Message Board Guidelines

To help you gain the most from, below are some general guidelines for participating in our message boards.

Use Good Personal Judgment

First and foremost, NEVER rely on information or opinions exchanged via the messages to replace necessary, personal consultation(s) with qualified health or medical professionals to meet your individual health or medical needs. is for support, empowerment, education and entertainment. Use good personal judgment when considering the benefits, risks and costs of personal choices that might impact your health, well-being or quality of life.

Also, remember that what's right or has worked for one person may not be what's right for you. Your personal set of circumstances will always influence what's best or right for you. Talk with your physician or personal health professional about the benefits, risks and costs of various options and alternatives in order to make a more informed, confident personal choice.

Don't Be Afraid To Post

If you're new to our community, taking the step for the first time to post publicly to a message board (or to join in a live mutual support group) can sometimes seem intimidating. Don't be afraid to jump in a discussion. We have a very supportive community that serves up heavy doses of support, encouragement and enthusiasm. We love meeting new people and making new friends.

Feel Free to "Lurk" & Listen

While we hope that you'll become an active participant and join in our discussions, you're welcome, of course, to simply hang out silently until you feel more comfortable posting a message or joining in a mutual support group meeting. When perusing message boards or attending live group meetings, it's OK to do so silently.

Get Loose, Get Serious: Be Yourself

There are no community rules about how best to get in touch with yourself or with others (as long as your communications are within the's Policies & Guidelines). If you feel like getting lose: Get lose. If you feel like being serious: Be serious. The key to connecting with others who understand it is OK to just be yourself.

Lend A Helping Hand

A bit of compassion can go a long way toward helping people with life's challenges. We're all different, but we're really all the same. At sometime or another, we all need or want help or simply someone with whom we can share our burdens or successes. If you meet up with someone in need, lend a helping hand and show compassion. Doing so may benefit yourself as well as others.

Reach Out Before You Feel Alone

Before loneliness or feelings of being alone set in, get connected and reach out for others' understanding and support. With, you never have to feel alone. If loneliness has already set in ... reach out and ask for help ... or reach out and help someone else.

Share Your Tears, Fears & Laughter

If you're feeling alone or hurting, don't be afraid to share your fears and tears. If you're rejoicing about the results of a recent medical test or treatment, share that too. If something funny happened to you today that can help lighten others' hearts, we want to hear about it so that we can laugh too. Sharing fears, tears and laughter are considered healthy medicine in

SHOUT & Let It Out, But Don't...

When the pain or frustration gets to be too much, by all means SHOUT and let it out. But don't shout at one another. Shouting online (typing in all capital letters LIKE THIS) is considered by some to be rude and difficult to read.

To others, especially individuals with some types of disabilities, typing in all caps (or in all lower case) is a necessity. (Using the shift key can be a struggle for a lot of folks.) A bit of patience and understanding throughout our community can go a long way toward increasing our individual and collective knowledge and compassion.

Welcome Newcomers

When newcomers arrive, say "hi" and welcome them to our growing community. Help new folks "learn the ropes" about how to find information and resources, save time, and how to get involved.

Agree to Disagree

Decisions about health and well-being are highly personal, individual choices. We invite and encourage a healthy exchange of opinions and disagreement about factors that may impact quality of life. If you disagree with a person's post or opinion during a live mutual support group meeting, by all means, challenge the opinion. "Flaming" and insults, however, will not be tolerated. Agree to disagree.

Don't Attack Each Other

Don't attack individuals. Personal attacks on individuals will not be excused. Challenge others' points of view and opinions, but do so respectfully and thoughtfully ... without insult and personal attack.

Harassing, offensive, vulgar, abusive, hateful or bashing communications -- especially those aimed at sexual orientation, gender, race, color, religious views, national origin, or disABILITY -- will not be permitted. BEFORE you post a message (or say something during a live group meeting) that is intended to embarrass, humiliate or harass another person or group of people, stop and THINK first! Harassing communications are considered to be those that may cause distress, embarrassment, unwanted attention or other discomfort.

Keep Personal Information Personal

Think before you post: Do you really want to put your address or telephone number on the public message board or share it during a live mutual support group meeting? We encourage you to keep personal information personal, and to remind your children to do so, too.

Similarly, do not ask for personal information from others. Message board posts that request persons to submit personal information to another party will be removed. This includes, but is not limited to, communications that ask for personal information submitted via e-mail, mail, telephone, surveys, and research studies.

Keep Your Posts Clean

There may be places where explicit, obscene or vulgar language, graphics or behavior is appropriate: But is not one of them. Message board posts that contain explicit, obscene or vulgar language will be removed. Similarly, message board posts that solicit or offer explicit or X-rated GIFs, JPEGs or other graphic files will be deleted without notice!

Be Courteous: Avoid Duplicate Posts

Do not post the same message more than once on a message board. Duplicate messages can be frustrating for other visitors, especially for those whose time and energy is valuable. Remember that many participants in our community are in pain or have a disABILITY. Weeding through the same message in multiple locations can be not only frustrating, but down right annoying. Duplicate messages will be deleted.

Don't Post Commercial Messages

Don't post commercial messages or solicitations in message boards . If you are compelled to post a commercial message (one that touts your professional services or products ... or those of your friends or company), do so in an another area's appropriate message board. Posts containing commercial or product/service promotional messages -- included but not limited to references to internet sites, URLS, or links to internet or Web sites -- will be removed.

Don't Post Other's Copyrighted Information

Information copyrighted or owned by any individual or entity other than the person posting should not be posted on the message boards or software libraries without the consent of the owner. If such an event occurs, the individual posting the information shall be held solely responsible. shall not be held responsible for posted information that may violate copyright law.

Additionally reserves the right to remove a post which does not relate to the topic being discussed in the folder or on a specific message board. In addition, reserves the right to organize topical boards in order to best serve the majority of consumers. For example, narrow-interest or minimal activity topics may, at's discretion, be relocated to a more appropriate message board, or deleted entirely. also reserves the right to prohibit or delete messages that are thought to violate applicable law or that may be harmful to others. That said, does not have the practical ability to restrict conduct or communications that might violate Guidelines prior to transmission on the Internet, nor can they ensure prompt removal of offending message board posts.