Author Topic: Personality issues on an advice board  (Read 1690 times)

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LadyL

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Personality issues on an advice board
« on: August 22, 2010, 11:52:30 AM »
BG: I am a regular on an advice board for people who are caregivers to people with a specific disease. I am fairly knowledgeable about the disease and enjoy giving people feedback they find helpful. I also enjoy interacting with the other members on the board, who are a pretty remarkable set of people. /end BG

One member of the board constantly posts for advice about the person she is caring for. However, her personality issues get in the way of anyone actually helping her. People will give her well researched, carefully thought out suggestions and she will reject them because of personal biases or because it isn't the answer she wanted to hear. The threads tend to go like this:

"I am having XYZ problem with my loved one. We have already tried treatment A and it isn't working as well as I'd like. Any suggestions?"

People will respond with "Well, there's treatments B and C that are standard and a lot of people have had success with." And her response will be something like:

"Well, I am against treatment B because of (obscure, unlikely side effect that is mild compared to dealing with inadequately treated XYZ problem) and treatment C would probably work and what the doctor recommended but I refuse to financially support the company that produces it for moral reasons, so that's out. I guess my loved one will just have to suffer and I'll just have to deal with it."

There is an endless litany of excuses along those lines that basically boil down to this poster not accepting the realities of the disease. She would rather bang her head against the wall than try anything outside her very rigid parameters. When people have pointed out flaws in her reasoning she gets super defensive and has even had threads locked.

It is disruptive to the board because people will put in a LOT (like hours worth) of research trying to help this person only for her to immediately dismiss the suggestion for flimsy reasons (which, much later, she has sometimes even admitted were flimsy). If someone tries to gently suggest that the problem lies in her attitude she shuts them down and complains to the moderators.

I think that she may have a martyr complex and enjoy showing off what she sees as her "high standards" but what is more like her being a control freak and insanely rigid. She's killing herself from stress doing it but I think she perversely enjoys it. The sad thing is that she is putting her own feelings before the wellbeing of the loved one she cares for.

I am tempted to either put a block on her so I can't read her posts, or complain to the mods that she is basically antagonizing people by asking for help and then always rejecting it because it's a huge waste of everyone's time and energy.

Phoebe

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Re: Personality issues on an advice board
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2010, 12:02:30 PM »
"Well, I am against treatment B because of (obscure, unlikely side effect that is mild compared to dealing with inadequately treated XYZ problem) and treatment C would probably work and what the doctor recommended but I refuse to financially support the company that produces it for moral reasons, so that's out. I guess my loved one will just have to suffer and I'll just have to deal with it."


Is she the only care-giver for this person?  I can't get my head around the fact that she's willing to let someone, let alone a loved one, suffer because of her own opinions!  I can't help but wonder if the person she's caring for and the doctor are aware that she's sabotaging what the doctor and patient want!

I think you're right on the mark with the martyr complex.  I also don't know what to suggest other than going to the mods. 


O'Dell

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Re: Personality issues on an advice board
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2010, 12:07:33 PM »
If I were you, I'd put her on ignore. I'm sure the mods are aware of her issues. As long as she's not truly trolling, there isn't a lot of reason for them to do something about her presence.

I've been a member of message boards focussed on advice. There is often a person or 2 that seems to be making their own problems or to be troubled. Eventually their arguing with the advice they receive makes them unwelcome. People stop posting to them, and once they aren't getting their need for attention met (or whatever it is they want), they move on. You aren't obligated to witness the entire cycle. On occasion I put people on ignore to save myself the frustration. I do it rarely. I figure if I've lost patience I won't be helpful to the person in any way, so I might as well save my time and attention for people that might benefit from my sympathy and support.
Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.
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LadyL

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Re: Personality issues on an advice board
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2010, 12:13:24 PM »

Is she the only care-giver for this person?  I can't get my head around the fact that she's willing to let someone, let alone a loved one, suffer because of her own opinions!  I can't help but wonder if the person she's caring for and the doctor are aware that she's sabotaging what the doctor and patient want


Another family member helps care for them but does not seem to have much decision making power.

She does not see it as making them suffer. For example, for a mostly bed bound person like her loved one, it is common to take them to the bathroom every few hours on a schedule, as a way to get them moving around a bit to prevent pressure sores. Her loved one has several pressure sores, some of which have healed with treatment and some that are being stubborn. But this person feels that "forcing" someone to take a trip to the bathroom on a schedule takes away too much autonomy, and that her loved one should be allowed to use the restroom as they please. She also does not want a nurse to come in to help with the treatment of pressure sores because she doesn't want a "strange person" in her home and she feels she can handle it herself because she's treated 2/3 of them at home. 

She basically doesn't seem to want to admit that her loved one is sick with a terminal disease, that she is not going to live much longer (she's in her 90s), and that comfort and what is sensible from a medical standpoint needs to take some precedence over maintaining "independence." She also REALLY doesn't want to admit that she needs help, and that her loved one is approaching the point of needing 24/7 care, which she is unable to provide.

It bums me out because it's a sad situation.

Lisbeth

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Re: Personality issues on an advice board
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2010, 12:33:21 PM »
If it gets to that point, I'd probably finally say, "You asked us for advice and we gave it to you.  It's your decision as to whether or not to take it, but we don't want to hear analysis as to why it will or won't work or what's wrong with it.  We don't claim to be professionals in the matter, so if you have a problem with it, please go to a professional rather than giving us negative feedback."
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JoieGirl7

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Re: Personality issues on an advice board
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2010, 02:40:03 PM »
I think you just stop giving her advice.
 
She is irrational and you can't reason with irrational people.
 
If people are spending time doing research on her behalf, that is their choice.  You can always PM other users and discourage them from putting themselves out for her because you know the pattern.

She basically doesn't seem to want to admit that her loved one is sick with a terminal disease, that she is not going to live much longer (she's in her 90s), and that comfort and what is sensible from a medical standpoint needs to take some precedence over maintaining "independence."

Well, of course not!  Who wants to come to terms with something like that?  It's easy for people who have distance but very hard for those who love that person and are going to lose them.  You can't talk someone out of that.
 
I think the best tact to take would be to pretend that her posts are written in a section similar to our "I Need A Hug" folder.  Instead of seeing her posts as a sincere attempt to get advice, give support and sympathy instead.
 
You can't fix her bad situation but you can be compassionate.

Phoebe

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Re: Personality issues on an advice board
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2010, 03:12:21 PM »

Is she the only care-giver for this person?  I can't get my head around the fact that she's willing to let someone, let alone a loved one, suffer because of her own opinions!  I can't help but wonder if the person she's caring for and the doctor are aware that she's sabotaging what the doctor and patient want


Another family member helps care for them but does not seem to have much decision making power.

She does not see it as making them suffer. For example, for a mostly bed bound person like her loved one, it is common to take them to the bathroom every few hours on a schedule, as a way to get them moving around a bit to prevent pressure sores. Her loved one has several pressure sores, some of which have healed with treatment and some that are being stubborn. But this person feels that "forcing" someone to take a trip to the bathroom on a schedule takes away too much autonomy, and that her loved one should be allowed to use the restroom as they please. She also does not want a nurse to come in to help with the treatment of pressure sores because she doesn't want a "strange person" in her home and she feels she can handle it herself because she's treated 2/3 of them at home. 

She basically doesn't seem to want to admit that her loved one is sick with a terminal disease, that she is not going to live much longer (she's in her 90s), and that comfort and what is sensible from a medical standpoint needs to take some precedence over maintaining "independence." She also REALLY doesn't want to admit that she needs help, and that her loved one is approaching the point of needing 24/7 care, which she is unable to provide.

It bums me out because it's a sad situation.

You're right, what a sad situation. 

My mom was in the hospital for about 7 weeks before she passed away.  She had many issues, some of them painful, but the most painful ones according to her were the pressure sores.  Some healed, some didn't, one became badly infected.  I hope this person gets some help for her patient soon because she IS suffering whether the caregiver wants to believe it or not.  Poor lady  :'(

blarg314

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Re: Personality issues on an advice board
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2010, 10:05:03 PM »

I think the only thing you can do is put her on ignore, and let other people learn the same thing you did - this person doesn't really want advice.

Kiara

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Re: Personality issues on an advice board
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2010, 09:21:17 AM »
If it gets to that point, I'd probably finally say, "You asked us for advice and we gave it to you.  It's your decision as to whether or not to take it, but we don't want to hear analysis as to why it will or won't work or what's wrong with it.  We don't claim to be professionals in the matter, so if you have a problem with it, please go to a professional rather than giving us negative feedback."

This.  I dealt with someone like this in a therapy group several years ago.  Every solution we came up with for a given problem wouldn't work for some reason.  Finally I looked at him and said "If you don't want help, quit asking.  Because there are 9 other people here that need help and are willing to accept advice, and you're taking up their time."

The therapist applauded me.  So did the rest of the group.  After a while, it's hard to even give sympathy for someone like that.

pierrotlunaire0

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Re: Personality issues on an advice board
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2010, 10:34:58 AM »
I would try Kiara's response once, and then block her.  There's a good chance that if you use Kiara's words, you might get the same reaction she did: people respond that they are finally relieved that someone said the truth.
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high dudgeon

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Re: Personality issues on an advice board
« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2010, 11:55:14 AM »
If it helps, keep in mind there are probably tons of lurkers who have the same questions but are too shy to post and are undoubtedly benefiting from your good advice, and who don't have the same issues with side effects or moral objections your poster has. But there's nothing wrong with blocking her, or just not responding to her posts. Spend your time on people who will appreciate it more.