Apparently, therapists and psychiatrists also go online, and even these professionals can't resist throwing their anecdotes into the fray for upvotes. Below are highlights from several incredible AskReddit threads asking mental health workers to share stories from their patients. Most of the responses are from two threads that ask psychiatrists or psychologists to share "the most profound and insightful comments" they've heard in the line of work. Many of them also made clear that they had changed enough details to keep anyone from identifying patients. Enjoy, and hopefully you don't realize yours is the psychologist who goes by the username Dr. PonerBenis.
1. Especial-K turned a client's most devastating memory into the most cathartic, hysterical moment. Almost completely on accident.
2. One psychologist explained the most astounding condition he ever treated.
Icecreammachine had an amusing diagnosis—
3. Stumpedtown even has an image to share with the world.
4. One mental health worker has a beautiful story of friendship and candy.
5. Noeledmundsbeard shared a patient's perhaps perceptive perspective.
I was interviewing a bi-polar patient. I asked him how he would describe himself: "an altruistic lover of truth and beauty". I then asked him how others would describe him: "bit of a cunt probably".
6. As to the most profound thing he or she had ever heard from someone with a mental illness, yougotafriend responded, tragically:
7. UnidentifiableReason explained a teenager's interesting take on inspiration.
"It doesn't take talent to practice."
Therapist here, I was working with a defiant teenager and sports was his only outlet. He had big dreams of being in a professional league but knew he was horrible at it. I thought his statement was really inspiring. I think about it often when trying new things.
8. A mental health worker called phatzdomino posted something funny overheard in the hallways.
"She forgot to bring my headphones and I'm the one who's crazy!"
Yelled by a psych ward patient at the end of visiting hours. His wife brought him an iPod and forgot the headphones. Everyone laughed - patients, visitors, staff. The goodbyes that night were a little less sad for a change.
9. Frannyglasss should have used her real name, because this comment is a very appealing reason to go see her.
Been in the field for a few years now...people diagnosed with mental illness are some of the most brilliant and misunderstood individuals in our society. I have seen profound moments of insight, from people who self-harm describing the way they feel like a sponge and absorb the world's pain, to straight up geniuses who just couldn't find socially acceptable ways to contribute to the world. Many of them are bursting at the seams with incredibly complex world views, creative expression, and truly original perspectives, but often lack the ability or support to thrive.
It's a real shame we don't have more respect for our 'mentally ill' fellow humans. I am convinced they hold keys that could radically impact our societies for the better.
Edit: I often feel like I am walking on sacred ground when working with my clients. They know and feel and see so much more than I ever have. I feel so grateful to be able to learn from them.
10. JaeVentura972 had a patient give what amounts to a blameless, backhanded compliment.
11. And one client's insightful comments to Vump about "Lord of the Rings" led to a learning moment.
And here's a bonus, from the aforementioned username Dr. PonerBenis, explaining what psychologists and psychiatrists are really writing in their notebooks.
Psychiatrist here! normally people will just be jotting notes about what the patient says so they can remember it later in the conversation, after the visit, or at the next visit.
I'm actually not but this is what people do when they take notes.
Your psychologist or psychiatrist would certainly apologize if you saw your story on here, but take heart that his or hers was in the right place. Your story could help others. Plus, think of all the upvotes.