Welcome to the Phoenix Rising Forums! - the largest ME/CFS forum and the largest database of articles and posts about ME/CFS on the web. Whether you're a patient, a carer, a physician, a researcher, or simply interested in finding out more about ME/CFS, we hope you'll receive a warm welcome from our community and find what you are looking for here.
This page offers new members some simple tips on how to get started as you find your way around the forums, and some ideas on how best to introduce yourself to the community.
1. Read the Forum Rules
The first thing we ask all new members to do is to read and understand the Forum Rules. By joining the forums you agree to abide by these rules, which allow us to maintain a supportive community and a respectful tone of discussion. New members who are accustomed to more relaxed Forum Rules elsewhere do occasionally find themselves breaching our rules without intending to offend, so it's important that you understand the rules in order to avoid this. It's also important to understand how and when to report posts to the moderators so that you know how to let us know of any problems you may encounter.
2. Learn how to use the Forum features
Hopefully you will find that the XenForo software we use to run the forums is very easy to use, but our User Manual will guide you through the features. To learn how to post, start a thread, watch threads or forums, and use some other key features, the Basics is the best place to start. It's also a good idea to have a look at the Control Panel and User Settings, and learn how to start private Conversations with other members.
3. Introduce Yourself
When you're ready to start posting, it's a good idea to begin by introducing yourself. Tell us a little about yourself - why you're here, what your interest is in ME/CFS, if you're a patient how long you have been ill and what your symptoms are, etc. There's a special private forum called Introduce Yourself in the Community forum where you can start a new thread to say hello - and you can be assured of a warm welcome there. It's the best way to meet other members and get started in the community - and things go much more smoothly when we all have some idea who we're talking to and why we're here!
4. Look at the latest posts
Another good place to get started and see what's happening on the forums is the What's New? link on the Forums tab. That will show you all the latest posts.
5. Sign up for the Phoenix Rising newsletter
Phoenix Rising also has a website which you can access from the Home tab, with regular articles about ME/CFS issues. You can sign up there to receive our email newsletter (see the top right of the home page).
6. Meet other forum members in the Chat Room
Don't forget our chat room, at the bottom of the screen. See the User Manual for instructions on using the Chat Room.
If the chat box gets in your way, you can switch off chat by clicking the right hand panel of the chat bar, then click the little down arrow at the top right of the box that opens up. You should then see an option to Turn Off chat, which minimises the chat bar to a little icon at the bottom right of the screen. You can open up the chat bar again by clicking that icon.
7. Find out more about Phoenix Rising
To find out more About Phoenix Rising, see About Phoenix Rising and learn about our history, projects, and current staff.
If you find Phoenix Rising useful, please remember that we are a registered non-profit funded by your donations, and we are staffed by volunteers who give generously of their time to help keep Phoenix Rising running. If you're would like to help us continue to provide the website, blogs, chat, forums, and all the other exciting projects that we're developing, please consider donating or volunteering - we promise we'll make the most of whatever you are able to offer!
8. Any Questions?
Finally, if you have any questions - just ask! If you have a problem using the forums and you can't find the answer in the User Manual, you can post your question in the Technical Support Forum. If you have a question about symptoms, try posting in the Symptoms Forum, or for a question about a treatment, post in one of the Treatment Forums. Whatever your question, there's a good chance that somebody on the forums has the answer to hand, and our members are always happy to help point you in the right direction. If your question is confidential, you can always start a Conversation with the Moderation Team and we'll do our best to help.