sport over the IFC direct messages section.

  • Please also know when to seek help and don’t be afraid to seek help!

Here are some links if you would like to learn more about anxiety:

OCD:
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) features a pattern of unwanted thoughts and fears (obsessions) that lead you to do repetitive behaviors (compulsions). These obsessions and compulsions interfere with daily activities and cause significant distress.

Ways it may affect people on the community or in your personal lives and what you can do to help them:

  • Be patient.

  • Remember that their fears are very real to them, even if they seem unrealistic, irrational or extreme to you.

  • Don’t judge. It can be upsetting to hear about some obsessive thoughts, but if you act shocked or judge them, they will be less likely to share their thoughts and feelings with you in future. Make it clear that support them regardless.

  • Find out as much as you can about OCD. This will help you understand what they are going through

If you would like to learn more about OCD here are a few links:

https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/ocd/what-is-obsessive-compulsive-disorder

Depression:

As I mentioned before these uncertain times are giving everyone that moment of feeling down and upset but if the feelings are interfering with your life and don’t go away after a couple of weeks, or if they come back over and over again for a few days at a time, it could be a sign that you’re experiencing depression.

How can you help someone in your personal life or on the forum?

  • Be kind at all times - the best way you can help someone on the forum is to be kind and uplift the person. I can think of many IF related things that may cheer someone up- either exploring new scenery or trying out a new route in an underexplored place in the world. Anything you can do to make them feel better about themselves would benefit them so much!

  • Be patient- if someone is experiencing depression don’t think just because they are getting help means they will overcome depression quickly. Being patient and taking it steady is the right way to go.

  • Ask them what you can do to help- this is honestly the best way to help someone. You have to see what they are prepared for you to do and help them with.

  • Remember- please make someone aware if you are ever concerned about your friend or person who is experiencing depression.

Here are some links so you can learn more about depression:

Takeaways- 5 b’s

  • Be kind- a small amount of kindness each day can massively improve someone’s mood
  • Be respectful- if someone has an opposing view to you there is really no need to start having a go at them for it. This really could build up stress for the person
  • Be welcoming- if someone is new to the community, don’t make them feel like a stranger. Welcome them in straight away, offer to do a flight with them or just simply chat to them.
  • Be understanding- if someone is going through a lot in their lives, offer support and ask them what they want you to do to help them.
  • Be supportive- tiny things such as flying ability and a good landing will boost someone’s mood almost instantly. Tell them their landing was good or say they fly well. This confidence will give them that boost that they need to interact more and potentially engage more within the community.

Thank you for reading and I hope you have taken something from my information guide this evening.

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As someone who suffers from multiple mental illness I’d like to thank you for putting this out there for us! 🥰Remember you’re not alone in this battle

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That last part of yours is so true. There is always support out there! Thank you for your support!

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Yessir! I have that one!

It comes with time a good teaching to become better at alot of things and some of these included!

Thanks for the awsome post very needed as many people have no idea what these are!

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Thank you for saying this. I have a learning disability, and this means a lot. Also, as British Columbia’s Provincial Health Officer puts it, Be kind, Be calm, Be safe.

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This is such an important issue - thanks for sharing it. I suggests mods take a look it really needs to be brought to light. Must take a lot of courage; definitely an eye opener for me… Such an important post!

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Absolutely. It’s such an important issue to raise.

Not a problem. Thank you for your support!

Couldn’t agree more.

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This post honestly is one of the more important ones I’ve seen around online in general for a long time. Talking about mental health is a very vital one, for us to be able to share, and discuss one another’s and also our own issues, difficulties, to be able to connect and understand and receive the therapeutic help we need.

Sometime, for some people, logging into online media platforms (incl. IFC) may drag them down, one or two encounters of comments that to them seem negative may be enough to make them feel sad, unwanted or let down, but at the same, time, being able to talk to someone even here on the forum, knowing how many amazingly helpful, thoughtful and understanding people there are here on IFC, may make someone’s day, it could be the change, and light in someone’s life, that they have been waiting for, to just to be able to talk.

I do remember that a few years ago, @Marc brought up the same discussion regarding mental health, back then he told the story of his own health and, many shared similar stories, and so did I about mine back then, I often think back to that topic, remembering myself how crucial it is to always communicate, and understand and acknowledge the other’s feeling, thoughts, and well-being, before jumping to any conclusions or making any comments, that, to that person at that time may seem to come off as hurtful. And it because of that, I find it wonderful that you took your time to make this topic, as it is very much needed, and is a great reminder for us all that life can be hard at times, everything isn’t walking along a flower field, it can be challenging and dreadful, but if you talk, to anyone really, that you feel comfortable with sharing your story, be that your friends, family, a psychiatrist, one, two, three, 10, 20 people, by talking, by letting go of your feelings, the burden, you will feel free, better, and stronger indeed.


Also, of course, having ADD, ADHD, Anxiety, Depression, or any other condition, doesn’t mean one shall be treated differently, surely some may need extra help, some may need extra time, some may be unlike you and me, but in the end, we are all humans, and we no one alike the other, by showing patience, kindness, and at least trying to understand the other person in question is enough for you to show your respect to a fellow human being, to someone who may not have it as easy as you, because one day maybe you’ll find yourself in a tricky situation, where you’d wish that others show the same respect, patient and understanding.

But I’ll do end of this, another essay by me, by saying; “No matter what you’re going through, no matter condition you may have, remember, no matter how many people are against you in those difficult times, keep your hope and dreams up, because there will always be at least one person standing beside you through everything life can throw at you”, at least on IFC, we are here, for you. And on that note, remember there actually, not only me saying this, but scientifically proven, that ADD, ADHD, OCD and such can be more in your favour than against if you can use your talents correctly 💪

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This sentence alone sums up how important it is to talk about mental health. The first step is to understand. Thank you for the support!

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This is an excellent thread/topic well done @DanG387
It’s a very important issue, and I can only say thank you for making this point today. @Captain_JR sums up what I want to say!

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Thank you so much for your support!

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I just want to add a quick personal note here - as a user and not as a moderator:

Thank you for the time and effort you put into this. You took your time for research and created a really nice list of tips and ideas. I really love the 5 takeaways you wrote at the end of your topic:

  • Be kind
  • Be respectful
  • Be welcoming
  • Be understanding
  • Be supportive

These are important things. Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect - both in real-life, here on the IFC and everywhere else. It’s easy to forget that there is a real person behind every profile picture.

Again, thank you for sharing this topic with us today. 🙌

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Thank you for the information and 5 takeaways. Great reminder to us all!

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Thank you for this excellent post. The community is a better place because you took the time to help.

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Awesome post! Seriously love this topic

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Be kind to one another. You never know what someone’s going through. As someone whose struggled with mental health issues this post is on point.
Treat People With Kindness.
Sometimes being kind to someone can make their day even if you know them or not.

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I needed this one. I’ve been a little rough towards some members in the past. You know who you are, and I’m really sorry if I’ve neglected any other circumstances I may have been missing. Thanks for the great post @DanG387, some of us really needed this reminder. 🙌

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I have Dyslexia it’s very much a pain when your trying to talk with the bank

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That really is so important in a worldwide community like this. Thank you for your support!

The first step is to understand. Thanks for your support!

I hope a lot of people will understand others better. Thanks for your support!

Thank you for your support!

That really is such an important message!

That is the main point of this post to remind and understand! Thank you for your support!

That is exactly why this post was made to help
people understand things like Dyslexia a lot better. Thanks for your support!

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I think this is a really good point you’ve made here. I imagine it’s similar with a pilot handbook, when you’re suddenly faced with this massive long document to sift through.
Having a visual impairment, I’ve had similar instances with this kind of thing. In particular I’m thinking of the user guide, and as you say VA documents/forms.

That sounds so irritating, especially when you say you spell check stuff so many times, only to find out it’s still wrong. Probably quite unmotivating.

I’m definitely going to keep this in mind in the future. It’s something small that we can all do to make it easier for others.

Very good and well-needed post. 👍

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