Below is a list of answers to frequently asked and important questions from members just like you.
Need more help? Check out our downloadable Guide to Inspire, especially if you're a new member.
If you don't find the answers to your questions, please drop us a line and we'll be in touch to help.
If you feel your life is in danger or you are having a medical emergency, please call 911 immediately. If you would like to speak to someone about your situation and it's not an emergency, we've compiled a list of phone numbers and organizations that may be helpful.
I registered for the site but didn't get an activation message. How do I activate my account?
Before writing us, please check your bulk mail folder. Our messages are sometimes mislabeled as bulk mail or spam. If you find our message in your bulk mail folder, please be sure to tell your mail program to accept mail from us in the future. If you don't find your activation message in your bulk mail box, please click here to request another copy, and check your email. If you still can't find your activation message, please let us know and we'll be in touch to help.
I'm trying to log in but the site is telling me that I need to activate my account. What should I do?
You must activate your account to use the site. When you register, we send an activation code to you via e-mail. If you did not receive your activation message, please follow the instructions immediately above.
I forgot my password. What should I do?
No big deal. It happens. Just visit our password reset page and enter your screen name or e-mail address. We will send a message to the e-mail address that we have on file for you with instructions for resetting your password.
I don't recall signing up for this site. What gives?
In March 2008 we brought together more than twenty online health and wellness communities under Inspire. It's very possible that you were a member of one of those communities and simply didn't receive our messages about the new Inspire.
How do I close my account?
We hate to see members go, but we also don't believe in making it hard for members to close their accounts. We've belonged to sites that make it hard to leave, and we don't think very highly of them. To close your account, just log in, click your screen name in the upper left-hand corner of any page, and then click "Settings" in the blue navigation bar. You'll see a link for closing your account. If you want to close your account because of an issue you're having with the site, please consider getting in touch first. We can almost certainly help.
I'd like to unsubscribe from the messages that I've been receiving. How do I do that?
You're probably asking because you are receiving the daily activity summary message, and would prefer not to receive it, or at least receive it less often. Every activity summary message contains links at the bottom to unsubscribe, and the change the frequency of the message. Perhaps you'd like to receive it weekly instead of daily. If you're writing about another type of message, please visit the message preferences page to adjust your settings.
I stopped receiving the message that gives an update of what's been going on in my groups. What happened?
Start by checking your bulk mail folder. Sometimes our messages are incorrectly marked as bulk mail or spam. If you don't find the message there, visit your message preferences page and make sure that you are still subscribed. It's possible that you accidentally unsubscribed yourself.
Links and images in the messages that you send me don't work. What's wrong?
If links and images in the messages that we send you don't work, you may need to tell your mail system to allow them. The steps are different for different mail systems, but here are some common examples:
In AOL mail, click the link to always show images and enable links in messages from Inspire:
How do I send a message to another member?
Just visit the member's profile (click on his or her photo or name anywhere you see it) and click the link next to the member's photo which reads "Send me a message."
What do the different privacy settings - public, members, friends and no one - mean?
Every part of your profile and each discussion and journal entry that you post on the site has a privacy (aka sharing) setting. Privacy settings that you'll see include:
I used my real name as my screen name, and wish I hadn't. Can I change it?
Most definitely. Just visit the screen name change request page, and request a new one. For everyone's safety, we review all screen name change requests. Once your request is approved, your screen name will change everywhere on the site.
Is this site safe for my child?
We work very hard to keep Inspire a safe place to discuss health and wellness. Children over the age of 13 are allowed to sign up for the site, and we think it is a safe place for them. Having said that, some of our member journals and groups will discuss relationships and sexuality, and you may not find these topics appropriate for your child. So the general advice of being aware of what your child is viewing on the Internet and talking to them about it applies here.
What are groups?
Groups are a collection of members and discussions focused on a particular interest.
How do I find a group for the topic that I'm interested in?
Log in and click on "explore groups" this will give you a list of categories, click into them for more information.
It looks like you don't have a group for the topic that I'm interested in. Will you add one?
Fill out the suggestion form and someone will contact you!
How do I start a group for my organization?
Visit our corporate site to find out.
What is the "Team Inspire" group?
The Team Inspire group is there to help you learn your way around and, in turn, help other people new to the site learn the ropes. You'll be able to come here to learn about the site and make friends who are new too! It's also where we post news about Inspire.
What's the difference between a discussion and a journal? Which one should I use?
Your journal belongs to you; you may choose to have your journal entries show up in some of your groups, but you can just write it for you. Journal entries are generally longer and can be on any topic. Discussions are generally shorter and meant to encourage further discussion. For example, if you wanted to ask for other members' experiences with a particular treatment, you would post a discussion in the appropriate group. If you wanted talk about your day, your treatment experiences, or something off-topic you would post a journal entry.
When I post a discussion or journal, I see some sharing options. What are they for?
How do I make my journal public so that others can see it without having to log in?
When you post a journal entry, make sure you select the "public" setting before posting. Also, set your "Profile pages" privacy setting to "Public" if you want others to see it when browsing your profile.
What does it mean to recommend a discussion or journal entry?
To recommend means that you think that a discussion or journal entry is particularly interesting and you think others might find it so as well. The more people who recommend a discussion or journal entry, the higher the number. You can see all posts that have been recommended in a group by clicking the "recommended" tab in the group navigation. You can see all posts that you've recommended by clicking the "recommended" tab under the "posts" section of your profile.
I want to see everything that's new since my last visit. Is there a way to do that?
You can see what is new in your groups by going to a group and clicking the "New" in the navigation bar. Click the "Active" tab to view a list of posts sorted by the date of last reply.
I deleted a post by mistake, or I deleted a post and now wish I hadn't. Is there any way to get it back?
Yes, file a help request with the group name, where applicable, and any information to help us identify the post. We'll try to retrieve it for you.
If I close my account, will all of my discussions, journal entries and replies be deleted?
Your profile and journal entries will no longer be visible on the site, but your discussions and replies to other members' discussions and journal entries will still be visible. To remove those, you can delete them individually prior to closing your account.
How do I add a photo for my profile?
Log in and click the "About me" tab in the navigation bar. You will see a link to change your photo. Click that link and you will be taken to the page where you can "browse" to a photo on your computer and upload it.
How do I update the information in my profile?
Log in and click on the "About me" tab in the navigation bar. Under "About" you will be able to update your profile, your inspiration, photo, relationship status, birthday, gender, zip code and country of residence. Don't forget to click "Update" when you are finished. Then review your privacy settings to make sure you are sharing your information as you would like to!
How do I tell how the information in my profile is being shared?
Log in, click "You" in the upper-left of the page, and then "How others see me" next to your photo. For each part of your profile, you'll see an indication of how the information is being shared, linked to the privacy settings page where you can change the sharing option.
How do I make my profile public so that others can see it without having to log in?
Review your privacy settings and set your "Profile Pages" to "Public."
What are friends? Who should I add as a friend?
Friends are other members that you grow to trust and want to share more information with or you want to exchange messages with. You will be able to post journal entries that only your "friends" can read and you will be able to send messages to your friends through our site without giving out your e-mail address.
How do I add someone as a friend?
Log in to the site and click on "Friends" in the navigation bar. You will see a list of your friends. There will be another menu that says "Meet Friends" here you can search for friends based on name, zip code, keyword, age, or gender. If you find a profile you think is particularly interesting, click the user's name. On their page, under their name, click the "Add me as a friend" link. That user will receive a request from you which they can accept or decline. You'll get a notification letting you know when they have accepted!
If I remove someone from my friend list, will he or she find out?
We don't send a notification to the other member when the member is removed from your friend list, though you will disappear from the member's friend list and they may notice that, of course.
What are interests?
Interests are conditions (like lung cancer, arthritis, ALS and sarcoidosis) and treatments (like chemotheraphy, radiation, prednisone and Flonase). They are things that are important to you - because you have a condition or care for someone with a condition, or use a treatment or care for someone who uses the treatment.
A condition or treatment that I'm interested in doesn't seem to be in your list. What should I do? Will you add it?
Please drop us a line and we'll consider adding it.
It looks like you don't have a group for a topic that I'm interested in. Will you add one?
Fill out the suggestion form and someone will contact you!
How do I meet others who share my interests?
Log in and click "Friends" in the navigation bar. You will see a list of your friends. There will be another menu that says "Meet Friends" here you can search for friends based on name, zip code, keyword, age, or gender. If you find a profile you think is particularly interesting, click the user's name. On their page, under their name, click the "Add me as a friend" link. That user will receive a request from you which they can accept or decline. You'll get a notification letting you know when they have accepted!
Can I change the background color of the site so it's less bright?
Yes! You can opt for a different background color if our default white is too bright. Here's how:
First, visit your general preferences page and change the "Background color" preference to "My computer's default."
Next, you'll need to adjust your computer to use an alternate color for window backgrounds. Here are instructions for how to do so on Windows 7, with screenshots. Other versions of Windows, and other operating systems, have similar configuration options.
Click any of these screenshots for a full-size version: