Thank you for bringing this up.
I do agree that it is not wise to assume someone on A2K is an expert.
If we see such a post (especially when the stakes are high
) we should direct the asker to seek professional assistance.
I am a big fan of humor.
I don't think it is helpful to make a joke of such a situation (mental illness, abuse, drug addiction
), as I have seen done before with what seem to be "cries for help
". I haven't necessarily seen this here at A2K, but in other venues.
I would consider myself an expert in some fields of healthcare, such questions I have no hesitance in answering. The terms of service agreement for A2K stipulates that such advice is not to be taken as medical advice. I will remind the asker of my credentials as a nurse in such a situations, and suggest appropriate resources. The asker should beware though, none of our credentials can be verified.
In such situations (high stakes), I think that if non-professionals are going to offer answers they should qualify those answers as being "from personal experience
" or "in my opinion as a _____