Community Connections is not a substitute for professional assistance. This forum offers peer-to-peer support only. We encourage members to work with a professional treatment team that specializes in treating eating disorders. If you need help finding a team, you may email firstname.lastname@example.org
*If you are in crisis please dial 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.*
The MEDA Recovery Community’s
Community Connection Guidelines
Index: General Community Rules | Posting Rules | Moderator Responses
General Community Rules
- You must be 13 years of age or older to utilize this online support community. At this time all forums and posting privileges are limited to registered members who are individuals working on recovery or who are in recovery from an eating disorder.
- Each person is allowed only one active user account. If you wish to have a name change, please contact email@example.com who can do this for you. Opening more than one account, especially for the purpose of deceiving other members, may result in being banned. Only one person may use each account. Do not allow others to read the board or post using your account.
- Do not abuse threads on the Board. Using the system for mass solicitation or to bully, spam, or threaten another member is strictly prohibited.
- Treat board moderators respectfully. Moderators are individuals with lived experience who are donating their time and experience to assist others seeking recovery from eating disorders. They are passionate and dedicated to supporting those using this community and are working hard to keep it a safe place. Direct or indirect mistreatment of moderators is not permitted.
- Be responsible for your own safety. Personal information such as address, phone number, and full name should not be shared via this message board. We strongly discourage you from sharing any personal information via this online community. The Multi-Service Eating Disorders Association, Inc. assumes no liability if you choose to divulge this information. It is not acceptable to pressure another member into giving out personal information, including mailing addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, and other social media or online instant messenger screennames/handles. Under no circumstances may a member share the personal information of another member.
- All decisions regarding editing/locking/deleting threads, member accounts, and the suspension/banning of members will be made by the moderators.
- Use of this board is limited to participation in peer support. You may not access, read, copy, or otherwise reproduce, transmit, or communicate any portion of Community Connection for other purposes. Adults over the age of 18 are in control of their information. This includes reporting sexual, physical, or emotional abuse that other members have experienced or are experiencing. However, in situations where a person under age 18, elder or disabled person is disclosing ongoing abuse, the board moderators may report the information provided to and collected by the MEDA Recovery Community to protective services. The law requires such reports of abuse in some situations to protect children, elderly and disabled persons. Moderators will consult with the MEDA Team and use their discretion in reporting other situations involving minors. If you think abuse must be reported to authorities, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please see the Terms of Service for more information.
- Leaving the community People need to take breaks, feel fully healed and want to move on or leave for other personal reasons. If you decide to leave the board, you may absolutely let other members know by posting. However, posts blaming other members or moderators for your decision to leave will be deleted and your account may be banned. Community Connection stresses that individuals are ultimately accountable to and responsible for themselves.
- Research requests MUST be approved. We recognize that research can play an important role in understanding how best to serve those struggling with eating disorders. We permit research requests only after they have been approved by MEDA. Members may not be approached by PM or email. Please do not post about a research study or opportunity in any board forum without express permission of the MEDA Team. You may contact us at email@example.com
- Keep it safe and recovery oriented. Do not post numbers, weights, specific behaviors, the words “obese” or “overweight” or use the term fat in a pejorative or negative light. You are welcome to talk about what you are struggling with in general terms. For example, it is okay to say:
- “I’m struggling with restricting”
- “I’m having trouble reigning in exercise”
- “I’m struggling with compensatory behaviors”
- “I’m struggling with purging”
- Note the generality of those statements. Please do NOT share the specifics of those behaviors. What exactly you ate, how many times you engaged in a behavior, how many times you ate, how much exercise you engaged in, how much your body has changed is not permitted nor is it helpful for anyone here to have that information.
- Do not denigrate body types. We are a HAES informed, HAES aligned community that celebrates size diversity and works to end size/weight discrimination. We strongly believe and advocate for the end of oppression and actively seek to ensure that everyone has equitable access to competent appropriate healthcare. We understand that you might be afraid of body changes and it is okay to post that and it is absolutely okay to post about discrimination/oppression you may suffer in society and seek support around that. However, posts that speak negatively about body types will be deleted by the moderators. Repeated offenses will jeopardize your membership.
- Do not engage in food bashing. All foods fit. There are no good or bad foods and people do not become good or bad by eating them. That is a myth promulgated by diet and wellness culture. We understand that food fears are part of an eating disorder and it’s okay to state that you are afraid of foods and that you are working on overcoming that fear and would like support in doing so. But, foods do not have moral value. Posts suggesting otherwise will be edited or deleted by the moderators.
- While we do have word filters built in and Moderators to assist with keeping Community Connections as safe as possible, it is possible that something might be missed. If you see content that concerns you, please PM a moderator or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mark triggering posts with a *T* or *CW* and use spoilers. Topics that may be triggering to other members and may need a warning include posts that contain your story, religion or suicidal feelings; and so on. However, we all need to keep in mind that much of what you see on this board could be triggering depending upon where you are in your recovery process and healing. For example, someone highly activated could be triggered by a word or phrase that most people might agree is innocuous. If you are in that space, be gentle and if you find yourself feeling triggered, step away and use some of the instant relief skills, Recovery Tools, Meditations or courses to deescalate yourself. Remember, the world is full of triggers and while it’s important for us to be mindful of how we present information, we are not going to be able to avoid all triggers for everyone. Please keep yourself safe and be accountable to yourself.
- Be respectful and be kind to each other. We are all going through something in life, and we all have different paths to healing. What works for one person might not work for another. It’s possible that while here you might read something that you disagree with or that angers you. Please remember that everyone who posts here is a person with feelings deserving of the utmost respect. If you find yourself reacting to a post with anger or feeling triggered, please take a moment to center yourself before replying. Try the instant relief skills or some Recovery Tools before replying. Remember, not everyone recovers in the same way and everyone has their own unique journey through. It might look very different from yours and that is okay.
- Please share your pronouns. We are a gender inclusive community and it is helpful to share our pronouns with each other. Please also respect each other’s pronouns. If you misgender someone, a simple “I’m sorry” will do just fine, and then please be mindful with that person as you move forward.
- Please post new threads in the correct forum. Moderators may move posts to the proper forum. Those with Recovery level Memberships will be posting their content in the main General Recovery Forum and as such, there will be a variety of topic in that forum.
Do not post:
- Discriminatory posts. Posts that are a direct or general insult to any particular person, gender, gender identity, sexuality, religion, race, body size or nationality will be edited, locked or deleted.
- Note about Religion: We encourage religious diversity as well as people who embrace no faith. You may discuss how your religious belief has assisted you in healing. You may not bash other religions, or actively try to convert people to your religion, or condemn as other member’s lifestyles or choices that may conflict with your religious beliefs. When you state your beliefs ensure that you clarify that it is something that works for you and respect that others may have a different belief system. Please do not offer to pray for somebody unless that person has specifically requested prayers.
- Harassing posts or threats of any kind. Community Connections is a safe, respectful and compassionate community here to support those on their quest for healing from eating disorders. Bullying of any kind in this forum will not be tolerated.
- Posts accusing the board or members of the board of not doing enough. Community Connections stresses respectful communication and most of all personal accountability and responsibility. Each person is responsible for their own healing. If a post states or implies that this community or members of this community have not done enough, the post will be deleted.
- Political posts. Political conversations are not allowed in this community. We are first and foremost a forum dedicated to healing from eating disorders. Of course, current events impact all of us and sometimes profoundly so. But we all have different political views and opinions, and politics is one subject that often escalates quickly, becoming heated and triggering. The safety of EVERYONE who uses this community is paramount and as such it needs to be kept a neutral zone. If you wish to discuss political issues, there are many other online spaces that support those conversations.
- Suicidal or Suicidal Ideation posts: If you are contemplating suicide, please call 911, The Samaritans Helpline 877-870-4673, The National Suicide Prevention LifeLine 800-273-8255, or contact Samaritans Online Chat, International Helplines or go to your nearest Emergency Department at your local hospital.
- We understand that life can be exceptionally challenging, and no one expects you to be in a good mood all the time. In fact, we strongly encourage you to post about how you’re feeling. It can be a very healthy and important part of processing and expressing youre emotions. That does not, however, include suicide notes or posts that could be interpreted as such. While we want to help you through your difficult times, the feeling of helplessness that comes with reading someone’s suicide note online is devastating and harmful. Please seek help from someone who can help to keep you safe. In situations where a member expresses clear and imminent suicidal ideation, the moderators of this board may report the information provided to and collected by MEDA Recovery Community/MEDA Inc to local the authorities.
- Negative posts about this or online communities. If you have concerns with the operation of Community Connections or any part of the MEDA Recovery Community please reach out via email to email@example.com You are welcome to discuss issues from other forums that you might like support around, please do not use their names, URLs, or other identifying information.
- Negative posts bashing treatment centers or treatment providers. You are welcome to share your experiences and we understand that not everyone can label their treatment experiences as good. However, when you talk about the difficult experiences you may have had in treatment, please do not share the name of the program or provider. Threads that do so will be edited by the Moderators.
- Problems with other members. Do not post about issues that you might have with another member. Such issues should be dealt with in two ways: (1) Contact a moderator describing the situation and ask for assistance; (2) Resolve the issue via email or Personal Messenger directly with the other person. This includes posting about concerns with another member of the board, even if that person is not identified in your post. These types of concerns should be dealt with privately and directly. Interpersonal effectiveness is an important part of recovery.
- Threads for another person threads. As a general rule, please make sure to post only for yourself and not on behalf of another person. While we appreciate that these threads are well-meaning, there are several problems with posting even well-meaning posts for others:
- A. It’s a boundary issue- Members may not want anything posted about them without their explicit consent
- B. Other members may feel left out or hurt if they don’t receive posts for themselves.
- C. New members may also get the impression that this community has exclusive cliques, which feels isolating and unwelcoming. It is very important that ever individual knows that they are welcome and accepted here.
In the event of extenuating circumstances that prevent a member from posting, for example, loss of power or internet access, please seek permission from the moderating team. In these instances, a heads up post to let folx know that the member is okay might be fine. These posts should not be seeking support for the member. Recovery means developing and using your own voice-let’s be sure to support each other in doing just that.
- Discussion about illegal activities. You may not use the board, including the email or PM services, to discuss illegal activities you or anyone else are contemplating or have committed, whether past, present, or future.
- Seeking medical advice. The board and its members are not in a position to respond to medical queries – please always seek advice from a qualified professional about any medical issues you may have. This applies to those seeking traditional or alternative treatment paths.
- Medical advice includes providing detailed information about traditional and alternative therapies, including all medication, treatments and supplements. Please ensure you abide the following guidelines regarding asking for medical advice:
- Asking for a medical opinion is prohibited: Do not seek medical opinions even if a member of the board claims to be a medical professional. They are not *your* medical professional. It is not appropriate to ask members to comment on the seriousness or cause of any symptoms you may have, ask them to suggest a diagnosis, or comment on a potential or actual treatment. Similarly, it is not appropriate for any member to argue for or against a certain medical treatment or to suggest an alternative treatment to that which the member in question is taking.
- Asking for information: If you want to know more about a medical condition we encourage you to talk to a qualified medical professional. It is not okay to ask members to explain a medical diagnosis/ treatment, or to offer those explanations yourself. However, you may post on the board to find other members who have similar diagnoses to you and discuss coping strategies, or how the diagnosis affects you and your healing. Members can only provide you with peer support, and not medical advice.
- Providing information which allows members to infer information about their own personal medical conditions/treatments: It is okay for you to talk about your diagnoses and treatments, it is not permissible to provide information in such a way that allows other members to infer medical information. For example, while you might share what medication you take for a condition, you may not share the specific dosing schedule. That information is not helpful or relevant. Remember we have young members here who are/can be impressionable and we do not want anyone altering their medication based on anything that they read in this community. Everyone needs to seek professional medical advice for their own conditions.
- Please do not post while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Please do not use posts to advertise or recommend professional services or resources These posts will be edited or removed by the moderating team. If someone says they are looking for a treatment center, you are welcome to post about the good experiences you have had, speaking in “I” statements.
- Avoid the following:
- Swearing in post titles. Swearing inside posts is permitted, but please warn others about the ‘adult language.’ E.g. you might say *CW for Adult Language*
- Posting in all caps or in alternating upper and lower case. These can be hard on the eyes in general are not accessible for those with visual impairments.
- Copyrighted material: Always include links to the source when posting copyrighted text. This includes text from other websites, newspapers, or online articles.
- Soliciting direct donations must be approved by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. In general these posts are not allowed and the focus needs to remain on healing. However, we understand that there may be rare instances that might create an exception to this rule.
- Specific descriptions of self injury or eating disorder behaviors will be edited or deleted. Please refer back to posting rule #1.
- Moderators may use discretion in dealing with other posts that are questionable.
- Duplicate Posts: We encourage you to place your content in the most appropriate forum. to encourage other members to be able to read and respond. Content should not be placed in multiple forums. Such duplicate postings is considered spamming and will be removed. The moderating team will decide which post will be deleted.
Images – including screenshots – are limited to the Gallery, Fun and Creativity forums, on status updates and on members blogs. Images posted will be removed by the moderating team if they are overtly triggering or graphic. Please be sensitive to the needs of other members when posting images in your gallery or elsewhere.
Images on status updates need to be accompanied by words and the image needs to reflect those words.
Images shared in blogs need to be related directly to the members healing journey, for example collage work and other art/images which relate to the written post.
Wherever possible, attribute the source of the image so you are not violating copyright. If you are the creator of the image understand that you are posting in a website where others have access.
You may post photographs of other people only with their permission. All posted images must be appropriate for a large audience of members of many ages.
You may post entertainment-related videos or clips, such as music, animals, etc within the Fun forum. As with images, please keep copyright in mind and reference the source in your description on the video. These must be appropriate for all ages and should not be triggering. Please provide a written description of the clip you’ve linked to. Please seek moderator approval for any clip that may be potentially triggering by sending a member of the moderating team the link. Members should be aware that moderators have not reviewed each video and watch them at their own risk, although we will make every reasonable effort to remove inappropriate videos swiftly.
On the rest of the board:
If the video is healing-related and on topic, a link to the video may be shared elsewhere on the board. Please describe in words the video you are sharing a link to.
We have members accessing the board through assistive technology for visual impairment – following the theme of discussion in a thread when using this software can be very difficult when members are sharing YouTube or Vimeo clips and images rather than actually speaking to one another.
Images, Videos or clips that are posted outside of these guidelines will be removed by the moderating team – but please do not hesitate to ask a Board Moderator for help if you are unsure, or cannot get a video to upload here correctly. Moderators can be reached by a message or via the Help Desk.
1) Be welcoming, respectful and courteous to ALL chatters at all times. This includes the Moderators, who like the rest of our all volunteer staff, are folx who have been through or are going through their own recovery, too! There are no exceptions!
2) Ensure that discussions are appropriate for an eating disorder recovery chat room and that healing topics always come first. Discussions which are very graphic, overtly political or religious, or which are inflammatory or controversial in nature, are not appropriate for the chat room. Offensive terms and profanity are not acceptable.
3) Ensure that you are in an appropriate state to act responsibly while in the chat room. It is not permissible to be in the chat room if you are “in crisis” – which we define as being actively suicidal, self-harming or threatening to self-harm, having a flashback, intoxicated by alcohol / drugs or in need of emergency assistance.
4) Help to keep yourself and other chatters safe. Do not give out full names / contact details / email addresses / IM names / etc – and do not talk about members not present (even if their name is not mentioned). Report guideline breeches, in confidence, by emailing email@example.com. Only in an emergency situation (e.g., someone being actively suicidal or a troll entering room) should a Moderator or Administrator be called into the room.
5) Please note that the guidelines for Community Connections also apply to the chat room.
We want the chat room to be a safe and supportive place – and we can only achieve this with the co-operation, effort and vigilance of everyone who uses the chat room. Using the chat room is a privilege that is afforded only to members who are consistently respectful and take the responsibility of adhering to the chat room guidelines seriously. If we feel that a member is not acting respectfully or responsibly when in the chat room or while in communication with the chat mod team, then chatting privileges will be withdrawn.
To insure the safety of this board and its members, there may be consequences to not following board rules. We will typically respond in the following manner:
1) For guidelines around posting in appropriate forums, the moderators will correct the problem. For example, we may edit or delete a post or add a trigger warning. You may or may not be notified of this action.
2) For something that does not affect board safety, you will be PMed and reminded of the rule. If you post something that might be a safety issue, for example, a moderator will remove that portion of your post and PM you to check in.
3) For guidelines that affect overall Community safety, in general you will receive a warning via PM. If the offense is egregious and happens a second time your posting privileges may be temporarily suspended. If there is a third time, your posting privileges may be revoked entirely. In rare instances where a “troll” has somehow made it into the community to cause trouble, that person will be banned immediately without warning. If you have come here only to hurt others, you will be banned and reported. IP addresses are logged and viewable by moderators, so you may be reported to your ISP if we feel it is necessary.
These rules are subject to change; when possible, notice of changes will be made in the General Recovery forum.
***This community is not to be used in place of professional therapeutic services. Community Connections is peer to peer support only..***
Caregivers and Loved Ones
If you are not an individual struggling with an eating disorder, you do not meet the requirements to be reading/posting in Community Connections. A forum for you will be forthcoming soon.
Friends in “Real Life”
The eating disorders community is a small one and it is very possible that there are people here that you know, have been in treatment with or are friends with. It is important, however, for everyone’s protection that we maintain confidentiality and respect anonymity.
- We do not allow members who are or have been in any type of relationship with another member to mention that person by real name or use identifying information in a post here
- Please respect each other’s boundaries. If you have had a misunderstanding or falling out, this community is not the place to resolve it in posts.
- This discussion of relationship conflict can also include any members who make friends on Pandy’s and then “break-up” and have conflict later. Protect yourself and your anonymity carefully.
Membership in Community Connections as well as the Recovery Community is at will and may be terminated for failing to abide by any of the guidelines or the Terms of Service.
Members may not engaging in advertising of any sort, including advertisement of goods, services, blogs, fundraisers, publications, or video without specific approval from MEDA Inc. The focus of Community Connections should be on an individual healing and the path towards individual healing.
The MEDA Recovery Community is committed to providing free or low-cost services to all those struggling with eating disorders, regardless of race, gender, color, cultural heritage, national origin, religion, age, sexual orientation, marital status, physical or mental disability, political affiliation, or source of income.
Your use of the MEDA Recovery Community and online support community constitutes acceptance of the Terms of Service.
To reach the administrators of this board, email firstname.lastname@example.org
© Multi-Service Eating Disorders Association, Inc 2021 (all rights reserved). Do NOT copy any part of this post for use on your own forum without express permission from us. To use our text without permission is a violation of the law.