A doctor's office is a place of confidence, someplace you can go to be healed in whatever way you need with the confidence the person sitting on the other side of the room will accept whatever you bring to them. No matter how crazy it is...

...Well, sometimes. Those times when what the patient, or even the doctor, says is too nuts, you just have to go online to talk about it.

Reddit user, u/midnuf, wanted to hear the juicy details when they asked:

Psychologists of Reddit, what's one thing a patient has told you that caught you off guard (Or vice versa, patients perspective)?

Owning Life On Your Terms

I did most of my training in a pediatric hospital. One of my patients (young adult) with relapsing Leukemia (Cancer since young childhood) wanted to go to an outdoor festival with their significant other. The oncologists were adamant that due to the patient's low white blood count and current course of treatment, they shouldn't let them go. Basically if that person caught an infection it would kill them.

The patient was pissed, understandably so, and said something like 'I've had this disease since I was a child, I know I'm going to die soon, I'm going to the concert whether you like it or not and if I die, then at least I'll do it on my own terms'.

It's always quite moving when a young person expresses their own mortality and confronts it head on. I had such admiration for that person.


A Shock To Everyone

Patient here. In response to me telling my therapist that I was prescribed Wellbutrin for my depression/anxiety, my therapist stated that it was a medication that a lot of adults with ADD see a positive effect with. It threw me off for a second and I was like, "that's cool...why do you say that?"

Therapist: "...because you have ADD?"

Me: "What? I do?"

Therapist: "Yes. You present very typical ADD for adults."

Me: "..."

Therapist: "I thought you knew already..."

Me: "Nope! But that explains so much!"

I also got a second opinion just in case and it turns out I absolutely am ADD. Thanks Doc! Lol!



While I was working at an impatient facility I was helping deescalate a patient who I had a good rapport with. We were sitting in a hallway speaking and he was telling me about the last time he had become that upset. He said, "Last time I was that angry I stabbed an orderly." Then he looks at me and said, "Don't worry I would never stab you." It definitely through me off and was probably the most touching thing I have ever heard from a patient.


You Can Only Have So Much

My psychologist told me I had too much empathy and should try to have less.


They're Never Who They Say They Are

When talking about the future and what I wanted to be and do after high school, my therapist told me that it's okay to not have a linear life. He said he became a therapist after he saw one of his friends from high school years later as a doctor and it was a Male up call for him because he was still in a rock band. It was shocking because this calm, quiet older man used to be in a rock band but suddenly decided to be a therapist.

Super funny!


Bet You They Didn't Know How To Spell It

I work with kids and this one kid in the middle of our session just straight up asked me what genocide was. He was 6 at the time. I was throughly shocked.


Two Varying Opinions Leading To The Same Conclusion

My ex and I sought out marriage counseling several years ago to help us decide if we wanted to split up or try to work out our issues. The first counselor we saw straight-up told my ex in our first session that he was emotionally abusive, and we both vehemently argued with her and decided that she was crazy (toxic relationships are a hell of a drug, y'all).

The second counselor we saw was super warm and easy to talk to and quickly built trust and a good rapport with both of us. After two or three joint sessions she told us that she always advises her couples clients to have individual counseling as well. She said that she would see me, and referred my ex to a colleague.

When I arrived for my first individual session the first words out of her mouth were "So, Ex is REALLY f-cked up and it's going to take him years and a lot of work - if he even chooses to do the work - to get healthy. What are you going to do to protect you and your baby?"

Suddenly months of inadequacy, confusion and gaslighting evaporated and I immediately responded with "Get a divorce."

That moment was a huge turning point in my life. Even now, almost 10 years later, I am hugely grateful to that counselor for cutting through the typical passive "and how do you feel about that?" routine to tell me the truth that I couldn't see but so desperately needed to know.



After five or six sessions I was about to schedule my next appointment when my therapist said she wouldn't continue seeing me because "she should spend her time on patients who have 'real' problems." I didn't see another therapist again for, like, 15 years.


So Shocking, It Stung

Not a psychologist. But one session with my therapist I'll never forget.

I was having a really hard day and ended up having some painful memories involving food in my childhood come up (diagnosed bulimic) and it was the first time I'd admitted any form of trauma to her. She sat there silent while I cried and told her everything and she only said "I'm so sorry" when I finished. She sounded so sad when she said it. I had never and still have never heard that tone from her any other time. It was the only time I'd admitted to any of those things to anyone, and seeing a professional left speechless kinda stung


Don't Take On Other People's Problems

Let me preface by saying that psychiatrists are the stereotypical engineers of the psych world.

I was telling my psychiatrist about my friend's miscarriage and how upset I was about it. (What made it worse was this pregnancy was the farthest along she had had at the time. Everyone was so excited for them.)

The psychiatrist's response was, "Well, it's their problem, not yours."

I was....a little shocked.


How Dare You?

My psychologist had the nerve to tell me that I make too much money once she found out my salary and benefits. She couldn't get over the fact that I make more money than her and she's treating me as a patient.


What A Beginning

Therapist here.

First patient ever, first meeting with her. Starting with asking why she's seeking therapy, she starts with ‚Oh I had a dream for years ago and I googled that and maybe I need help and besides I don't like sex. I mean, it's mostly okay, not much fun, but I hate anal, what do you think?' while grinning.

That's all [pathological] and important for a diagnosis for sure, but hell, I wished for a depression oder anxiety for the beginning.


Powers Beyond Your Comprehension

I am a MH worker. I was meeting with one guy for the first time. He was grandiose, which is always kind of fun, in my opinion. While grandiose, people will sometimes claim extraordinary powers, great intelligence, strength, etc. He had been showing me how incredibly high he could jump (not that high) and offering to display feats of strength if I could just give him some heavy stuff to lift. We were waiting for his treatment team to show up and maybe do a med adjustment.

Then, things changed. He told me he knew me, or about me. He started telling me things about myself professionally and some surface personal stuff a long-time client might know, but I just met this guy. At first he said he was psychic, but then laughed and said he just knew another client i was working with (a relief). He said he knew her really really well. I saw her at least once a week, had for a couple of years, and I had never heard of him. Also, I knew her to be happily married. I initially shrugged it off. But he pulled out his phone, and played a video with him and my other client giggling in bed! I tried not to look at it, but I could't completely avoid it. He was apparently her secret boyfriend on the side.

Between the details about me from this guy I had only met 30 minutes before and the revelations about my client's secret life I had no clue about... I was thrown. It was a weird hour.


Here's A Twofer


Much empathy and positive vibes towards those who have had negative interactions like those described in the thread. Beyond sucks, and I hope you feel like you can give the therapeutic relationship another try in the future if you haven't already...

Light: client who would randomly fart in sessions

Heavy: any medical event, entering a psychotic episode, or dysregulation into violent behaviour. All very intense and times where you just feel horrible for what the person is experiencing. I'd also say that no matter the fact that I've had to ask very directly hundreds of time, I'll never feel anything but like I've been punched in the gut when someone endorses being in danger of taking their life. Such an evocative and somber moment...


Deep Down Aren't We All A Little Broken?

Told mine I had seen him grabbing a drink at the same place I used to go get drunk before covid. He stared at me like I had discovered something NASA was hidding. We had a laugh and he confessed it.

Context: I had huge drinking problems and he told me he didn't like to drink at all


Yeah, You Should Go To The Other Doctor's Office...

My therapist once abruptly ended our session after telling me I needed to go to the ER.

I had been in a car accident the day before and had an undiagnosed concussion that was pretty bad. I was so out of it I didn't even realize I was out of it. He later told me I was talking about inappropriate topics (I was so embarrassed I didn't ask what I specifically talked about–i didn't want to know at that point) and wasn't making much sense. I'm just glad he recognized I was off that day and helped me get to the hospital.


One Light Of Positivity Breaking Through

I'm a clinical psychologist working on the back end of my post doc. I work predominantly with acute adolescent presentations such as chronic self injury or trauma.

I'm so used to the young people I help hating themselves. It hurts a lot inside, but I firmly believe in catharsis through positive regard and validation, so as we do our therapy, I often sprinkle in comments here and there about some of the things about them that I admire, respect, or appreciate. Things like their perseverance, their kindness, or their passion for an interest of theirs...

I'm always so caught off guard when they agree with me or say something nice about themselves that it's really the only time I find myself slightly tearful in session.

I'm always so damn proud of them and it hurts to hear the depths of their self hatred. Those little moments of growth make me feel like it's the first warm day after winter.


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