Normally, we would opt to start an article with a witty bit of humor. We try to keep it light around here. This isn't going to be that article, though.
Children who are mentally or emotionally atypical can struggle when it comes to school. Finding the right environment for them to thrive can be a challenge. Unless and until the right fit is found, there are bound to be incidents.
Reddit user Ranakisnthere asked about those incidents when they posted this question:
The responses could sometimes be intense and are not for the easily unsettled.
I have a million stories of students who say borderline sociopathic stuff, but the worst thing I've ever heard to date was:
"I can't be trusted with knives. My mommy hides all knives in the house from me because I've tried to stab everything and everyone. I know if I stab an animal or a person too much they might die. This would mean I'd go to jail and I don't think I could make it in jail. So I want to find a dead body and stab it over and over again. This way I know I won't get in too much trouble cause the person was already dead."
She was only nine.
All For Attention
This one happened just the other day and, obviously, I'm going to be anonymous about it to protect the child's identity. Let's call her Abby.
So, I'm driving a minibus of students home from a basketball practice when suddenly Abby starts screaming, "did that have peanuts in it!? I'm allergic to peanuts!" She begins hyperventilating and crying and actually makes me pull over so she can get off the bus and throw up. We're about 15 minutes from the school and I'm literally having a panic attack.
So, I call the principal and ask what should I do? Do we have an Epi-pen on hand at the school, ect. She seems confused and puts Abby's grandmother on, who tells me she wasn't aware her granddaughter, who is claiming she can barely breath, HAD any allergies.
When we got back to the school I was about ready to faint and the principal brings out her registration paperwork to show me: no listed allergies. She isn't allergic to anything, it was all an act. The hyperventilating, the crying, even the throwing up, was all for attention.
The First Seven MonthsGiphy
So I am not entirely sure if this is sociopath or psychopath but I had a child that was creepily into my pregnancy for the first 7 months.The child was a Male. 10 years old. He wanted to name her, talked to my belly, etc.
Then one day it clicked that I would leave to take care of the baby once the child was born. He got really close to me and whispered, "When you come out, I'm going to kill you with a hammer. I hate you."
I was shocked, so I took him with me to the office. The LSSP asked why he said that. He replied that, "It will take her away. I want it to die so she stays here."
He was on a lot of medication for his incredibly violent tendencies. He had tried to kill his sister before by pushing her in front of a bus. His mother kept him locked in his room at night because she had found him standing over her with a knife.
The last I saw of that child, he was being carried down the hall by two grown men and giving them a run for their money. He had attempted to kill the school's police dog with a pair of scissors. He was screaming and ranting that he would "kill all of you MFers!"
He ended up being committed after a long series of events that involved MHMR and CPS. I will never forget his poor mother crying in our final meeting and asking what she had done wrong. Her other two children were neurotypical and absolute delights. I had taught both of them previously. It still makes me tear up sometimes.
Waiting For The Opportunity
I had a student while I was doing my student teaching (8th grade). He was constantly in trouble, but during the times he WAS in class, he just stared off with the most vacant look in his eyes, it truly scared me. It was downright creepy.
One day he was up at the whiteboard writing some stuff (I think it was correcting sentences) with a bunch of other kids who were doing the same thing. I wasn't watching the kids at the board, and all of a sudden I hear this blood curdling scream and look over - he had brought a hypodermic needle and had stabbed the girl next to him in the leg.
He had been holding it in his hand the entire time, just waiting for the opportunity to stick someone. It was, of course, terrible, but the girl turned out okay. The worst part, besides that, was how he laughed when security came to get him ... Ugh, I'm shuddering now just thinking about it.
Fear For His Future
I taught a 4 year old boy who actually scared me because I fear what his future will be. I can see him ended up doing some awful things to people.
He would try and kiss and hug girls and when they didn't want to, he'd hold them tightly and try to anyway, even if they loudly protested. I explained that there is no kissing in school and if someone doesn't want to hug, they absolutely do not have to. I also said that some people don't like hugging. He said "Well I want her to! So she will!"
He just couldn't understand boundaries of any kind. This is just one tiny example of the things he did. His behavior with other students boundaries was so bad that molestation at home was one of the things that crossed our minds at the school.
I logged all of his behaviours (this took hours and I had to do the logs multiple times a day). This school has a specific safeguarding leader who works with the police to investigate concerns. They follow a specific referral policy and referred this on. Investigations showed no concerns about his home life.
I did refer him for evaluation as I believe he has autism and he's undergoing assessment now and awaiting a diagnosis but I worry there's something else there with him.
He would also watch other children to see how he 'should' act. For example, a child might be sad and another child comforts them. He would copy this behaviour but totally exaggerate it. Like completely over the top and use it as an excuse to touch others - mainly girls. He never showed any genuine emotion other than anger and jealousy.
He had a very scary look in his eyes and I've never met another child like him.
I was often substituting a special needs class, 6-7 boys about 8-10 years old. The days were normally lively but I always had everything under control and the boys had learned to trust me and at least tried to do what I told them to. Never had any real problems, just normal stuff.
Then one time there was a new boy in the class. Their teacher had written me a note that said to keep a close eye on him at all times. He had the telltale features of a FAS child and small, black eyes like a shark. He never showed any emotion whatsoever excluding immense excitement if someone else got hurt in any way.
Few days passed without any incidents and then, out of the blue he stands up in the middle of class, yanks the much smaller guy sitting in front of him down with his chair from behind and starts to pummel him in the face with his fists. I ran to intervene and grabbed him off and set him in a corner ordering one of the trustworthy boys to run and get the principal here, NOW! The attacker stood in the corner, emotionless as ever and completely calm. I turned to check out the crying kid on the floor and miraculously he seemed unharmed but was just shaken uo by the surprise attack. I sat down on the floor to calm him down and to help him up. Next thing I know is the shark-eye kid standing beside me and stabbing me on the leg with my teacher scissors (the only pointy ones in the classroom).
It was then when I realized why the attacked kid wasn't badly hurt. Shark-eye was big for his age but he had no physical strength at all. I didn't even get a bruise from his stab, my trusty Lee's jeans stopped the blade which I instantly took from him.
I threw the scissors on top of a high shelf and ordered everyone else out of the classroom to wait for the principal's arrival while I watched over Shark-eye. Boys ran out, Shark-eye looked at me curiously for a few seconds and sat down at his desk and continued his math assignments like nothing had happened.
I asked him quite sternly what had made him attack a fellow student. Shark-eye lifted his empty gaze and said "I heard him laughing at the school cafeteria. I thought he could have been laughing at me. Can we play football today in PE class?"
The boy had no empathy nor remorse. The episode meant absolutely nothing to him. When the principal arrived we went through the situation and the class affirmed my description or events as they had happened. Shark-eyes' mom picked him up early and he stayed at home for a few days. The principal told me that this was not the first such incident and that the boy was on queue for a hospital school class. The principal commended me for my actions (I was very young at the time) and was surprised that I had been able to keep my cool even after getting stabbed, even if the attempt had been pitiful.
Turned out that's my teacher superpower. I never lose it. Even when I've been spit at, got chairs thrown at me, someone trying to gouge my eyes out while holding them (more than once) etc. Luckily the years in the same school have accumulated my reputation and nowadays it's very rare that someone even dares to try to mess with me.
This incident was nearly 20 years ago but I'll never forget it.
Through The Years
Met this kid when he was two and a half, and he was already messed up. Super manipulative. He would chase the other kids, trying to hit or kick them. He crafted pretty convincing lies to get other kids in trouble, or blame them for things he did. He did it so well that it often was impossible to KNOW it was a lie, other than that you knew it was him because it was always him. At nap time he would get off the cots and try to body slam all the kids trying to sleep, if you sat with him he would try to kick you in the face, if you tried to control him (by restraining him or something like that) he'd scream that you were hurting him and my director would come in and threaten to write us up if we touched him again. Nap time was terrible.
At three he continued the above behaviors but started adding in creepy threats. He told my co-teacher he was going to get a gun online, and the post man was going to bring it to his house, and he would hide it in his backpack and bring it to school and shoot her in the head when she wasn't looking. He told another teacher he was going to bring a hammer and hit her until her head looked like applesauce.
At four he was STILL doing all the above creepy sh!t but also was now big enough to throw chairs across the room, and had discovered gouging people's skin off with his fingernails and biting. He was not allowed to have anything even remotely sharp, ever. We pretty much had to be constantly watching him, despite having 19 other kids with two teachers (the ratio at 4 and up was 10 kids per teacher).
During all of the above behaviors he would intersperse periods of being very sweet. As a teacher, who wants the best for kids and believes they all deserve love and a place to feel safe, you'd think "finally! He's opening up to me! We can work with this! We can help him!!" Even, selfishly, "I'm the teacher who finally got to him!" but that was only new teachers, and we all fell for it at least once. Inevitably it turned out he was using it to get away with things, and when you'd take another kids side on something where he was clearly in the wrong he'd say "but I thought you liked me now? I thought you liked me... You hate me don't you. Nobody loves me" while crying. If you made it clear you didn't buy that, he'd pretty much just scream at you and then turn back into the terror he was. It was just an emotional f-ing rollercoaster with this kid, honestly. Always holding out hope eventually that little phase of being nice would be the real deal, the time you'd really actually really reached him...
By five he still wasn't potty trained (he refused, mostly, but when we pushed the matter his grandma got mad and told us never to put him in underwear). One day he showed up with stitches on his face, his grandma said he'd been bitten in the face by their dog and she was going to have it put down. We all immediately wondered what he'd done to the dog. (For what it's worth I convinced her to rehome the dog and unless she was a manipulative lying little person like her grandson, I like to believe she was telling the truth.) We had real scissors in the pre-k room and licensing says that all art materials had to be available at all times (this includes paint and chalk, which was a headache to manage all by itself). We had to watch him because he often tried to stab people. The director wouldn't listen to reason in regards to putting them up because of him, we were just supposed to do a better job "controlling the classroom." He started talking about genitals and asking sexual questions. His grandma insisted we were teaching him this behavior and refused to answer any questions that intimated
We had all called CPS multiple times about this kid, and had never seen any follow through. I had been refusing to work in the room with him anymore because I often had bruises and scratch marks and nothing was being done to support us, we were just supposed to redirect him. If we couldn't control him without saying "no" or using time out or restraining him in ANY way we got in trouble, we were only supposed to "redirect." IE give him special treats, thereby further encouraging the behavior AND making the other kids feel they had to replicate such behavior if they also wanted special toys, activities, food, whatever.
However, when he was about 5 and a half we had gotten a new director who immediately decided he was a danger to the other kids and we couldn't control him with any tools we were authorized to use. She suggested he get some outside help and perhaps reduce his time with us until his behavior improved. His grandma withdrew him instead, screaming the whole time about how we always hated her and her baby and now he wasn't going to have anyone to watch him and he was gonna get worse because we abandoned him etc etc.
I really hope that little boy got help. He was a danger from before most kids were forming full sentences, and continued getting worse. I hope he got removed from the toxic environment he was in and got all the help he could get. However, I will not be surprised to see his name in the newspaper someday soon connected to a violent crime or two. He would be 11 or 12 by now.
Carrying Out An Experiment
I have seen students display all sorts of extreme behaviour over the past 20 years, teaching teenagers in challenging schools.
The one kid that I was convinced was a psychopath, just quietly refused to do anything he didn't want to do. I never saw him angry, and yet I did see him hit people and say awful things to them. He was always eerily calm.
He was tiny and very cute but he used to manipulate people and then watch chaos unfold with these huge unblinking puppy-dog eyes, just studying it all. It was like he was carrying out an experiment.
ANYWAY that was when he was about 14. He's 19 now and serving a life sentence for a horrific gang murder.
Cameras And Microphones
Story from a friend. As the new teacher he got stuck doing after school detention a lot his first year as a high school teacher. He didn't mind because he always stays late anyway with paperwork. Now at some point he had only one student for detention and he says she is the worst human being he's ever met.
She tried to blackmail him. Told him that either he would mark her as having attended the detention and all future detentions - or she was going to say that he assaulted her. Luckily for him there's both cameras and microphones in the classrooms. So that never happened and he did report it to the principal.
She was later expelled for bringing a knife to school and cutting another girls ponytail off in the bathroom.
Fast forward 5 years, when I was away at college, my mom's friend's daughter also went there (senior when I was a freshman), and I guess he had been stalking her for years. He moved from our hometown to the town she went to college in, where I had just moved. She had filed restraining orders and orders of protection against him ,but he would just violate them and serve the time - it didn't bother him. I was terrified that he would find out I lived there, and make me his next victim since she was graduating soon. Luckily he never did, and I hadn't heard anything about him until recently.
A friend of mine is now the guidance counselor at my old high school. He was reading up on some old files regarding students that are flagged if they ever come back to the school. He was one of them, and the reasons give me chills. He had apparently told one of the teachers/coaches that he loved him, so that he would let him know before he bombed the school, so that he could make sure he wasn't there when it happened. He also was found with a "hit list" of all of the people, teachers and students both, that he wanted to kill, with detail of how he would kill them. I'm sure you can guess where I'm going with this - yep, I was on his list. It makes me sick that I was never told about this, and that they let him continue going to the school, instead of expelling him. I have no idea why he wasn't expelled.
So I have this kid, moved from another country two years ago and I got him this year. Was warned that he was difficult. We hit it off quite well, he is difficult and loud, but manageable. Out of a sudden he wants to talk to me alone, and starts crying the moment we are alone. He starts to tell me his life story - from being neglected by his stepfather, who is abusive towards him, and that social services were already involved, so they moved and so on.
But he didn't want me to do anything in case it got worse. I got in touch with the psych team and my boss, and we were discussing how to move forward. We decided to talk to the parents first to get a feel for the situation, so I invited them for a talk and WOW. The mother was nearly burned out, the step dad started crying because apparently their son was tyrannical and making their lives a living hell.
I was not expecting this.
Child Protective Services and psych professionals were already involved. His whole story is made up. It is a messy situation. The baggage the boy carries is immense, and yet, I have seen how aggressive he gets when things don't go his way.
I also learned that what he told me "in private" is something he basically tells everyone he meets, and people believe him so his parents are quite shunned in this small town they moved to. Never seen anything like it. He has a psych eval scheduled and his parents are eligible to get a home assistant, so we'll hope it helps.
That Calm LookGiphy
I worked in our "Exceptional Children's" department for 8 years. During that time, I was the only male in our department and we had some kids with issues that needed constant supervision. One of these kids, I'll call him John, was a really special case. He was a fifth grader at the time. He lived at home with his mom and dad who was one of these work from home auto mechanics. They seemed like decent enough people, but they had no ability to deal with John's behaviors.
Anyway, John was not good in class, so my job was to sit with him and make sure he did his best. We kind of got to be friends. He liked having an adult around. But he was also way behind in school because of how much time he'd missed, both from his parents not sending him and for the times when he'd been suspended. So trying to get him to pay attention in class was a challenge. I kept up with his work, and spent extra time trying to help him figure stuff out. Once he got a concept, he would be very happy and I worked it with my superiors that good work and good behavior got him 10 extra minutes outside, which he loved. It was the only non-food incentive I could work up for him. When he was happy, he did his work as best as possible. But he also got frustrated, especially when his teacher would assign a lot of pages of practice work. He had to do it too, and he hated it and I could just see him quivering for some way to get out of the work. Secretly, at that point, since I knew that forcing him to do work was going to cause an issue (it always did) I wondered why they didn't just let him sit in class and doodle so he would stay calm.)
One day, we were sitting in a small group, and a few of his classmates were hanging with him, trying to help him. It was really nice, because the kids really wanted him to do well. I remember thinking to myself this is usually when the bottom falls out. I was right. John got up and went to sharpen his pencil. He was over there for a while trying to get a good point on it. That's what happens, you know. It was 2 p.m. and it was a Friday, so I was really hoping that he'd keep up the behavior until the buses came. Make a good close to the week.
He came back to his seat, wrote something on his paper, and then in one move, he grabbed the little girl beside him on his right by the back of her head, hair and all and yanked it back. The rest happened in the slowest possible motion.
John took the pencil in his left hand like a dagger... He was going to put the pencil into this girl's eye. It was the most reasonable target, he later said. I reached over and grabbed the hand with the pencil and bent it back and away, forcing him to drop it. I applied pressure to the nerve above his elbow of the right hand he was holding the girl by the hair with and he let go. I got him to the floor in what we had been trained to do as a "therapeutic" hold. The teacher meanwhile ran to get help. Students ran to one side of the room, well away from us. One boy took the pencil and dashed the point against the wall. I'll never forget that part as long as I live.
So, there I am and John is as limp as a boned fish (pardon the cliche') and he's as calm as can be. He looks up at me from this position and says, "I was bored and wanted to see what would happen if I stabbed her in the eye. I was just wondering. That's all. That's all!"
He really didn't seem to get what the big deal was.
So, the police came. The girl's parents were notified, John's parents were notified, the principal gathers us and we all go to the conference room and the whole thing is rehashed. The teacher of the class explained everything. I explained my part. When they asked John, in front of his parents, he told us all the same thing he told me. He didn't get what the problem was. I saw abject horror on his mother's face, then. His father's face was something else. At that point I thought it was recognition or familiarity, as though this wasn't something new for John (or the father), but now I think I saw something like dark pride, there. But memories don't hold their detail and I may have added that later.
John was suspended and the parents of the girl pressed charges. After the suspension, he was allowed back, but he had to be in a room away from all students. The judge (when the event finally came before the courts) ruled John was just a misbehaved kid and gave him a stern lecture and some community service and probation. A few months later, school was out for the summer and I think that he wound up being "home schooled" which in his parent's speak meant left to his own devices.
Several years later, and well away from that foray into childhood violence, John showed up on the front page of our local paper. He was 21, now and had gotten into trouble a bunch in the intervening years, but the worst was indecent liberties with a minor, aggravated assault, assault and battery, and a few other things, all one situation, apparently. The photo in the paper, his mugshot, was the same face he had as he calmly explained to me that he had just been bored and wanted to see what would happen. The same calm, even face of a person who was definitely not in touch with the fact that other people have feelings. Worst part was that aside from his behavior was likable.
This is awful, but I knew then, and I know better now, that this was a sociopath/psychopath in the making and I was there for his first adventure into human harm. He's a human, of course, and was a 12 year old, then, but it seemed pretty obvious that he would wind up hurting someone else.
That's the worse part for me, even now. I knew (and so did my coworkers) all too well that he would soon enough get bored again and try to hurt another child. I was there when it counted, once, but I wouldn't be the next time. And I knew very well that would always be a next time with John.
He wound up getting 8 years in the local prison. I later heard from an old colleague more of his back story.
His mom killed herself, left a long note about how she didn't have the will to live having brought such a nightmare child into the world. His father wound up having a bunch of floozies over all the time and got into selling meth (not a big surprise) they felt pretty sure that John got to see all kinds of fun stuff. The house burned down and he went to live with an uncle. Anyway, in the long run, he'd gotten into trouble, a few pets killed, a few fights with neighbors, one assault and wound up in juvie.
I'm no longer a teacher, though I do visit schools in a professional capacity for my current career. I will say this, however, I was attacked personally four times, had to stop violence countless times and dealt with all kinds of angry and frustrated behavior from kids in elementary schools. These were rarely kids from adjusted and caring homes. Even poor kids from broken homes had issues with behavior occasionally. But the kind of systemic, brutal behavior from some of the children I knew or worked with was a direct result of homes that were likely to cause toxic stress. It's difficult to characterize just how serious this problem is for some students. It's not a happy thought, but it is happening.
I had PTSD for several years after all this (and other things I dealt with-including teacher abuse) and I admire and respect teachers that have to leave because they cannot take it anymore. I couldn't and I got out when I could.
I have even more respect for teachers who can stay in and make a difference day in and out.
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/
Y'all know that one Hannah Montana song? “Everybody makes mistakes! Everybody has those days!" That's the song I sing to myself every time I accidentally burn myself while making ramen. It comforts me to know, however, that there are a lot of worse mistakes out there than some spilled ramen. Who knew?
In fact, some mistakes are so astronomical that they're remembered for decades afterwards, leaving the one who made the mistake a legacy of being a dumba**. Here are a few of them!!!
Some may argue that the existence of the Universe was a mistake. I disagree. It was clearly Zayn leaving One Direction. But these next few were pretty bad too.
If you do the math, this is also the reason why Hentai exists.
I'll say the wrong turn Franz Ferdinand's driver made that went right in front of Gavrilo Princip.
EDIT: yes I'm aware war may still have broken out even if Franz Ferdinand wasn't assassinated
Imagine you're Gavrilo Princip. The assassination plot you and your friends had been cooking up for about the last year or so has been a complete and total disaster, just a monumental f*ck-up of the highest degree. You're staked out at this deli thinking maybe, just maybe the car will pass by, and by some stroke of sheer luck, it does.
If you're Princip, this is nothing short of serendipity.
Petition to return to the ocean.Ocean Surf GIFGiphy
"Many were increasingly of the opinion that they'd all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place. And some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no one should ever have left the oceans."
"In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move." - Douglas Adams
This was, in fact, a monumental mistake.
Sears not beating Amazon to the punch.
Blockbuster not buying Netflix.
You thought THOSE were bad? Well gear up for their next few, because they are 100% accurate. Except the one about Cats, that movie slaps.
I don’t know sports, but sure.
Seahawks not running it.
I used to wear a Seahawks jersey whenever I took a test because I knew I would pass when I shouldn't.
CATS is great, y'all are just boring.Giphy
The Emoji Movie.
That live action movie about Cats is also up there.
Very fair point.
Humans are not wired to have that many social interactions and maintain that many relationships. Plus the echochambers it allows people to create for themselves, no matter how conspiratorial or vile their beliefs, means that stupid/evil people are no longer shunned into changing their mind.
Not sure it was worth being able to see what a celebrity had for lunch or what new "dance" your younger cousin and her tween friends are doing.
But in all seriousness, some horrible things may now have happened if the right thing was halted at the right time.
Washington called it.George Washington Disney GIF by Hamilton: An American MusicalGiphy
Voting for people based on what side of the political spectrum they're on. George Washington himself advised against political parties because he thought they would cause too much division in this country. Unfortunately for everyone, he was right.
Big oops on that one.
Barack Obama mocking Donald Trump at the Correspondents Dinner might have led directly to his 2016 run....
"Now, I know that he's taken some flak lately, but no one is happier, no one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than The Donald," Obama said. "And that's because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter — like, did we fake the moon landing? What really happened in Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?"
Then he turned serious: "But all kidding aside, obviously, we all know about your credentials and breadth of experience. For example — no, seriously, just recently, in an episode of 'Celebrity Apprentice' — at the steakhouse, the men's cooking team did not impress the judges from Omaha Steaks. And there was a lot of blame to go around. But you, Mr. Trump, recognized that the real problem was a lack of leadership. And so ultimately, you didn't blame Lil Jon or Meatloaf. You fired Gary Busey. And these are the kind of decisions that would keep me up at night. Well handled, sir. Well handled."
This is the best Star Wars and no one can change my mind.
I'll take 'Star Wars Christmas Special' for $100.
That atrocious pile of manure gave us Boba Fett, so without the Christmas Special there won't be The Mandalorian.
Wow, in this article, I openly admitted my love for Cats AND The Star Wars Holiday Special. So maybe my existence was the biggest mistake of all.
ANYWAY, I hope you enjoyed, and I hope you all feel a little bit better about yourself. Because when push comes to shove, at least you didn't accidentally start World War I
When I was younger, it seemed every adult believed that you couldn't swim for several hours after eating. Why did they all believe this? I fought them on this all the time, by the way. I shouldn't have had to, just because I'd eaten some barbecue during a pool party. Guess what, though? That belief is unfounded.
After Redditor MelonInACat asked the online community, "What is a common myth that has been debunked that too many people believe?" people told us about the myths that are still around despite credible evidence.
"Do you know how many wellness checks..."
You must wait 24 hours before reporting a missing person.
- 24 hours from when? The time you realized they were missing? The time you estimate they went missing? The time of the initial report to police?
- Who is the legal timekeeper? If this is a law, it must have a designated timekeeper for official records. City police? County sheriff? Do I hire a private attorney to file a time-keeping motion in court?
- If the most likely time to find a missing person is the first 24 hours, why would you wait 24 hours?
- If the person dies or is severely injured because the county/state refused to initiate a search, doesn't that put some liability on their office? It seems like that would've been tested in court by now.
There's no law governing how long you have to wait before notifying the police of a missing person. It's nonsense. File a report as soon as you suspect the person is missing or in danger.
Do you know how many wellness checks officers go on in a day? Call it in, man...
CALL IT IN!
Why would you wait so long? It's absurd and wastes valuable time. And in the event something has happened, you could very well be saving someone's life.
"Popping your knuckles..."
Popping your knuckles is actually harmless and the "study" that claimed it caused arthritis was heavily flawed. Studies now show that it has nothing to do with causing arthritis.
I heard this one all the time.
I didn't crack my knuckles anyway because I didn't understand the appeal. Why were all the first-graders so fascinated by this?
"That if you get too close..."
That if you get too close to a baby bird, the mother will smell human on the baby and abandon the nest.
You probably should still avoid touching baby birds for other reasons like disease or risking injury to the animal though.
"That waking a sleepwalker..."
That waking a sleepwalker is dangerous for them. They might wake up confused, but they'll be fine unless you scream at them or something.
"That your hair and fingernails..."
That your hair and fingernails still grow after you die. It's mainly an optical illusion. Your skin decays and shrinks, causing hair and fingernails to look like they've grown.
I grew up hearing this.
There are entire generations of people who believe this.
"We all know the story."
The War of The Worlds broadcast in 1938. We all know the story: Orson Welle's broadcast War of The Worlds over the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS). But people only tuned in partway through and heard the radio announcing that machines were landing in the country and were advancing and attacking. People panicked in the streets and thought aliens really were invading. There was hysteria on the streets, people were looting and traffic jams backed up as people tried to escape.
But it turns out, that isn't really true. It turns out barely anyone actually listened to the broadcast, and the few that were listening knew it was Orson Welles and knew it was just a broadcast of War of the Worlds. If there was anyone that did tune in and mishear it and panicked, it was nowhere near the hundreds and thousands that have been reported in this myth.
This one is definitely a popular urban myth by this point.
Cool story, but nowhere near as exciting as you might have heard. If anything, that mythos probably helped Welles get full artistic control of the projects, like Ciitizen Kane and The Magnificent Ambersons, that made him a star.
"You don't have to wait..."
You don't have to wait 3 hours after eating to swim. Every summer I have to fight my in-laws about it.
"Do you really think..."
That not turning your airplane mode on (smartphone) can interfere/jam communications.
Do you really think if a smartphone might endanger a whole plane with passengers they would let it fly?
"No amount of reasoning..."
That cats kill babies.
I've run into this so many times since having kids. And it's not the older grandmas making these statements. I've had 20-year-olds tell me that you can't have cats if you plan to have babies because "they'll steal their breath" or some other variation. No amount of reasoning or rationale will dissuade them of this belief.
"Maybe it's just one of those things..."
YOUR. BLOOD. IS. NOT. BLUE! Seriously tho, I was told that everyone's blood was blue on the inside when I was younger, and I honestly don't know why my Mom thought that. Maybe it's just one of those things that you only believe because your family has been saying it since your Grandma's Grandpa's Grandma's Grandma's Grandpa or something like that.
Here's some valuable advice, guys:
Google is your friend. It's very easy to debunk this stuff. I remember being taught that the tongue had taste zones––we even had to fill out a worksheet labeling the tongue's different zones. That's totally wrong, in case you haven't figured it out.
Have some myths you've heard you'd like more people to know have already been debunked? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments section below!
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As much as we're not supposed to feel satisfaction upon observing the struggles of other people, it can be hard to resist a silent, internal fist pump when some blunder occurs immediately after we tried to help the person prevent it.
It is all a result of stubbornness.
The person we're trying to help is stubborn. They think they know the best way to do something, or the exact information required for a given moment.
And, on top of that, they think we're being stubborn when we try to intervene.
So all of our attempts to help fall on deaf ears. And the results can be as calamitous as they are satisfying.
TenaciousBrit asked, "What's your 'I told you so' moment?"
Many people chose to talk about the times their friends or family ended up producing some truly entertaining physical comedy.
And the laughter was only enhanced with the knowledge that they'd just predicted the whole thing.
"Was picking beans with my sister and mom. To this day I still don't know why the fence was electric but it was. I touched it and I got zapped. It wasn't too bad but it hurt. I jumped away and my sister saw me, I said that it was an electric fence."
"Of course she just thought I was pranking her. I was trying to tell her the whole time we picked beans but she didn't believe me. Right at the end she touched the fence and she didn't see it coming at all... Her face was just like, 'Oh shi-' "
"Loved the car ride home, 'I told you... Idiot.' "
No Babies, Two Hurt Backs
"My sister and I were out sledding when we were kids at this place with a really steep hill. I had unknowingly gone down a sled path that had a jump in it, and when I landed it really hurt my back."
"So when I got back up to the top of the hill I told my sister 'don't go that way, the jump really hurts.' She called me a baby and didn't believe me that it really hurt so she decided she would go down that path on her sled."
"Well, she hit the jump and didn't get back up, turns out she fell so hard she had broken her leg. When we finally got her back up the hill and to the car, I got to tell her 'I told you so.' "
"This dumb a**hole woman wouldn't leave the llamas at our petting zoo alone, even after I warned her."
"Eventually they had enough and spit alllll over her. Green goopy spit from head to torso."
"She threw up a bunch and I laughed. Until I smelled it and then I was retching too."
Others recalled the times they trusted their instincts, only to be gaslighted by medical professionals.
But they did, eventually, get the help they needed. And the mixture of pride and frustration toward the other doctor was palpable.
"Had a weirdly dark freckle. The color of chocolate. I showed spouse and he called me a hypochondriac and if I go to a doctor, I'd be wasting their time."
"I went to the dermatologist. It was melanoma."
Years of Itchy Apples
"Since I was 14, my throat got itchy when I ate apples. I told my mom but she thought I just didn't want to eat apples and forced me to eat them."
"Went to the doctor's office and got a test for allergies."
"Turns out, I'm allergic to apples, peaches, and many other fruits."
This Was a Baby We're Talking About Here!
"My newborn baby was projectile vomiting after every feeding. I took her to the doctor several times, always ended up being sent away with suggestions to try a different formula. I tried like 4 different ones, no change."
"The 4th or 5th visit, they sent me away again with the same recommendation even though I pleaded with them to figure out what was wrong with my baby. I left the office and drove to the ER instead. She ended up having emergency surgery that day."
"The surgeon said she would have starved to death (or maybe dehydrated?) had she gone much longer without the surgery. I gave the doctors in that office a piece of my mind."
Dirt: Not Always the Answer
"Went to the doctor on and off for breathing problems to no avail. A lot of 'rub some dirt on it' mentality. Wound up in the ER as a result of an asthma attack. Kept the bracelet on and everything when I went back the next week to see him."
"Not as satisfying as I would've hoped."
And some people discussed the times they knew or predicted a piece of information, but couldn't seem to persuade someone else through dialogue or conversation.
But, of course, the truth always comes out.
Chose the Wrong Partner
"Lawyer here. Fired a partner who I found some real irregularities in their spending habits vs. what they were making after he couldn't provide a good answer to where it came from. Other partner left and started a new firm with them because they disagreed with my decision and refused to look at the evidence."
"Turns out he stole 500k of a clients money, got disbarred, and is now facing prison time. I told her to look at the evidence and she didn't listen. 🤷🏼♂️"
"Someone started talking about a bottle of Newman's Own salad dressing while at dinner with my family and I said something like 'I'm pretty sure that was started by the Actor/Race car driver Paul Newman.' to which one of my siblings replied 'No it was someone else.' "
"I grabbed the bottle and turned it around and started reading the label out loud. The first sentence was 'Paul Newman's career was acting, but his passion was auto racing.' I stopped reading after that."
He Knew Immediately
"Bed frame wasn't properly lashed down while moving, partner insisted the weight of the frame would keep it in place."
"Flew into the middle of a major intersection on a left turn. We dodged four lanes of oncoming traffic to collect the pieces."
"I fixed my partner with a look that could peel paint, and he said 'I know, I know, you told me so and you're right. I'm sorry.' "
"I still give him sh** for it every time we move something. It's funny now, but god damn was I pissed at the time."
We can draw a couple of lessons from this list.
First, know that, at the end of the day, you can only do your best to share your opinion. You need to accept that they're going to do what they're going to do.
Second, when someone tries to give you advice, maybe take a moment to listen.
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One of the most upsetting aspects of the Covid-19 pandemic––which is saying a lot, frankly––is the number of people who have been so affected by misinformation and disinformation. You know the ones to which I refer: These are the people who are convinced the virus is a hoax despite the lives it's claimed and the devastation it has wrought on society at large. Disinformation kills––there are stories of people who remained convinced that Covid-19 is a hoax even while intubated in the ICU, even up to their last breath.
After Redditor asked the online community, "Doctors of Reddit, what happened when you diagnosed a Covid-19 denier with Covid-19?" doctors and other medical professionals shared these rather unsettling stories.
"The one that sticks out in my mind..."
I'm a doctor working in acute internal medicine. I've seen lots of COVID over the last 12 months, probably 300+ cases. The one that sticks out in my mind the most was a 70-year-old lady with COPD. She refused to have a vaccine because she didn't trust it despite the fact she was eligible for one for weeks beforehand (in the UK). Subsequently caught COVID and was admitted to hospital. She repeatedly doubted this was the diagnosis. She refused to go to our COVID High Dependency Unit despite quite significant respiratory failure. Of course, she deteriorated over a number of days to the point where she was on maximal oxygen on the ward and at that point finally accepted treatment in HDU with high flow oxygen, although continued to doubt she had COVID. Died within 24 hours of her HDU admission having refused to go to ICU.
And of course, what did her family say? They were convinced she never had COVID and even went as far as accusing us of withholding life-saving treatment from her. Unfortunately, there's no treatment for stupidity.
Indeed there isn't.
A completely avoidable tragedy.
"My worst experience..."
My worst experience was when a 2-year-old kid got diagnosed with COVID. His mother had brought him with c/o fever and diarrhea. The child was severely dehydrated and so we had to do a mandatory swab test since we planned to admit him. It came positive and the mother refused to admit it. We were ready to perform a repeat test and we even advised the parents to get tested. Her defense was "The child never left the house. It's just me and the father who go to work daily. The grandmother babysits while we are away. How can he even get COVID without leaving the house." She had called her husband, he came with 10-15 relatives in a car, they broke a few chairs and then left with the baby. We just informed about the case to the COVID control centre.
"Only one patient ever accused me..."
Infectious disease doctor here. Seen about 450-500 COVID patients in the hospital since it all started. Only one patient ever accused me of using the nasal swab to give him COVID (along with a microchip). A handful have ranted nonstop about China. Everyone else has been sick enough to accept it, but lots still refuse the idea of vaccination even after being in the ICU.
"I had a lady who was maxed out..."
I had a lady who was maxed out on high flow (the next step is breathing tube) who still refused to believe she had Covid and was holding a negative test in her hand that she had taken a week prior.
The denial is so strong here.
It would be sad if it wasn't so horrifying.
"I'm an attending physician..."
I'm an attending physician at our Triage Unit. On a Friday, an older gentleman (60 + years) came in with his entire family (wife, sister, BIL, 2 nephews, and 3 children), none of them with a face mask. All had mild COVID symptoms except him, he was saturating 80% with evident shortness of breath. We insisted on doing PCR and a chest CAT scan looking for COVID but he and his wife refused, saying that COVID wasn't real and it was just a bacterial infection. The more we talked with him the more agitated he got to the point that his face was red. We suggested hospitalizing him to stabilize him and start treatment, but they accused us of exaggerating his symptoms and that we only wanted to hospitalize him so we could steal the liquid in his knees (a stupid rumor that was going around when this whole thing started).
They both cursed at us and said they were going to a better hospital to get antibiotics. Fast forward 24 hours later on Saturday, I get a call from the hospital next county over telling us that they intubated one of our patients because he went into respiratory failure when he arrived and they had to transfer him here because they don't have the appropriate equipment. We transfer the patient on Sunday only to find out on the CAT scan he had 90% of lung damage. He passed away on Monday morning.
Just before the family took the body away, I gave the widow the death certificate (that I filled out) and before walking away, she turns around and waves the certificate yelling "See! I told you it wasn't COVID! It says here: "Death due to pulmonary pneumonia due to SARS-CoV-2! I knew it was a bacteria!" I told her: "SARS-CoV-2 is COVID-19, ma'am."
The lengths people are willing to go to stay in denial astound me.
Basic critical thinking appears to have gone out the window here.
I'm a family doc who mostly does outpatient.
I live in a pretty conservative area with a good proportion of COVID deniers, so I've been seeing COVID deniers since this mess became politicized (I've lost a few patients over the mask mandate).
Anyway, I'm pretty pleased to say that several of my COVID denying patients have completely turned their attitude around when they (or a close family member) contracted COVID. Even if their case wasn't severe, the sudden terror that they could wind up on a ventilator overnight really puts the fear of God into people.
Unfortunately, I still have some patients who are still pretty obnoxious despite their covid diagnosis. They mostly dig deeper into paranoia. If not about the virus itself, then about the circumstances surrounding them contracting it.
"If Fauci had done his job from the beginning, it never would've hit this town."
"It's the entire fault of Obamacare that I can't get the experimental immunoglobulin treatment!" (It's not, your eligibility for the infusion is dependent on a list of risk factors).
And, probably my favorite...
"So I have COVID and it's completely your responsibility to fix it. I need you to send Hydroxychloroquine, Zinc, Vit D, Lisinopril, and azithromycin to the pharmacy..." Then they proceed to get pissed at me when I don't.
"During our peak time..."
I'm an emergency department physician in the US. I work in an area that had the highest death rate for a solid couple of weeks in the country.
During our peak time when we had national news crews here covering how we were a s***show, saw numerous people screaming their Covid disease wasn't real despite being hypoxic and on large amounts of oxygen due to Covid. That was an unpleasant time as this was still early (May/June) and it was extremely political like people apparently plotting to kidnap our state governor due to lockdowns.
Saw a lot of people refusing Covid testing who needed admission for non-covid purposes because the swabs would give them covid or put some sort of tracking device. They weren't pleased when they then had to be admitted to our full-blown Covid floors. Our Covid floors resembled a warzone because they were understaffed and relative s***hole conditions as we basically converted hallways into covid floors.
Also saw a lot of people young people who weren't exactly deniers but thought you basically couldn't sick if you were young. Lots of people with their lungs permanently scarred or at a minimum a couple of weeks of misery and/or spread it to their loved ones who got extremely ill.
"The willful cognitive dissonance..."
Physician here. The willful cognitive dissonance is real. It never ceases to amaze me how many patients will refuse assistance from me to register to get vaccinated, make claims that vaccines are harmful, but then accept my medical care on anything else that suits their whim. Patients absolutely have the autonomy to refuse care, but why would you continue to see a physician and accept their medical advice and care if you think they would simultaneously recommend something to you that would be harmful?
I've posed this question to patients who are vaccine-hesitant: "Why would you let me manage your diabetes and hypertension if you think I would harm you by recommending vaccinations?" You cannot get any kind of thoughtful response aside from, "I just don't want to be vaccinated."
"Some denier patients lived..."
RN here with most of 2020 spent in COVID land. I never had anyone refuse treatment when things got serious. I know some of the MDs I worked with got yelled at, like the rest of us...but honestly, that happens frequently anyway.
Some denier patients lived, many of which had accepted reality by the end of their stay after seeing what we all were going through to treat them.
Some died telling me I was a sheep or an idiot or a liar between gasps of air.
COVID didn't care.
This comment is strangely poetic.
Covid definitely doesn't care. The virus lays waste to people and... that's it. Good luck with your games of Russian roulette.
"People are crazy."
I work on a COVID unit and I ran into a patient like this. They'd tell me over and over again about how they weren't really sick and about how I didn't need to be gowned up in PPE. They even tried to take my face shield off. If you test positive for COVID two times then you have COVID! People are crazy.
Covid disinformation is a very serious problem and it's costing people their lives.
What can be done about it?
News literacy matters: It's important to get information from verifiable sources. Scientists and medical professionals are trustworthy. Those with backgrounds in public health know what they're talking about. Some conspiracy theory you received from your distant cousin on WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger is not worth your time or consideration.
Have some of your own Covid denial stories to share? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
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