Guidelines

The OCD-UK forums are a place for people affected by Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) (and their family/friends) to offer each other mutual advice and support. 

Whilst anyone, regardless of their location in the world, is welcome to use our forums, because we are a UK charity our website advice is predominately aimed at UK residents, and we must adhere to UK treatment recommendations for OCD. We do not necessarily endorse or recommend treatments used for OCD in other parts of the world.

In order to protect the privacy and interests of our community we ask that health professionals, members of the media and student or clinical researchers to contact us before registering and posting on our forums.

To help keep your forum a friendly caring and supportive place to be we have put together a small list of dos and don’ts for you to think about when posting on the forum. Before that, we thought it might be helpful to explain how we moderate our forums.

 
 
Forum Moderation
Your friendly and supportive team of volunteer moderators do an amazing job to help and support you during your time on our forums.  Between them, they’re on duty 365 days a year helping to keep the forums safe, accurate and supportive in accordance with our community guidelines.

The moderating team do not have a clinical background, but have all experienced Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder first-hand or through loved ones, and between them they have over 25+ years of moderating experience.

Why we moderate
When moderating we endeavour to:
• Prevent any misleading or unhelpful information being posted.
• Prevent anyone misusing the OCD-UK forums or breaching the forum guidelines.

This means that sometimes we may edit or remove messages, but rest assured we will only do that if we have a good reason to.  Sometimes we may remove something in order to review it within the team, but will make the topic visible again if deemed appropriate to do so.

How we moderate
We don’t approve posts before they go live, we trust and respect our users to self-moderate. But what we will do:
 
  • Review the site every day for inappropriate posts.
  • Rely on our community to report anything you think is inappropriate.
  • Will remove without explanation anything that we feel is deliberately inappropriate.
  • On occasions we may make a topic invisible whilst we offer to work with the user to make their post more appropriate and family-friendly.

During our moderation we always bear in mind that people make mistakes, often born out of the frustration and desperation that OCD can cause, so we try to moderate with a light touch.

Sometimes we may feel a time-out is helpful for everyone, so we may lock topics overnight or suspend a user overnight to allow a cooling off period. We only issue permanent bans to users as a very last resort where we believe it is in the best interests of our forum community.
 
The OCD-UK forums are your space to talk about Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and we want to protect your community but you can help us through self-moderation and by supporting our moderation.

Help us moderate
If you notice another member posting misleading information, misusing the site or breaking the terms and conditions in any other way, please contact a moderator by using the 'report post’ button in their message. You can also email the team directly using the ‘contact’ button at the top of the forum bar.   If you do report a post, we are not always able to explain exactly what action, if anything, was taken but rest assured that we do always review each and every report, usually within an hour of the report being made. 
 
 
 
Forum Guidelines
The following guidelines are designed to help enhance your forum experience, for your own experience and that of your fellow forum users.

Be nice – help and support each other
  • Be kind to each other - many people using the forum are going through a difficult time because of their OCD. A few kind words can go a long way. Please welcome new posters – it can be very nerve-wracking to post on the forum for the first time.
  • Give each other the benefit of the doubt - please remember that online what we write does not always reflect the tone it was meant to, leading to the potential for us to misinterpret the meaning of the post.  Think carefully before replying to a discussion. Likewise it is important to remember that things written rather than said can feel much stronger, so please bear this in mind when reading other people’s messages.
  • Speak your mind freely, but please be sensitive to the feelings and opinions of others - you might not always agree, but you can agree to disagree and even debate with each other in a polite, respectful and peaceful manner.
  • Don’t use bad language - we have users of all ages and sensitivities on our forums, some of whom may not feel comfortable with language of an adult nature. For that reason the forum utilise a profanity and swear filter to block out words of an adult nature. Trying to bypass this filter to use a swear word is not allowed. If a user is found to be swearing during their conversations on our forums, the moderators reserve the right to edit or even delete the thread, without warning, or make the post invisible for a while to edit the inappropriate language out and make visible again later in the day. At no point is swearing or inappropriate word usage allowed on the message board. Remember, whilst you may not be offended by language of an adult nature, others might be. The golden rule of thumb is if you would not use the language in front of young children or your gran, then it does not belong on our forums!   Whatever course of action the moderating team take, it can all be avoided by our users self-moderating.
  • Don’t use all capital letters in your posts - it’s considered ‘SHOUTING’ in the online world and posts that ARE ALL SHOUTING ARE DIFFICULT TO READ.
  • Patience is a virtue – The OCD-UK forums are a busy and active community which means sometimes some topics may not get an immediate response. When we are desperate for help it can be hard not to receive an immediate response, but please try and remember that it is not personal. It can often be that other users are thinking how best to respond, or want to reply later when they have more time, or online users simply may not know exactly what to say.  Please avoid posting in your topic with comments like ‘anyone?’. This is considered thread ‘bumping’ and the moderators will often delete ‘thread bumping’ posts.   If after 12-24 hours your post did not yet receive a response then feel free to ask if anyone could offer you advice, at this point it would not be considered bumping. 
  • If you feel that someone has insulted you - please report their comment to the moderator don't perpetuate the dispute. The moderator will take a look at the offending comment and decide whether it should be removed.
  • Please respect the moderators - their job is a voluntary one aimed to keep your forums a friendly, safe and accurate place for you to be. You may not always agree with the moderators opinions or their moderation decisions. It is ok to disagree with them provided you are constructive rather than offensive. Please don't forget they are volunteers and more than that they suffer with anxiety and OCD just like you.   OCD-UK do have a policy of not tolerating abuse against a volunteer, and will immediately remove anyone guilty of being abusive to a volunteer.
 

Be effective – use your community in the right way
  • Location, location, location - Choose the most appropriate topic area for your discussion, and please don't cross post your topic across multiple forums.
  • Stay on topic - try to focus on the original topic. In particular, don't change subject in the middle of an existing thread - just start a new thread.
  • Don’t hijack a topic – If your problem is similar to someone else’s then it is fine to comment on their topic to draw comparisons and share solutions.  But please be mindful of not hijacking someone else’s topic to discuss your problems at the expense of the wider topic discussion. 
  • Don't start a new topic if your post relates to an existing one - reply to the existing thread instead. This helps other forum users read the previous comments, and ensure they can offer the most appropriate advice.   Equally, before posting take some time to re-read the previous responses to your topic/s, chances are the right advice was already offered, and sometimes we just need to refresh our minds with that.
  • Make your thread’s subject line clear and informative - it makes the post easier to find, and ensures others with similar problems can spot it straight away. Although try not to be too lengthy where possible.
  • Please try not to use abbreviations or ‘text speak’ - it can be difficult to read and some people might not understand you. This may cause a member to take unintentional offence, or feel excluded from the forum.  Some sufferers use acronyms (HOCD, POCD and ROCD) to refer to their type of OCD. It is worth noting that these acronyms have no official medical meaning, and actually lead to confusion over the type of OCD being referred to. OCD-UK discourage their use on our forums.
  • Please try to use correct punctuation in your posts – long sentences with no commas or full stops can be confusing and difficult to read, as can one long continuous paragraph.    We don’t expect perfectly written posts with perfect grammar, but If you are unsure how to punctuate or where to break up your typing please do ask a moderator to check it for you.
  • Please post in English - while we welcome people of all nationalities, we are a UK based charity and so we would ask you to please post comments in English, mainly because we can not moderate other languages!   It’s also important to remember that the only advice OCD-UK can offer in terms of treatment access is for UK based users. (see note at the top).
  • Read what's already on the forum before posting – It’s fair to say that 90% of questions posted on our forums have already been asked and answered multiple times before. So please do use the search feature before you start a new topic to see if someone’s going through something similar your experience, and if the answer that will help you may already be on their thread. 
  • Remember, we are a discussion forum – We are a discussion forum, so new topics that simply link to an external blog, video or website don’t usually offer anything to our website, so are most likely to be removed.  Please review our policy on the posting of external links below.
 

External Links Policy
The OCD-UK forums are a first and foremost a discussion forums, therefore it is the policy of this forum that we do not allow new or recently joined users to post links to external websites (external websites are any non OCD-UK website). This is policy is in place to prevent new users joining to simply post links for self-promotion or personal or commercial gain.

Occasionally it can be helpful for forum users to be directed to helpful OCD articles on external websites, so we do allow experienced forum users to post links to helpful OCD articles, provided the external websites are non-commercial and generally mirror OCD-UK philosophies in terms of treatment.

Fundraising Links
OCD-UK is a charity that relies on kind donations and fundraising to support our work. The forums themselves cost over £1000 a year to run.  For this reason we are only able to allow links to fundraising pages that are fundraising for our charity (OCD-UK). We hope you understand why we have this policy in place.
 
 
We want the OCD-UK discussion forums to be a safe, friendly and helpful environment for all of our community. So please remember that by using our forums that you are agreeing to follow our guidelines.