Dealing with Mental Illness in Second Life

by Alphaville Herald on 03/10/12 at 3:08 am

by Tenshi Vielle

Snapshot22 001

It's always sad when someone you love takes a turn for the worse. Even more terrible is when they turn for the worse and you don't even know their real name. Or where they live. Or anything whatsoever about them that might be a microdium of truth

The only way to help these poor souls is to seek out the problems early, and urge them to find help.

The top three warning signs:

please log out now and go outside: babyfurs are not real!

1.) Fiction seems to be reality

Many people suffering from mental illness will spend countless hours logged into Second Life. They will participate in almost every activity; they will often tell stories about themselves, of which the facts (when compared with previous stories) just don't match up. They will make up facts and believe them to be true.

serial online Gorean relationships are not entirely normal

2.) Going through Second Life relationships or goals like water.

People with mental illness have trouble focusing on one thing. You will often find they are involved in a very wide variety of things, and what they are involved in can help determine their problems. Possibly, they are involved in sex-related events almost constantly - this would indicate a severe problem with perversion. Possibly they were abused as a child. Maybe this person even believes they are a true Gorean practitioner, or a furry, or involved in the objectification of one sex or the other.

warning sign: possible plurk emotional over-reaction!

3.) Emotional over-reactions.

Mentally ill folks in Second Life often have a problem keeping a handle on their emotions. They can fly off the handle on a whim, at the wrong word put to the wrong meaning, or, quite often, they will simply pick a fight over nothing inflammatory at all. You will often find that they can't "take a joke", and although they are lashing out, they are actually very emotionally sensitive, scarred people who feel backed into a corner.

Urge these people to seek help before they get caught in their own webs of despair. It's mental health week, after all:

95 Responses to “Dealing with Mental Illness in Second Life”

  1. Anonymous

    Oct 18th, 2012

    If you’ve written a wall of text in these comments there’s a good chance that you yourself are mentally ill.

    If you’re offended by Tenshi’s article, you’re probably a hypersensitive piece of shit with a worthless opinion.

    Lol. It’s like watching a room full of people with down syndrome in a slap fight.

  2. Dr.O

    Oct 19th, 2012

    I have to say it’s understandable of why some people are freaked by the list mentioned in this article, I had a friend that cycled through all of this, she even claimed she had a split personality. In fact she called all her characters she role played as personalities.

  3. Paul

    Oct 21st, 2012

    and how about you, anonymous, does the vitriol you spew here help soothe your awful self loathing at all?

  4. hobo kelly

    Oct 22nd, 2012

    mmm, great big greasy walls of text, yum…

  5. Pappy Enoch

    Oct 23rd, 2012

    @hobo kelly, text? How about great big greasy wall o’ meat? I dreamed that so are I mentally ill and got me one o’ them-there Etapuss Complexes?

  6. LOL

    Oct 24th, 2012

    speaking of mentally ill,

    has anyone ever noticed my avatar?

    it is a Menatlly ill boy wearing a wife beater

    how LOL is that!

  7. hobo kelly

    Oct 25th, 2012

    Thats very LOL there LOL. What do you suppose that sick boy is doing in that photo? He may be listening to the neighbors talk about him down the block, oh the things they say, or he may be trying to find the Beeping sound that the wall is making. His cat was making a strange beeping sound earlier and sick boy had to investigate. Now kitty is silent forever…

    Yes Pappy, you have the “Eat a Puss” complex definately. Acute and Chronic. Well, actually, it depends on what kind of Walls of Meat that you dream of consuming. There are many kinds of pussy in the world. The really skinny and boney ones don’t offer much of a meal, yet those are the ones that are able to escape the clutches of The Crazy Cat Lady because they are so under nourished that they can squeeze right out between one of the cracks… in her foundation… so always carry a can of Friskys Salmon Dinner in your back pocket like a box of Skoal, then you can fatten them up a little first…

    And speaking of Crazy Cat Ladys, I’ve been wandering Graveyards in Second Life lately. Graveyards, cemetarys, haunted places, halloween stores, more cemetaries. I came across a VERY cool old spiderweb encrusted gothic cemetary with white candles burning way way back in the leafless bramble of a hundred graveyard trees. I lingered for a while around 3am SL time. There were a few people in the sim. Actually it was 2 sims joined together that the Breedable people were putting on. The next night I came back to visit the cemetary again but some kind of big war had developed between the Breedable people it seems because the place was all full of ban lines, and one sim was now set to group only. Same old story…

    I wanted to be really scared after trooping through all those cemetaries and haunted places. I even went to the aero pines big halloween thing and rented some old plug, a horse, and went riding around all the sims looking for dead scarey things like zombies or ghosts or ghouls… then I got an idea… and teleported into BURNING MAN which is going on right now. Just search for Burning Man and sims like Deep Hole will come up.

    I figured that they might have some scarey stuff in Burn2 due to it being Halloween almost. Then I thought, “oh wow, the scareyist thing in SL might show up at Burning Man, that would be SO frightening, thats what I need.” Thats what I thought. I thought I might be innocently and unsuspectingly wandering down some uncharted back road in Burn2 and then while walking along I might turn some non-descript corner, and then WHAMMO right there in front of me will be Prokofy Neva and that would be the Biggest Scareist thing that you could ever encounter in SL. I wandered around in Burn2 for about 2 hours and never encountered anything scarey at all. Bummer. Then on the way out I realized that the theme for Burn2 this year is “Fertility” and that explained the lack of everything…

  8. Pappy Enoch

    Oct 25th, 2012

    @LOL, about yo’ avamater you done said it are:

    “a Menatlly ill boy wearing a wife beater”

    I done thought you was my cousin Roscoe Octavius Agrippa Enoch. We all wears them shirts, but ’round Enoch Holler the wife usually beats her husbands, all four of ‘em, or the neighbor’s husband too.

    Am we all sick in the head?


    I are rite glad fo’ that-there prok-gnosis you done laid on me. I reckon my Eat-a-Puss Complex am rite common!

  9. Nappy Eunuch

    Oct 31st, 2012

    I got your wifebeater hangin, bo!

  10. hobo kelly

    Nov 2nd, 2012

    Pappy, I heard that all the rats came up outta the subway and ate all the cats, so now she’s officially the “Crazy Rat Lady”…

  11. Elle

    Nov 6th, 2012

    What absolute nonsense this is, if your aim was to help people with this post you failed miserably. I have personally suffered with mental illness in the form of clinical depression. Nothing you have described above is even remotely applicable to me nor several other people I know very well in RL. I did spend a lot more time in SL than I do now, but I was introverted, certainly wasn’t involved in sex or group activity, preferred not to speak to people unless I had to. I was extremely focused, creativity was my outlet and escapism and I was never abused as a child. Seems to me you’re projecting and describing yourself. You do more harm than good with this kind of rubbish.

  12. LOL

    Nov 7th, 2012

    I think SL makes people Mentally ill

  13. hobo kelly

    Nov 11th, 2012

    LOL, this kitty is getting worse since we visited last. It was rescued from some flooded high rise in lower manhatten. Poor kitty prolly needs its monthly injection of Haldol or something. Oh god this is hard to watch…

  14. Gundel Gaukelei

    Nov 25th, 2012

    I happen to be a couch doctor …

  15. nikolas

    Dec 3rd, 2012

    I see that Tenshi is projecting her personal issues onto others again… What happened to this blog? I mean, I know it’s been slowly dying but when did the editor decide to allow this blog to be used as a vendetta proxy for self-important narcissists who behave as if they are still in High School?

  16. Pappy Enoch

    Dec 10th, 2012

    Gundel, you is a couch doctor? I busted my porch sofa (what we calls a “couch” in Enoch Holler) by belly floppin’ on it after too much Shine.

    It am in a sorry state after it crashed through the porch floor (killin’ five dawgs, 12 cats, 35 rats, gazilions of fleas and other bugs, plus one cousin, who were named, as chance would have it, Hogwallop Enoch) when I done landed on it.

    What kin you do? I miss that sofa sum’fin fierce.

    Fo’ the sake o’ clarity, Hogwallop were a human-bein’ person and not a bug. But he am flatter now than ere bug I done ever swatted.

  17. hobo kelly

    Dec 12th, 2012

    hmm, 12 dead cats and uncounted fleas and bugs, this here sounds like the basis fer a great ole Crazy Cat Lady story… what has you done here pappy? what HAS you done?

    Once upon a time, a long long time ago, like a few years, in a land far far away, like Ravenglass, there lived a schizophenic old cow that had gotten in trouble in real life for beating her kids. So many times in fact that social services told her that either her kids were leaving or she was. So the Crazy Cat Lady abandoned her cats and her kids for synthetic landscapes yet discovered and never looked back…

    Thats because there was no need to look back… Instead of 2 or 3 entities to yell at and blame her problems on, suddenly she had about 30,000 at any given moment to harrass and generally once again prove the maxim that paranoids should not be allowed to intermingle out in the free world with Normies. Normie Normals.

    This phenomenon did not go un-noticed by about everyone that came in contact with the Crazy Cat Lady on those synthetic shores. Including the Military Industrial Project… How could the experts in the Military who now basically control major parts of Second Life, how could they possibly look the other way as this schizy old cow started to call them out over their giving out of free items like Air Force tee shirts and the occasional aircraft carrier or M1A1 tank?

    Well, they could not ignore something like that, obviously. But they could HELP the poor ole Crazy Cat Lady along on her path to enlightenment, and at the same time gain valuable information as to the effectiveness of psychlogical warefare operations carried out in a virtual world. And so Project R.A.M.O.N.Z.I.T.A. was born…

    RAMONZITA, or Remote Administered Mental Orientation Nullification Zeitgeist Inferred Techno Anhedonia, was, and remains the military’s best weapon of choice, even though it is still experimental, for de-foliating all levels of Virtual Gardens of Word Salad so far known.

    This is about all I can say about this right now. I have probably said too much about this already. If I disappear… well, don’t worry about me so much really, I’m just a dumb little hobo that nobody pays attention to, and nobody knows who I am anyway. Except Pixeleen. See? I shouldn’t be saying any of this… Ok, I will say one more thing because I’m a dumb little hobo… here it is… the secret… only in a virtual world could a whole psychological operation itself be viewed as an entity within the virtual world itself… like they are just another avatar… heh, hahhaaa, AHAHAHAAaaa… bugs… i see bugs…

  18. T-Bone

    Dec 14th, 2012

    Oh, dear. After some hope, we once again find a drought of newsworthy items, and two months with nothing – apparently – happening in virtual worlds.

    I can see Rodvik relaxing in his bath, now….on the phone to his accountant. His dynamic anonymity, SL’s never changing, never ending, long documented shortcomings, shocking customer service, clearly not affecting his demeanour one iota.

  19. Rasputtin

    Dec 14th, 2012

    That was by far, the worst article on mental illness that I have ever seen.

  20. hobo kelly

    Dec 15th, 2012

    to T-Bone and others, DO NOT, repeat, DO NOT watch this video if you have any kind of proclivity towards owning cats… Crazy Cat Lady Toxicity Level Rating: over9000…

    from a little hobo to you this morning on AHTV…

  21. Angelus

    Dec 16th, 2012

    4> they believe the words of someone who doesn’t have a degree in psychology when it comes to diagnosing their problems.

  22. Edna

    Dec 24th, 2012

    Mery Christmas to all of you nuts.

  23. Alyx Stoklitsky

    Dec 28th, 2012

    Where’s the Glenn Beck Hitler comment?

  24. Edna

    Dec 29th, 2012

    You know who also always asked for a Glenn Beck Hitler comment?


  25. hobo kelly

    Dec 30th, 2012

    So like, I was out riding around the other day, having a little ride about out on the many and various gritty highways and byways in second life, la la lala la, just riding around and lo and behold I just happened to be on a road that ran right through Ravenglass. Well, the road went there, so I went there I guess. I didn’t think much about it, Ravenglass is usually deserted, for good reason, but this time I heard these blood curdling howls and screams coming from somewhere deep in its weird residential district. I stopped my ride and investigated a little bit and this is what I found. It almost made me vomit, so be forewarned:

    I later read on some ravenglass related blog that what we saw in that video above is some kind of weird behaviour that blacks and hispanics do. As a Ravenglass sanctioned event?

    I got back in my ride and got the hell out of there. Way out of there. In fact I rode over to Durango or some sim like that and took one of those YavaScript pod rides that last for about an hour to shake that weird water birthing crap outta my poor widdle hobo brain… I then took a connecting ride out of the main Hobo place that took me down down down to the swamp lands. Slogging around in the swamp for awhile, yeah, now we’re talking. But then I came to the Tuliptree sim, and I got off of the tour and started to walk around…

    La la lala la, here I am slumming around this “gateway to the swamp” sim in the middle of the night… la lala la la, whats this? A Ravenglass Rentals sign?? AAAAAAHHHHHhhhhh here too? I was stunned. I just rode for 2 hours and had put a couple of continents between us and GOOD GOD here was Ravenglass Rentals again… out here in the swamp… I started to look around to see if the Blacks or Hispanics had invaded this Ravenglass rentals place too with their weird weightless fetus ejection simulation, or BHWFES for short. I looked around. Lots of signs that said 150L/week w/150 prims but no BHWFES going on. Whew… maybe its a local thing contained to the waters around Ravenglass itself…

    But right then some weird little fella came up to me while I was just standing there. He had some tag above his head that read something like “VRC Landbarron” or something like that. They started talking to me. “You don’t want to rent there. Been told they’re going out of business. People just wont go ’round there no more. No way no how. We do have a nice little parcel forsale right up here in the corner though…”

    I went over to the other side of the sim and looked at the parcel in the corner of tuliptree. It was small and it had some kind of monorail hanging over part of it. It did look pretty swampy though, so that would have been a plus, but I was looking to rent something on a whim, not tier up and purchase a chunk of land that might have BHWEFS going on if that Ravenglass Rentals infection spreads.

    So I didn’t rent anything and took off for points deeper in the swamp…

  26. Edna

    Dec 30th, 2012

    Thanks for the link to vid Hobo. You can catch a nice glimpse of beaver around 3:50 in the video.

  27. hobo kelly

    Jan 4th, 2013

    Ok mischief makers, these cats were found wandering near Ravenglass and veterinarians can’t explain whats happended to them. Weird:

  28. hobo kelly

    Jan 9th, 2013

    Meow mischief makers, and deeper we go:

  29. wulla

    Jan 15th, 2013

    Playing SL for too long and too many hours that makes you mentally ill.
    SL can easy pull you away from RL and has nothing to do with what you ARE playing in the Virtual world as a gor, fur or whatever.

  30. hobo kelly

    Jan 26th, 2013

    Back in 1982… that was only about 30 years ago… 30 years being but a small portion of my life, I can remember 1982 very clearly. That was the year in which things changed in the entertainment industry in southern california (read: hollywood). Because that was the year of the Helicopter Crash on Spielberg’s “Twilight Zone: The Movie” , cursed movie production lot. It was the year that Hollywood had to do a LOT of backpeddaling to keep their industry from being CLOSED DOWN for killing children and other people in exchange for making horror movies which they inturn sold to the viewing public. To save the movie industry, and the conscience’s of the directors that had been killing people, along came a band of Directors that had discovered how to save the Movie Industry and perhaps even retrieve the Lost Souls who died in the process of making a movie and were now forever eternally trapped within the script of those movies. A band of hollywood directors had figured this all out way back in 1982… That if you apply what those salvation directors referred to as: “The Elementally Balanced OZIAN Healing Dorothy Energies” to your movie or shared experience or virtual world, IF YOU APPLY a small bit of Dorothy Healing Energy to your world in the form of a bit of RE-INTERPRETATION OF THE WIZARD OF OZ movie which you have encoded into your world, IF YOU DO THAT, include a bit of OZ in your movie or world, YOU CAN PROTECT AND SAVE FROM HARM OR DEATH any of the tragically written Dorothy Characters which might appear in a movie and might DIE IN REAL LIFE from emulating a script in order to film it….

    Heavy huh? But true. True and hardly known. Now that you know this, that OZ is used throughout the entertainment industry as a means to regulate EVIL which may have snuck into their worlds or movies, you can actually become attuned to this OZIAN ENERGY to the point that you can FEEL A SHIFT IN THE FORCE…

    I felt a shift in the force the other night in Second Life… As a Zone Warrior it was upsetting to me. Couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep, couldn’t concentrate on anything… It’s times like that when I wish I could de-tune. But something was bugging me… and this time it WASN’T the Maritime Tactile Weevols. I have a new story about the MTW’s too but this ain’t it…

    Time for a walkabout… or rideabout… I rezzed at the K-pak rezz area just outside of Waterhead. Two wheels under me now. Rollin’ rollin rollin… There goes Waterhead passing me and now in the rearview mirror. Nobody there except a couple of noobs standing in the road trying to stop vehicles… Seascale Bridge… Maryport, Ravenglass, Furness the sims were clicking by… I didn’t know where I was going, only that I was GOING…

    Its a long grind down to the Ross Infohub. Plenty of chances to loose your life along the way, but I crossed all the sims, remaining in one piece and here I was… but what was THAT?? Down the road in front of me was a HUGE luxury liner type of boat that was CUTTING RIGHT ACROSS the road. HUH? I had never even realized that there was a Waterway that went under the road about halfway between the infohub and the sim Refugio… but there was a HUGE CUTTER CUTTING right across the road because it was so tall it was sticking up very high over the waterway. Must have been 1000 prims it was so big. Well maybe several hundred but you just dont see those kind of things very often, just cutting around…

    It was so big it left a small TWISTER in the air, in its wake, as it went by… you have to be able to realize the OZIAN HEALING ENERGY when it manifests for you. Being attuned to it is one thing, but recognizing when its calling you to action is a higher plane to aspire to…

    I went after that Twister right then. Dorothy with her healing energies were calling… She was happy! Something had happened to the Wicked Witch !!!

    I kicked my bike into flight mode and left the pavement. Looking over my shoulder for Evil Flying Monkeys all the while I lowered down closer to water level and fell into the pull of that Tornado, gently tugging me along behind that glorious Clipper Ship… and then I saw it…

    Oh jesus, right then I saw it. What had at one time been a big sprawling Ross Infohub, had been reduced to Linden Land Swamp Muck… I do like swamps though. So to me it looked like an improvement. Right then one of those “you-ride-em” Tourist Pods that run all over SL came by and announced to its one rider something like “Here is the site of the former Ross Infohub. Recently it was found out that they were stealing over 2000 prims a month from the Lindens and most of it has been removed. There is some talk of retroactive billing. Moving on now…”

    Was this the disturbance in the force that I had been suffering under for days now? Has Dorothy finally pushed back against the Wicked Witch? Looks like it. Here is a video of the newly created swamp with what LOOKS like some kind of Crazy Cat Lady standing in the middle of it… looking… dazed? Careful on this one Mischief Makers, unless your OZIAN Dorothy Healing Energies are high right now, you should be careful watching this:

  31. Lulz

    Jan 27th, 2013

    Kitten Mode is a KingGoon CopyBotter.
    Synphony Vayandar is also a CopyBotter.

    They is has bipolar.

    Phat is all kids.

  32. T-Bone

    Feb 7th, 2013

    It does indeed seem the alphaville herald is well and truly dead. It has become a noticeboard/forum.

    A pity that, but here you have it. I gave it 6 months to recover, but a couple of articles 4 months ago was it.

    This, despite the truly dire situ in SL, the murky world of LL allowing some creators to make gambling machines, but not others, the invisible ‘ take the money and Ron’ CEO, etc etc.

    Any journalist with any credence would have been all over these things like a rash.

    Therefore, close this waste of time site down.

  33. Emperor Norton

    Mar 29th, 2013

    So this article was just a rage quit rant from the Alphaville Herald – “I am not nuts from writing a paper about a dumb game, you are nuts for playing the dumb game”?

  34. CuteFrogsLoveLilyPads

    Mar 31st, 2013

    You know I hadn’t really thought about that before but then I’m fairly new to SL (about two months). But I have experienced issue three before er-that is with people lashing out at me. I thought the whole thing was a bit weird. Some guy wanted to know if I had a boyfriend in real life. I did and was trying to let him down in a friendly way and he started being all aggressive (he defriended me a few weeks later). I didn’t know what to think then but maybe he wasn’t “ok”.

    I like your article. Thanks :)

    (also he hardly knew me at all. It made it all the more weird…)

  35. LOL

    Apr 10th, 2013

    crazy cat ladies run wild in SL…

    Deal with it!

  36. Alynna

    Apr 17th, 2013

    Come on guys, theres still drama left on Second Life. Post something new, I’m bored..

  37. what the actual fuck

    Apr 26th, 2013

    This a very strange part of the internet. HoboKelly is clearly incredibly mentally ill.

  38. aruba19

    Apr 29th, 2013

    SL is supposed to be a game no matter what some addicts think. If somebody comes across nutty as a Payday bar and seems to need help, advise them go to a real life professional then leave them alone. I go to virtual worlds to relax, build and occasionally socialize. If I am having problems on this side of the screen I am certainly not going to inflict them on others. They have their own problems and don’t need mine. There are many weird people on all grids but I have found profiles to be a good window into the motivations of others. If they tell a long boring story centered around their character, then they are in for the role play. If they are an aggressive, wanna be bad ass in their profile, then they are probably powerless over their real life and are acting out in world. If they tout themselves as being brutally honest then they are probably making excuses for their lack or social grace, good will and manners, probably because they are too ignorant to be anything other than mean spirited. If the profile is empty, I assume the mind behind the avatar to be empty as well and tend to ignore such people. Bottom line is I refuse to allow others to kill my buzz with their problems. I tend to bring the mute hammer down on drama and advise others to do the same.

  39. The more you know

    May 22nd, 2013

    I agree with this article. I’ve noticed that a lot of people in SL seem to have what i have described as Antisocial personality disorder.

    Callous unconcern for the feelings of others;
    Gross and persistent attitude of irresponsibility and disregard for social norms, rules, and obligations;
    Incapacity to maintain enduring relationships, though having no difficulty in establishing them;
    Very low tolerance to frustration and a low threshold for discharge of aggression, including violence;
    Incapacity to experience guilt or to profit from experience, particularly punishment;
    Marked readiness to blame others or to offer plausible rationalizations for the behavior that has brought the person into conflict with society.

    Many in SL have one of those signs of ASPD.

  40. Carissa

    Jun 1st, 2013

    I think you need to rephrase the term ‘mental illness’ since those three ‘pointers’ aren’t actually that common.

    I am mentally ill with depression. I do not make up facts – fiction is not real. I do not go through things in SL like water. In over 3 years, I’ve only had 2 sl partners. And the majority of the time I do not over-react (I say majority because everyone will eventually overreact to something).

    To be honest, I know a lot of mentally ill people on Second Life who are perfectly stable. Writers writing about mental health should be careful because their comments can help enforce stereotypes instead of helping, as they intend to do.

  41. Sawyer

    Jul 13th, 2013

    All I’m getting from this article is

  42. A

    Nov 30th, 2013

    Top lol. Biggest pile of BS I’ve read lately.
    Also gor is retarded.

  43. Tegan

    Dec 4th, 2013

    I have dealt with people mentally Ill, and none of these are symptoms, quit trying to scare people away. Also i stay on SL 5-6 hours a day, but this does not mean i am mentally Ill, if that were true anyone wishing to escape the pressures of RL must be mentally Ill. Also, most Gorean relationships are Roleplay, and one girl or boy can have many relationships due to the laws. Kajirae and Kajiri are anmals, their Owner’s can do with them what they wish, this includes selling or giving to other, and any Free Man, especially warriors can collar any Woman He wants, another part of the Gorean “Philosophy” created by John Norman in His “Chronicles of Gor” series of 32 books, which i am betting You have not even read.

  44. yep

    Dec 6th, 2013

    What was described above sounds more like a person with an abusive personality.

  45. Baddum tiss

    May 20th, 2014

    I thought loony’s were what SL was about. Theres nothing better than finding out slowly that somebody is a nutter and then gossipping about it and winding them up. Hehehehehe SL thrives on fruitcakes

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