by Alphaville Herald on 03/10/12 at 3:08 am
by Tenshi Vielle
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:
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.
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: http://www.nami.org/