Doctors are remarkably busy people. Now imagine just how many of them see patients who waste their time by faking illnesses.
Today's burning question came from Redditor kblimey2, who asked the online community: "Doctors of reddit, how often do you know that a patient is faking an illness?"
Some of these are infuriating.
"One of the stronger narcotic pain meds..."
One of the stronger narcotic pain meds we have is called "Dilaudid".
People love that sh*t.
Sickle cell patients usually know exactly what works for them, and also have a known history at the hospital. When they come in we just ask what they need and give it to them, we know them, we trust them.
One day this random John Doe comes in listing textbook sickle cell symptoms without much detail (red flag). He's got no record in the hospital (red flag). He's got "allergies" (red flag). He says:
"I'm allergic to Tylenol, Motrin, aspirin, morphine, lidocaine, capsaicin, ketorlac, fentanyl patch, Aleve. I can't remember what they gave me last time, it was the only thing that worked. It started with a "D" and rhymed with "bilaudid"".
Bruh, get out of my ED.
"I worked inpatient Neuro..."
I worked inpatient Neuro and this lady called like 3 of her outpatient providers saying she needed a refill on her prescribed benzos AND narcotics because, and I quote, she "flushed them down the toilet because she was going to the hospital and didn't want anyone to steal them," except that makes zero sense and, also, YOU'RE IN THE HOSPITAL. We literally have your med list and give them to you while you're there. It's not a hotel or something. You don't need to bring your own stuff.
Obviously she was livid when nobody would fill her script 2.5 weeks early and said we were trying to torture her. She also s*it on the floor in protest several times and even once in her only pair of PJs from home. She was very unpleasant. We have a huge drug issue around my area so we see this stuff often.
"The look on her face..."
Had a patient fake having a stroke. Even received the clotbuster drug, went through all the CTs and MRIs, the whole shebang. Faked the one-sided weakness, severe speech and language deficits. Didn't help that her speech/language errors were grossly inconsistent. And that she kept forgetting which side was supposed to be her weaker side when working with PT/OT. Or that she was caught Googling aphasia symptoms on her phone (despite being completely unable to read simple words at eval.) She was trying to get on disability. And wouldn't you know it, as soon as she was told workman's comp won't pay and that she would not be able to drive for an indefinite amount of time (after just having such a severe stroke, after all) the next day her speech and language symptoms were completely resolved. A goddamn Christmas miracle in July.
A couple years later, I see a woman for the exact same thing. Literally talking on the phone, chatting it up with family present but as soon as I come in her language falls apart. Even the elderly mother comments "It's so strange how she was just talking to us just fine but you have her try to read or say a couple words aloud and it's impossible! Why is that?"
"...I'll be right back."
I check her chart and pull up old notes. My old notes. It's the same woman as before. I tell the physician about her faking and he's on the same page as me.
The best part was walking back into the room and having her ask "so when can I get outta here and start driving again?"
"Oh dear, no!" I wave the wasted time of a fake evaluation I just had to complete with her. "From the deficits I saw on your eval, as well as PT/OT documenting fluctuating vision issues, there's no way any doctor will let you on the road for quite a while without some rehab prior!"
The look on her face when I said that made it almost worth all the time I had to waste on her jerking me around with her malingering.
I'm sure symptoms magically resolved the next day.
"I'm a paramedic."
I'm a paramedic. It's pretty easy to tell, but you always treat them by the book anyways just in case you're wrong.
Some people fake unconsciousness for attention, you can sternal rub them and pinch the nail bed with no response. I'll squirt a bit of saline at their face without warning to see if they flinch, or hold their hand above their face and let go to watch it magically fall to the side.
Those people still get full vitals, cardiac monitor, and glucose check though.
"Probably what I've seen most often..."
Less often than you'd think. IMO, we doctors think we're a better judge of character than we really are.
Probably what I've seen most often as a family med resident in a heavily opioid-laden community is complaints about chronic pain, and they're often very tough to deal with, because many are real and many are not. Patients are often insulted by the fact they have to give urine drug tests and sign contracts, but I've been burned several times. I had a new patient recently come in for chronic lower back pain asking to continue his existing Rx for Oxycodone 30mg 3 times a day, and that's a TON of opioid. I was able to see that he filled a weird number of these tabs (99?) in another state just a week ago. Called the pharmacy and they told me the doc who wrote the Rx is a suspected cash doc selling scripts for money and under investigation. I pressed the issue and he started crying, admitted that he's been selling pills to get by after he lost his job. Felt bad for him but obviously I can't do anything about it. His story is unfortunately common.
If you're looking for "funny" stories, I've seen a significant amount of what we call "psychogenic non-epileptic seizures" (or, hilariously, PNES), aka pseudoseizures. Not saying these are always people actively faking seizures - in fact, they can be a symptom of serious psychiatric issues - but it's also a great way to get benzos or feed a histrionic personality. Here's some of my favorite "seizures" I've witnessed:
Old woman literally putting her hand on her forehead and fainting dramatically into her husband's arms, and then saying "Whew that was a bad one!"
Young girl resting in bed, then saying "I feel one coming on!" and then closing her eyes and running in place, curiously aborted by flushing her IV with saline (salt water).
Another young girl falling down and straight up humping the ground immediately after informing me that the only thing that keeps her seizures away is Valium.
Middle-aged woman with "arm jerking seizures" that are only treated by IV dilaudid.
Young man resting in bed and then just screams his head off for 5 minutes while bouncing up and down in bed, also immediately aborted when he thwacked his head on the bed rail and had to get stitched up.
"I have so many of these!"Giphy
I have so many of these!!
--Male patient, 18 years old, rolled in unconscious. Mom says he's been like that for the past four hours. Go to check his lungs when I hear something interesting. I place the stethoscope near his mouth and hear him breathe in normally, but then breathe out by saying 'breath'. No joke.
--Male patient, 21 years old, admitted with inability to speak for last two hours and respiratory distress. Lungs clear, but we hook him up to oxygen for a few minutes. After he's taken off, his father comes running and drags me over, saying his sons tongue refuses to go back in after receiving the oxygen. I look at the kid and he's seriously just lying there with his tongue poking out like a child. I tell them to push it back in. A few hours later the dad tells me the boy is convulsing. I go to see without making my presence known and he's lying there just fine. The moment I ask the mom how he's doing, he starts 'convulsing'. Think of an odd version of the worm, but on his back.
--Female patient, 16 years old, admitted with complaints of recurrent seizures and frothing from the mouth. I look at her and she is literally blowing spit bubbles. I check her reflexes, everything is intact. The moment I turn away to check on another patient, she suddenly becomes 'rigid' and the spitting intensifies.
--Male patient, 30 years old, unconscious and completely unresponsive for six hours. This guy was totally dedicated to his act. I initially approached it as a stroke, but when the blood pressure, ECG, reflexes, pupils, etc all are normal....I start checking pain sensation. He slowly began to open his eyes and groan as I asked him to tell me his name, but the moment his Achilles' tendon was pressed, he suddenly sat up, stated his name, and declared himself cured.
--Female patient, 17 years old, complained of respiratory distress and convulsions. Everything's normal on admission, and she's conscious but refuses to eat. Parents are worried out of their minds, and every few minutes she has a 'fit' where she would just basically shake from side to side. She let slip to a nurse that she didn't want to go to school that week, so she was faking an illness. Since she was refusing to eat, the attending wrote up an order for a nasogastric tube (which was inserted and then removed by her in a matter of minutes), and we prescribed her sugar pills because her parents wouldn't let us transfer her to psychiatry or discharge her. She finally left after four days.
"One common way..."
One common way to figure out if someone is faking abdominal pain to get opioids goes kind of like this:
"Having some belly pain?"
Groans Yeah 10/10!"
Pushes on belly
Groans louder "That really hurts! Now it's a 14/10!"
"Okay, I'm going to listen now with my stethoscope!"
Places stethoscope in same spot where I pushed and pushing with the stethoscope bell even harder than before
Learned that trick and it's interesting how many people forget that they need to start faking again because they just think I'm focusing on listening to bowel sounds.
"Here's your Rx..."
Every Doc/Nurse will tell you the same answer:
- Patient knows the exact name of the narcotic they need to help with the pain.
- They have tried every other drug and nothing helps.
- Their heart rate is 75, bp is 124/77.
Me: "Here's your Rx of Extra Strength Motrin. Have a nice day."
Patient: "I'M GOING TO F*CKING SUE YOU!"
Frequently, at my hospital. We get state funding to serve the underprivileged, so all the homeless come here. We have a lot of "frequent fliers" that will come in and fake symptoms to get food, a bed to sleep in, or drugs. Most really don't even want drugs though, they just want food.
"As soon as someone says..."
As soon as someone says they have an allergy to Tylenol or Advil. Raises all kinds of red flags...generally see this when someone is addicted to pain meds.
"Am a nurse."
Am a nurse. The fakers always say they're not faking and can put good language to their 'symptoms ' genuine sufferers are less vocal about their illness and aren't as drug seeking even though they deserve to be.
"Husband is a paramedic..."Giphy
Husband is a paramedic and he gets it a lot, like many others have stated, when the patient knows the painkiller they need by name, something is up.
Another one he says is when they refuse the green whistle. It's a fast acting temporary pain relief that paramedics use as both pain relief, but to also give the patient a distraction. If you're in legitimate pain then you suck on the whistle, you don't start up a debate on the effectiveness of IV painkillers vs painkillers you inhale.
A story he came home with once was a guy who supposedly fell down one step and was lying on the floor screaming in pain. They could hear him before they even arrived, from a street away. The second they walk over his screaming goes from "AHHHHH AHHHHHHHH" to "QUICK, BRING THE MORPHINE! THERE'S NO TIME TO LOSE!"
"I worked peds..."
Obligatory: am nurse. Pseudoseizure is our nice way of saying you're faking a seizure. It's usually pretty obvious because a seizure is really hard to fake, but you'd be shocked how many people do. Anyways, if you lift a seizing persons arm above their face and drop it, it will land on their face. They are unconscious (tonic-clonic seizure) and will not protect themselves. Funny though, if they are "pseudoseizing" their arm always manages to juuuust miss their face. I worked peds and these were the worst because the parents bought it hook line and sinker and we had to tell them their kid was a faker. I had one arrive by helicopter once.
"It's a big part of healthcare."
By experience, daily. It's a big part of healthcare. We call things conversion disorder that are malingering because we don't want to mess with lives too much, but it's a huge thing. And you know it when you see it. Then when we doubt ourselves we pull out unusual objective or semiobjective tests. When someone is faking an illness though, it usually points towards a larger problem which deserves an attempt at treatment, although it's unfortunate that resources were wasted in the meantime.
"People aren't as clever..."
People aren't as clever as they think they are. We understand both disease and human behavior as sets of patterns. If you don't know the patterns as well as we do, your desperation stands out.
"When you tell them..."
When you tell them they can't go home until XYZ, they will suddenly find a miracle and voilà.
Anecdotally, they usually assume you're faking if they find no evidence of a problem. Most endometriosis patients get accused of faking / drug seeking / being crazy for years before being taken seriously.
Love is crazy. I've finally come to that conclusion. And marriage, you take your life in your hands and just throw caution to the wind in hopes of survival with that step.
When love falls apart, things can get real messy, real fast. And I've always been stunned by people's behavior when love subsides.
More often than not, it's like they become different people. Sometimes people are beset by tragedy and grief and sometimes people smile wide and move on. It's a coin toss.
But my favorite post divorce personality has to be the sudden super villain. Oh honey watch out for them!
Redditor u/hyperyog wanted to hear all the tea from the divorcees out there by asking:
Divorced Redditors, what is the craziest thing you or your former spouse did after divorce?
I once had a friend who burned her ex's house down when he wasn't home. He had started seeing someone almost immediately, so she thought, lemme set their sparks. Yeah, she wasn't well. Whatever happened to just a quick goodbye?
Swipeddean winters crying GIF by MayhemGiphy
"She removed the retaining clips for my windshield wipers, but put the wipers back on the arms. First storm after I got my car back from her, driver side wiper flew off the car on Interstate 40. Good times."
"He wrote suicide notes and put them in my kids backpacks for them/me to find. Then he turned off his phone and went to a coworkers house to play crib and have drinks.. all the while knowing I would be freaking out searching for him thinking he was in danger or worse. Thankfully my kids didn't see the notes and didn't know what was going on. This was just one of the many, many crazy things he did. Two years out and he just recently stopped showing up at my work and driving by my house at night."
A Sad End
"Died of a drug overdose. To be fair, her drug addiction was the reason for the divorce, so maybe that isn't too crazy."
"That's so incredibly difficult to have gone through. I unfortunately know the depths of this kind of pain, and while I'm sure the circumstances surrounding it are different, the loss that still happened is a tragedy. My condolences."
"Stalked me for 5 years. Would make fake social media profiles to try to follow me (which I would block endlessly) and would try to find where I worked so she could talk to me. This lady cheated on me with 7 different men 2 months after we were married. I kicked her a** to the curb and made her sign the court papers."
"When we had our day in court she cried in the judges office while I just wanted to get this crap done. After, my dad was with me and he threw 50 dollars at her and told her to "change your freaking last name." Good guy Pops. I haven't seen or heard from her in about 5 years, thank goodness."
Take it All!skin care spinning GIF by Primal Life OrganicsGiphy
"I had an ex-boyfriend go through my apartment and take back every gift he had given me that he could find. Then he went in my bedside table and took the condoms. And the vibrator he had given me."
See now, when I'm out... I'm out! I don't want to see you, hear from you or know you. I wish you well in life, but please live it far from me. Anyone agree? Clearly not the people here. Let's continue...
For the Boybicycling father and son GIF by NETFLIXGiphy
"All I wanted was custody of my son, I gave her everything else except one of our cars. She fought me through 5 hearings, I won. She never came to see him again."
"My ex cheated on me the week my mom died in the hospital. She spent a year and a half trying to get in touch with me. She would call my old work and make fake accounts trying to message me on FB. It was insane. She later sends a certified letter explaining she was sorry that she did what she did and that she aborted our child."
"Wanted me to meet her somewhere so she could apologize face to face. She already married some other guy that she had children with and was still trying to get in touch with me. I never understood her."
"After years of telling me she wanted a child, that she wanted to be a mom, that her life's dream was to be a stay at home mom, she got pregnant with the first guy she slept with while we were getting divorced and put the kid up for adoption even before it was born. This was a long-standing thing with her, she always wanted something (car, house, dog, cat, marriage, etc) and the second she got it she immediately hated it."
"Called me and pretended he had been hit by a car while we were talking. He even tried to voice the crowd that had gathered around his "body." God-awful acting, but pretty funny listening to him try to mimic a woman's voice. Points for trying to be inclusive, I guess."
"I think he was trying to get me to re-live my trauma of being on the phone with a friend who actually HAD been hit by a car while we were talking. Too bad he didn't realize that hearing the real thing is worlds different than hearing a dumba** try to act it out."
"I was sending 600 dollars a month to support my daughter because she's the only thing I give a sh!t about. My ex texts me and tells me I need to be sending 1200 a month because she's broke and can't pay her bills and I should feel guilty about it. She left me for another guy while I was on deployment I told her to go screw herself--call my lawyer."
Pop OffTom Hanks Drinking GIF by The Good FilmsGiphy
"Took the sodas from the fridge as he walked out the door. Dumfounded."
See, I blame Alanis Morissette and her "Jagged Little Pill" album. All I'm going to say is... the secret song. I think she gave people ideas. (I love that song) Y'all, seek therapy if you can't shake people. When it's done, let it be done.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay is highly regarded for his delicious plates, his ability to run a solid restaurant, and, let's face it, his stage presence.
He's also a foul-mouthed Brit who is all too willing to dismantle people's self-esteems and compare them to livestock animals.
Alas, as watching all reality television goes, we love to see the crashing and burning.
But what if the shoe was on the other foot? What if you were the one being torn into by the sailor of all chefs, Mr. Gordon Ramsay.
Wondering what horrible dishes were lurking in unknown kitchens all over the place, Redditor FalloutSl*t413 asked:
"What's something you made that was 100% delicious but Gordon Ramsay would slap you for anyway?"
Some people talked about those purely functional meals that are just perfect for piling on enough protein and calories to get through the day.
"My mom used to make us 'Volcanoes.' Mashed potatoes topped with ground beef with some ketchup. I still tear it up to this day."
Quick and Easy
"I make weeknight 'enchiladas.' "
"You stick frozen taquitos in a casserole dish and cover them with canned or frozen chili and cheese. Bake them until everything's hot, serve with a dollop of sour cream. They sound disgusting but they taste amazing, and they take like, five minutes to prep."
"I know it looks like, smells like, and probably tastes like cat food but potted meat sandwiches. Look, when you're poor as hell and you can make 3 sandwiches with one little can that cost like 20 cents, it's pretty good."
"While I'm at it, Treet and bologna are pretty great. I have the taste palette of a raccoon and I like it that way."
"When I was younger I would make this thing where it was a patty melded of:"
- "a can of tuna"
- "two eggs
"And I would eat that almost daily, pan-fried, for lunch. Just slap me now and lets get it over with."
Others shared the recipes they make to feel fancy despite being totally trashy.
A Nuanced Process
"I call them 'chicken puffs.' Some par-cooked chicken (white or dark meat, either works) with sauteed serrano peppers and onions and garlic."
"All wrapped in crescent roll dough in little balls (a bit smaller than a baseball), put in a casserole tray filled juuuuust above the top of the little dough balls with cream of roasted chicken soup. Baked to completion/safety."
"Overly indulgent and delicious."
A Famous Side
"I consistently make a box of pastaroni angel hair and herbs as a side with meals I prepare for people. EVERYONE always asks for the recipe LOL please don't tell my secret"
Just a Couple Additions
" 'Fancy Ramen' Ramen made normal. Don't mix seasoning. Drain water. Add Mayo. Then mix in seasoning. And Volia. A lot of people question it. Until they try it."
Others outlined the things they eat that combine some ingredients it may seem disgusting to mix together.
Throw An Egg On There
"Fu** it lasagna, alternating layers of bread and shredded cheese (your choice which, I use cheddar) then crack an egg on top and put it in the microwave. Old depression meal, but it still holds up."
Hard to Wrap Your Head Around
"As a kid I would eat a banana with a cheese slice. Haven't tried it in years but it might hold up" -- Send_it_to_me
"Let's not" -- Sea-Entertainer-4974
"When I was younger I would make toast with peanut butter on it, then add pepperoni. Delicious then but I cringe thinking about trying it today"
The truly horrifying thing? There are so many more recipes out there that would leave Ramsay trembling.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
People love to talk about food. There are blogs, books, television shows, conversations in bars and farmers markets. In all likelihood, there is a recipe swap happening right this second in some deep corner of a suburb somewhere.
But sometimes talk is a lot of hot air. And the topic of food sure isn't immune to that criticism.
You can't get through a day without some telling you what "you gotta try."
The problem is, talking about food is often far more exciting than the food itself.
Redditor anicaodha asked:
"What food is overhyped?"
Many people were angry about garnishes. They hated the way restaurants try to entice people to eat certain menu items by slapping some kitschy ingredient on there.
A Very Expensive Burger
"Anything with gold flakes, absolutely pointless." -- Spend_Total
"ugh, i just remembered throwing up gold flakes from goldschlager, yuck!" -- spaceygracie12
"Aka how to add a crunch to your dish like a douche." -- CakeBot_TheReckoning
Catches the Eye Though
"Any rainbow food, rainbow grilled cheese, rainbow smoothie..."
"Just a cheap money grab."
No Breath On My Meal Please
"Dragon's breath/ nitro puffs or any dessert that contains liquid nitrogen to make it look cool." -- throwjango
"This stuff exists? God, I'm out of the loop." -- -The-Magic-8-Ball
"Truffle oil, usually doesn't contain a single truffle." -- BlckontheMoon
"The 1 thing I love about Truffle oil is I've never seen someone use it on a cooking competition show and not lose." -- igotmadshirts
Some people talked about the big trends that they just never could quite figure out.
That Almighty Nectar
"Remember when people were treating Nutella like it was the second coming of Christ?" -- Grapezard
"I had an Italian friend once invite me to his birthday party in high school. His mom made a Nutella pie and it was one of the greatest desserts I've never had the pleasure of trying again. It was so simple, like a soft flaky dough covered with Nutella."
"I don't want to come out of the blue and ask this kid for his mom's recipe 15 years later so I'll just suffer I suppose." -- JupiterTarts
"Red velvet is literally a red chocolate cake that has nowhere near enough chocolate and to much red food coloring. It literally was invented when done dudes chocolate turned kinda red when he added vinegar to the chocolate cake mix."
"Friends loved the color, but it was finicky to get the red color without changing flavor of cake, so he decided to use red food coloring."
"Fu**ing Avocado Toast.
"Avocado is a buck. Toast is few cents. Avocado Toast is $10+"
And some discussed the things that people insist are fancy and delectable, but are really just run of the mill entirely.
Meat is Meat?
"steak is good, and I'd even say a high quality steak can be very very good. But people act like it's better than busting a nut and that's just not true. It's just meat"
"Lobster. It's good, but poor value given it's almost always the most expensive protein available."
"Plus most places just drown it in butter, which again, fine, but if all you taste is butter, why spend that much?"
Depends on the House
" 'Housemade' ketchup. Give me the damn Heinz and get your banana aoili mess away from me." -- peanutbutterallytime
"I live in Pittsburgh and I have seen multiple restaurants try and fail to make housemade ketchup work. Every single time they go back to Heinz." -- HooBoy401
So if you find yourself tired of hearing people go on and on about something you don't go wild over, know that there are others fuming too.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
It's not easy to always do the right thing.
Which is why most people don't usually do the right thing. Doing the right thing involves a lot of thought, empathy for others, and a self-awareness of your place in the world. You're not making a choice just for yourself, you're more often than not doing it for someone else. This, in itself, presents a difficult hill for most people to climb so, usually, they feel it's easier to make the selfish choice.
Doesn't mean people always do. They can surprise you sometimes.
*The following article contains discussion of suicide/self-harm.
What's the hardest moral decision you've ever had to make?
Even when the choice amounts to something small, it can still matter to someone else.
How Dare You Make Me Morally Astute?!
"This is small potatoes compared to most of the people on this thread but many years ago I was travelling and had very little money. I went to a stall at a market, handed them a 10 dollar bill. Item cost 5 dollars but instead of handing me a five dollar note, the handed me a 50."
"I was walking away from the stall when noticed. My first thought was BONUS. But I had lately been hanging out with a bunch of people who were really into karma. So I stormed back to the stall, slammed the 50 down on the counter and told them off for making me make moral decisions. Lady behind the counter was like "ahhhhhh, thanks"
Didn't Believe The First Time, But Can't Deny Visual Evidence
"I told a co-worker his wife was cheating on him. It ruined our friendship for a good amount of time, until he caught her himself."
"To bad he couldn't just believe you."
Owning Up To The Mistake
"Fessing up to an error I made at work that cost the company 5k. I was a manager and misinterpreted a sales promotion. I almost lost my job, this is the one time that telling the truth actually saved me. It's true what they say that the cover up is usually worse than the crime. Lesson learned.."
Doing something morally correct when it comes to family can be tricky. On one hand, you don't want to ruffle the feathers of the people you're going to be related to for the rest of your life...which is how family works.
On the other hand, do the right thing.
Making The Best Call For Your Children
"Removing the mother of my two sons out of their lives completely as she was unfit and abusive while I was on deployment. They were 3-4 years old then and now they are 17 and 15 with their mother never attempting to come back into their lives which I would prefer at this point."
Because They're Going To Be Sad Later...
"My grandmother died, and I lied to my parents about it."
"My grandparents were 95 and my parents hadn't had a vacation in 30 years. So when she passed away with only 5 days remaining on their vacation, my family decided not to ruin it for them; instead, we'd plan the entire funeral and if my mother wanted to make adjustments when she returned, we'd arrange it for her; there was nothing they could do to get her back."
"Having to decide on the DNR (do not resuscitate) order for my father who had been victim to a massive stroke..."
"I know millions have done it before and millions will again but to me it was devastating....."
"As a health worker, you did the right thing by your father. I've come across families of patients who keep them alive for their own peace of mind while the patient themselves is tired and in alot of pain mentally and physically from the constant treatments and would rather rest from it all. Don't feel bad for your decision."
Never doubt your actions when it comes to protecting children.
"Calling CPS on a student's family after she begged me not to. CPS did an investigation and she was pissed at me for months until the vice principal had a talk with her and explained that I only did it because I care and didn't want her to get hurt."
"That VP is awesome. I sat in his office while he coached me through the call, since it was my first time calling CPS."
Standing Up For Your Friend, Even When No One Else Will
"I was in high school and my best friend was being bullied on the bus. She brought a knife to school and had previously mentioned a list of people. I cried a lot when I went to the principal to turn her in. I knew I was ruining her life but I wanted her to get help. I didn't want anyone to get hurt because we were all just kids. She was expelled and forced into therapy. We had been friends since we were 11."
"My mom listened on the phone line when I was trying to comfort my friend (while absolutely not admitting it was me) and my mom jumped on and told her I'm not allowed to be her friend anymore. I had told my mom I had turned her in and she had no empathy for this girl. Because I had been bullied and stood up for myself and never "did anything like that". My friend was getting cornered on the bus by 4 people whereas I was normally taunted in public and was lucky enough to always have an upperclassmen or school employee around to help me out. I felt guilty about turning her life upside down for many years but would do it again because she did get help."
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/