Health Inspectors Share The Grossest Things They've Seen In Restaurants[rebelmouse-image 18350661 is_animated_gif=
If you've ever eaten at a restaurant, plan on eating at a restaurant or have ever even heard the word restaurant - this one's for you
Things are going to get gross, don't say we didn't warn you. We know you're stubborn and you're going to read ahead anyway. So prepare yourself, you're about to enter a world of roaches, bribery, dumpster diving, and at least one live bear.
No that was not a typo.
One Reddit user asked:
And we clicked it, for some reason. We sat here for like three hours, you guys. We got sucked into the world of grossness. Now you're about to suffer with the things we can't unread. You ready to be well and truly baffled at what on earth is wrong with some people?
The Envelope[rebelmouse-image 18350662 is_animated_gif=
I was performing a pest control service on one restaurant that was shut down by the health inspector. 4 techs, spending 5 hours treating for German cockroaches. I have NEVER seen an infestation more severe than this one. When we were finished for the day, i would say that there were at least a few thousand cockroaches still running around. Health inspector collected an envelope from the owner, took down the violation on the door, got in his car and drove off. He didn't even reinspect the place.
Live Mice[rebelmouse-image 18350663 is_animated_gif=
Shut down a restaurant awhile back as there was a severe rodent infestation. I'm talking poop everywhere, in the utensil bins, on the food prep surfaces, just everywhere. Owners were brushing it aside as they worked. Live mice stuck to glue traps under sinks, etc.
Closed Down By A Can Opener[rebelmouse-image 18350664 is_animated_gif=
I've only ever closed down one restaurant. It's actually much harder in most places than you would imagine: lots of red tape that prevent field staff, and even managers, from using their professional judgment in the service of public health.
A pizza place was operating without a permit at one point in time. I had drafted a letter stating that, and before I went out to hand-deliver it, I got a complaint notification. Someone had eaten their pizza the day before, and their son had felt glass (or something that felt like pulverized glass) in his pizza. Backing up for a moment to the red tape thing: we're not legally allowed to investigate or inspect restaurants who don't have a permit (you can thank the U.S. Constitution for that). You can see the dilemma. We decide the best course of action is to deliver the letter saying they're operating illegally, and that it would be in the best interest of their business and the public health to allow us to investigate the nature of the complaint.
After I get permission to go in and take a look around, I'm appalled: the manager has fingernails that extend probably half an inch beyond the nail bed. And they're caked in flour and other ingredients. The other employee there has dirty bandages all over his fingers. Both of these characters are dressed in filthy uniforms. The walk-in cooler has loads of uncovered foods sitting beneath mold, all beneath a ceiling of black filamentous fungi. The pizza-prep table has broken doors/hinges, and is covered with what I can only describe as putrified ingredients from 2003. It clearly hasn't been cleaned since then. The plastic lexan containers holding the food items in the cooler are all breaking apart and chipping... At this point, I've got a few ideas as to what that guy found in his pizza, and I don't think any of them are glass. It's probably a fingernail, or a band-aid, or plastic, or maybe broken metal from the cooler itself...
Then I see it... The most disgusting can opener I've ever seen. To put it in perspective, mounted can openers are like the low hanging fruit of every health inspector: they're almost always out of compliance, and writing one up will make you look like a Try-Hard jerk who's out to get the restaurant owner in trouble. They're usually not a big deal. Except this one. This one is absolutely caked in dried, vile, pizza sauce goop that has turned black with age. The blade itself is so dull and chipped it is literally peeling metal filaments off into a mass next to the blade. Every time this thing is used to open a new pizza sauce (which, by the way, is put into a cracked plastic container and covered with a trashbag to keep the loads of flies away) it deposits metal chips, flakes, filaments, whatever you wanna call it, into that sauce, and into the bellies of the customers.
Needless to say, I was appalled. I had the person in charge call the store owner, who pleaded with me to let him stay open. Given that they didn't even have a permit to be open in the first place, this was a no-go. I went back the next day with back-up, and we formally closed them for operation until they could get everything back into working order. Surprise surprise, they call the next day saying everything is fixed, and... I can't believe it, but it was. Managerial lack of control aside, they must have spent a thousand dollars and 16 hours into cleaning this place. The one dude even clipped his fingernails!
Success story? Maybe. Gross example of what you get with second-rate poorly managed restaurants? Definitely. They're lucky no one has yet died from eating there.
That's Not Lemonade[rebelmouse-image 18350666 is_animated_gif=
Not a health inspector, but am good friends with one. This is her worst experience.
Once she went into a pretty popular restaurant (I think it was a burger place?) that she just got bad vibes from the beginning. Walked into the main seating area, everything was good so far. Asked where the kitchen was, owner was instantly defensive, like "oh, you don't need to see that, it looks the same as the dining area," and so forth.
She found the kitchen door, opened it and looked inside and instantly dropped everything she was holding.
/Hundreds/ of 2 litre cola bottles lined the kitchen, filled with urine.
She had no idea why and nobody could get an answer out of that dude
Sewage[rebelmouse-image 18350668 is_animated_gif=
One of the most recent restaurants I worked in already wasn't the cleanest - our fryers rarely got strained/emptied properly, it wasn't rare to see roaches crawling around, their bathrooms were always nasty, etc. When you get right down to it, it was one of the most disgusting kitchens that I have ever had the displeasure of working in, but what made me genuinely say "f*ck this" was when our plumbing and pipe work below the restaurant became clogged and then began backing up into the kitchen through the drains that we had along the flooring in there.
For more than a month my coworkers and I were sloshing around in sewage and human waste and whatever else, still serving food and pretending like nothing was going on. We could all hear patrons in the dining room complaining about the smell and the stench would hit you in the back parking lot before you'd even get inside. The owners kept making small "improvements", essentially lame band-aids to take care of it for only days at a time, and by the time I completely threw in the towel it still hadn't properly been fixed and they were still serving food from that deplorable, rank kitchen.
Once I quit and had amnesty from being fired for being a whistle blower, you can bet your ass I reported that restaurant to OSHA and they had health inspectors go through there. I reported them to my local health department as well. Unfortunately last I heard they're still open (figures), but I do know one or two of their other locations closed down for unrelated reasons, so....I guess that's something?
If I had been the owner of that restaurant, I would have not been able to live with myself knowing food was being served from that hellish kitchen or knowing that I was making my employees work under those conditions.
Moplata[rebelmouse-image 18350670 is_animated_gif=
There was a store in the area that got caught cleaning their Coolata machine with mop water... There were not details on if the mop water was clean or not (I assume it was), but there are issues regardless.
Cockroach Island[rebelmouse-image 18350671 is_animated_gif=
I used to work as a health inspector. Was inspecting a kitchen area undergoing some remodeling to include removal of a center island. No openings, essentially a box with a table top. This island had probably been in place 10-15 years. When the top was removed, it was half full of dead cockroaches that had layered on top of each other over the years. Happy dining!
Sniff The Gasket[rebelmouse-image 18350672 is_animated_gif=
I am both a former chef and a former private health inspector. I've seen some crazy stuff, but there is little worse than supermarket meat departments. I will not buy meat which has been ground in the market, because the employees almost never know how to tear down and clean the grinder. I would regularly go in, show them how to take it apart, and make them smell the "gasket" of old meat that had never been cleaned out from between the parts.
Close 'Em Down Kathy[rebelmouse-image 18350673 is_animated_gif=
My mother was a health inspector some years back. She was known as Close 'Em Down Kathy (not her real name, but you get the drift)
She went to a Chinese restaurant one day to pick up lunch, brought it back to her office, opened up the bag and found a live cockroach staring back at her. She immediately stormed back to the restaurant, shoved the bag in their face and said:
"I didn't order the cockroach."
She ordered an inspection on the restaurant, found out they kept their cooked chickens hung on a metal rack, in the alley, ABOVE THE DUMPSTER. They were shut down pretty quickly,
My mom's a badass.
NSFW ... or Anywhere Else.[rebelmouse-image 18350674 is_animated_gif=
Not a health inspector, but when I worked at a sub shop we caught a co-worker doing something inappropriate.
My manager had to look at the camera for some unrelated reason. He is skipping forward and accidentally goes to far forward. He notices a worker putting a bin of tuna on the floor. He keeps looking at the tape. The worker pulls his pants down and proceeds to enter the bin of tuna. He makes sweet sweet love to the tuna. Finishes up, goes into the bathroom to clean off. Proceeds to smooth out the bin of tuna, wraps it back up and puts it in the fridge. My manager immediately has me throw out the tuna and make more. Needless to say he was fired. And while this was 20 years ago I still can't eat tuna I didn't make or see made.
The Rotten Salad Bar[rebelmouse-image 18350676 is_animated_gif=
Was a tradesman working on a hotel where the new owner was renovating/updating the entire building, including their restaurant. Every single member of the kitchen staff got fired when the new owner discovered that the salad bar hadn't been cleaned/sterilized in months; they just kept adding more food on top of the old stuff.
Coffee Makes You Poop[rebelmouse-image 18350677 is_animated_gif=
There was a serial floor sh*tter at this coffee place. I'd get complaints in multiple times a week over the span of several months and the manager was aware that a customer came in like clockwork and shat in the middle of the bathroom floor. Not much I could do besides making sure the spot gets cleaned properly.
Hospital Restaurant Worms[rebelmouse-image 18350678 is_animated_gif=
A coworker had to investigate complaint called in by a food employee at a hospital saying they were forced to work in an ankle-deep sewage backup. The backup was confirmed and he said he could see the bodies of sewer worms slithering around.The restaurant/cafeteria of this hospital was serving food prepped in a kitchen full or worms and sewage to people who were already sick. People probably died.
There's Bleach In The Water[rebelmouse-image 18350679 is_animated_gif=
In a college campus cafeteria, I once saw a lady who was alternating between cleaning tables and serving the salads. She would go to a table, stick her gloved hands into a bowl of dark/filthy water, scrub a table -- then walk back to the salad bar, use the same gloved hands to grab a handful of salad, and put it on a plate for the students.
I gave her a stunned/horrified face, totally on reflex.
She saw me, and said -- and I quote -- "Oh it's fine, I'm wearing gloves and there's bleach in the water."
So to summarize, she thought that serving food with gloves that're covered in filth and bleach was safe, because she "was wearing gloves" and "using bleach."
I can't even.
Meaty Tomato Soup[rebelmouse-image 18349862 is_animated_gif=
OK so my dad was a health and hygiene officer in the air force back in the early 50s and was stationed in England. His job included inspecting kitchen and latrine facilities at bases, overseeing quarantine on troops returning home from Europe, and doing health inspections on said troops.
He and some fellow H&H officers were on leave in London and decided to have lunch at a pub that was advertising a soup and sandwich deal. They sit down to piping hot bowls of tomato soup and are talking and eating, when one of the guys says "Mmm good soup, nice and meaty."
Everyone stops talking as it sinks in that tomato soup should not have meat in it, and my dad reluctantly digs his spoon to the bottom of his bowl and comes up with several well cooked cockroaches. Being trained in such things, they stormed into the kitchen and confirmed that the place had their soup heating on a back burner uncovered and directly below a cold water pipe. The rising steam condenses on the pipe, makes it slippery and causes whatever scurry across it to fall into the soup. They yelled at the owner and reported the place, but beyond that they couldn't do much about the unexpected protein.
Two For One[rebelmouse-image 18350680 is_animated_gif=
The two inspections that I remember being horrible were both at low end Chinese places in strip malls. In one inspection, the wok chef had an overflowing ashtray right next to the meat bins. Rodent droppings, piles of dead flies behind the range, open doors to the outside, just nasty.
We also had to check soda machines and the hoses and guns. The soda gun line at one place was so caked with mold and funk it was a miracle that soda could even get through, we couldn't figure out how any previous inspector had missed that or what happened. The soda gun was the worst because it ruined eating out and having a mixed drink.
I'll never be able to drink anything out of a soda gun ever again.
Nope, Not Russia[rebelmouse-image 18350681 is_animated_gif=
My Mom used to be a health inspector. A bar had a bear chained outside and the owners would bring it inside to hangout with the patrons sometimes. Not Russia, but close - the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
The Mop Sink[rebelmouse-image 18350682 is_animated_gif=
Walked into a Mexican restaurant one time and saw some lady soaking some tripe in a mop sink. Saw that and told them to throw all of it in the dumpster and bleach it in front of me. My boss had seen a restaurant defrosting raw shrimp in a mop sink with the mop draped over the faucet. When I started as a health inspector, the trainers kept telling us:
_"Be on the lookout for mop sink chicken." _
We kept asking what it was- and they just replied:
_"you'll know when you see it..." _
They were right.
Dumpster Diving[rebelmouse-image 18350683 is_animated_gif=
Chinese restaurant was getting ready to open for lunch. I walked in and temperature checked the items in the walk-in cooler. All of them were well above acceptable temperatures; the cooler had broken down in the night and was no longer functioning.
They wanted to serve the food anyway. I had to embargo the entire cooler worth of food and stood there as they filled trash bag after trash bag with meat and took it to the dumpster. As I was leaving the location, I drove around to the back and they had employees pulling it all out of the trash and dragging it back into the building.
I had to stop them, make them return it to the dumpster and pour straight bleach all over the food to ensure it could not be used.
And there are just as many grievances for which we are not at all sorry.
Curious to hear about people's track record of their questionable behavior, Redditor NanoPKx asked:
"What is something bad you have done with no regrets?"
Is it petty theft or flat out stealing? You decide.
The Parting Gift
"'Forgetting' to bring back a company ipad after they forgot about me having it. Actually they never asked for it back so I still have it and use it."
"I stole a barn kitten while delivering packages for FedEx. He kept climbing my legs and getting into the van, sitting under the wheel when I tried to back out (it was a steep driveway, no way to swing the van around). I called the number on the package, looked the name up on facebook, called the local non-emergency to get contact info, all failed."
"So I took him. Now, if you're not from a rural environment, you might not understand that barn cats like that are 'no-man's-cats.' For all the owners know, he got sick or got got by a coyote. And he would have died, because when we got him to the vet he had a nasty upper resp infection and some other nasties."
"Now, one deformed nasal passage and the cutest snore later, we have a bonkers little orange cat with the heaviest penchant for snuggling I've ever seen (his name is Monty btw)."
"Edit: I forgot to pay my Cat Tax: https://imgur.com/a/HIXS4us"
"Edit Part 2: Monty loves the attention. Thank you for loving him as much as we do :3"
"MmmmMMMMRrrrrrrrrrrAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAW" -Montgomerey Valentine, 2022
The Dirty Treat
"A housemate of mine kept eating mine and my girlfriends food and even though I asked him to stop the only thing he would ever say is 'I thought it was mine' then keep eating it."
"Well I bought my girlfriend some ice cream she really enjoys and she put the half she didn’t finish back in the freezer. Well when she want to get the rest it was gone and it made me madder than I think it probably should have."
"The very next time I saw him and somehow keeping a straight apologetic face I told him how he accidentally ate our sex ice cream and that bits of it had been on our parts etc. I told him I felt guilty not to tell him and that I had to apologise for him to eat such a thing."
"I will never forget the face he made when I told him. A face of pure self disgust and shock to which all he had to say was 'I wish you never told me that' and proceeded to move out around a month later."
"Although he didn’t actually eat sex ice cream, like why the f'k would you put it back after use anyway? Sometimes I wonder if I went to far but in that moment I just did not care at all. He still doesn’t know it isn’t true and I’ll probably never see him again."
"F'k you Vitas buy your own food."
Vengeance is sweet.
"A drunk driver hit my parked car, left a huge dent in the front driver’s side door, and then drove away. I happened to be looking out the window at the time and saw the whole thing, including his plate number. Cops got there not long after and took my statement. After a couple days and a couple phone calls, I found out nothing was going to come of it because he was the son of the sheriff the next county over."
"Fast forward a couple months, I see his car parked behind a local bar within walking distance of my apartment. I got out my hunting knife and sliced all four of his tires, and made a couple trips around it destroying the paint job. Yellow Pontiac Sunfire, and I still remember the goddamn plate number even after almost 20 years."
For The People
"I was a GM for a retailer that was going out of business. During the liquidation I let my employees that worked until the end store product they wanted to buy in a closet I claimed I didn't have a key to. Oh the final days I sold them all the items they requested for 95% off. 70" tvs, ipads, gaming laptops whatever they requested."
"Years ago I worked for a wealthy dude who was married to someone semi-famous. He would waltz in every morning and talk about the fantastic dinner he had the night before, how he hung out with some other famous person or whatever else."
"He paid me peanuts. I had a hard time making ends meet."
"I was the office assistant and IT guy. So it comes time to get a new computer for one of the designers. I spec something out, and show it to him. It was a ripper of a machine for the time (early 2000s). But it wasn’t expensive enough for bossman."
"So I added a really high end graphics card. Boss was happy then. The card added nothing for the designer: they only did illustrator and photoshop."
"So I came in that weekend and swapped the graphics card for my aging one from home."
"No one ever knew. Or cared. And I got a new graphics card."
When times are tough, people had to do what it took to survive.
"In college I was so poor I would steal toilet paper from the supply closet in our major building."
Hungry College Buddy
"I stood watch for a college friend who was going hungry because he’d been disowned and his roommates had made living with him intolerable after he came out."
"I was loosely affiliated with an off campus program with local churches that gave free student dinners on Thursdays. We would go to church to eat, then bring dishes into the kitchen."
"Anyway, he would go in there and steal stuff like peanut butter, literal bread (not an allegory), granola bars etc. while I watched out for the pastor."
"Eventually we both got caught, the pastor for the college students got a bit mad because he was responsible for us while we were there to eat. And I think it was offensive on some level to steal from church. But then he saw what my friend was taking, and asked him if he had enough to eat. My friend shamefacedly said no, not usually."
“'Okay, fine. Put the food back, and come with me.' Took my friend grocery shopping instead, got him connected with the food pantry and community garden at church instead."
Based on these examples, people didn't twice about their actions in the heat of the moment.
Within reason, we all gotta somehow get by.
But do you think their actions deserve punishment?
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When a person sees someone they care about going through a struggle or crisis, their instinct is to uplift them with positive advice.
But sometimes, the wisdom imparted by friends isn't always helpful or relevant to the situation.
Curious to hear from strangers online who could do without specific knowledge, Redditor Saibotnl1 asked:
"What life advice can just f'k off?"
These Redditors have a problem with how certain people have on outlook on life.
Time To Rest
"Sleep when you’re dead."
"Cool, but you’re going to be dead a lot sooner."
"People have it so much worse than you so don’t be sad!"
"To that I like to say, 'people have it so much better than you so don't be happy!'"
Your Life Path
"Almost anything relating to what age you must be in order to buy a house, have children, marry, have a profession, or do anything else. Seriously, everyone's life is different from everyone else's. Make your life the way you want it to be. If you so desire. Up to you."
On The Contrary
“Cheaters never prosper”
"Yes, they f'king do."
People can get out of any situation they find displeasing.
But others feel people should just "stick it out."
"Just ignore bullys or get someone else to handle it for you. I have never seen this work, only makes it worse. The only effective way I've seen to deal with them is by not making yourself an easy target and make them scared to f'k with you again. If going psycho on their a** is the only thing they'll respond to that's their fault. Also want to add in schools they will punish you for self defense but that punishment is only sitting around a few hours in detention or sitting around at home with a suspension. The punishment is temporary boredom, it's absolutely nothing compared to being bullied and when it's over the important message will still stand that you will not tolerate being a victim."
– User Delted
Remain to be Miserable
"Stick it out"
"Whether that's sh**ty jobs, shi**y relationships, shi**y living situations..."
"By all means don't just give up on things when you face challenges, but if something feels wrong or is wrecking your peace then take some control and change it if you can!"
"Easy for you to say," might be an auto-response to these suggestions for many people.
Invitation For Recklesslessness
"Live like everyday was your last"
Yall know what people do when they learn they have a single day left to live?"
A Possible Consequence
"I did that as a teenager and ended up homeless and addicted to heroin. Didn’t pan out for me too well."
"19 years sober though today."
A Practical Approach
"If I knew with certainty that I had one day left, I'd double-check all my financials, my will, and my insurance policies, make sure my wife had all of my passwords and knew where all the money was, spend the rest of the day with her and the kids, then call the medical examiner and ask to lie down on the gurney so that when I die they won't strain their back moving my remains out of my house."
Nose Stuck In A Book
"Work while they sleep. Study while they party"
"That's not a recipe for success, that's a recipe for a lot of white hairs, burnout syndrome and a stroke before your 40s..."
Doesn't Apply To Everyone
"Do what you love and money will follow"
"I love walking my dogs and grilling food for my friends but That sh*t doesn't pay the bills as well as my engineering degree!"
While people's intentions are good, they're better off keeping their two cents in their own pockets.
Not everyone likes to hear platitudes.
Sometimes, people just want to know they're not alone with their problems over listening to unlikely solutions that are nothing more than superficial pick-me-ups.
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Kids start going to school from the age of five, and for the most part, they spend more time at school than at home. Because of that, teachers can become very important figures in the lives of their students.
Some students don't have the best home lives. Some keep it to themselves, but others confide in their teachers.
Curious about various situations, Redditor Delicious_Mastodon83 asked:
"teachers of reddit what is the saddest thing you found out about a student?"
In Need of Parents
"Not a teacher but was a school-based therapist. Had a student (7 -8 y/o) I didn’t know knock on my office door and ask if I’d adopt her and “if you have room, my brother too, but if not, that’s ok, we can be split up. We’re split up now. And I don’t take up space. I just need a sleeping bag”. Broke my heart."
Heartbreaking, But Industrious
"My mom taught at a school in a bad neighborhood in Chicago in the mid 90’s. There was a second grader that would save his milk and ketchup packers from lunch for his mom so she had something to eat when she got home from work."
"Not a teacher but a parent with a 9 year old son. Every day I pack extra in my sons lunch because he tells me he has a friend that never has anything to eat. It's winter and my son came home and told me his friend was turning up with shorts and shirt and holes in his shoes. So I sent in a jumper and long pants for him to wear and some slightly used but good condition shoes. I have been up to the school recently and the teacher pulled me aside and thanked me profusely for helping this child. Apparently teachers are not allowed to aid kids they teach here in Australia and they have already reported the issue 3 times to child welfare without results so I was the only one helping this child. The teacher told me before I started sending in more food and clothes, this child would steal others food from their lunches and look through the bins because he was so hungry. They doubt he gets fed at home. So now I make sure to always send an extra lunch and some school clothes/supplies when I can. I can only hope child welfare eventually does something but it breaks my heart."
Amazing Big Sister
"It was right after winter break and before class started I was just talking with some students and asked if they got anything fun for the holidays. One girl said on no, I don’t ever get presents, my mom is a drug addict. But I went out and got some stuff for my little sister so that she can have a real Christmas."
"She just said it so matter-of-fact. She was so used to being the parent to her little sister that she didn’t even care about her own childhood. It totally broke my heart."
The Importance Of Human Affection
"Second hand story from my mom, elementary teacher for 30ish years. She had a hug or a handshake out the door policy, just some small contact and a proper goodbye, and had this young boy who always picked the hug. She wondered why he always went for it, most kids would go back and forth depending on their mood that day, so she asked him why he was always so excited for the end of day hug? His answer, "It's the only one I ever get.""
Coming Out The Other Side
"Two teenage boys (16/14) with learning disabilities were on my caseload, they never missed school but often ditched class. They were homeless mid-year after they went home from school to find the locks changed, their Mom had abandoned them for a new boyfriend. She didn't leave an address for them to find her."
"*Edit: both eventually dropped out, however a couple of years later the younger brother came back to visit. He and his brother were both working construction, and his brother had gotten married, had a child, and was living with his wife’s family."
"The younger had roommates and was saving for a car. He told me it was a shame I didn’t have kids, because I would make a good Dad."
"People often persevere, even with the odds stacked against them."
"Not me but my daughter is a teacher, she has lots of stories but one that stands out for me is one of her kindergarten kids saying she was tired and her asking why, the little girl explained that she had been up all night with her mums newborn baby. She did this every night, fed her bottles and everything."
Luckily, He Was Resilient
"This year I had a 17 year old kid enroll at my school. He was sitting in my math class and I could tell he was struggling. After class I took some extra time to go over a concept with him. I asked him to read the question to me, and he sat there silently. He then looked at me and said “I’m not going to lie to you, I cannot read. I have no idea how to say these words""
"Turned out at age 17 he was illiterate and had been kept out of school by his very religious, controlling parents. Over the past few months he has worked very hard! Now he can finally read at an 8th grade level and he is STILL improving!!"
– User Deleted
A Heroic Teacher
"I worked in an inner city charter school. One of my students (`M10) had a sib (M8) in a lower grade. The mom was there every day in the beginning of the year encouraging them, helping them and generally being very supportive... until a CPS agent spoke to me asking about her behavior. After CPS left things went downhill. The boys showed up late to class even though they lived a half block away from school. When in school both boys were tired from sleeping in the car while their mom "went fishing". She also had two very young girls which she dragged around making the boys take care of them. One day the boys didn't show up and their teacher walked over to the house to find the mom had loaded up the fridge, paid the rent for the month and abandoned them. The teacher (a candidate for sainthood btw) took them in, adopted them and grew them up to be great men."
This is really heartbreaking stuff! Luckily, teachers aren't just another adult in your life; they can be your saving grace as well.
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TRIGGER WARNING: This article contains sensitive content about depression and mental health.
As the stigma around mental health lessens (however slowly), people are more forthcoming about the problems they are facing. One of the most common mental health issues is depression.
Depression can affect many different types of people. Factors such as gender, race, nationality, and even age have no bearing on whether someone suffers from depression or not.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), globally, "...an estimated 3.8% of the population affected, including 5.0% among adults and 5.7% among adults older than 60 years..."
Depression displays in certain patterns, such as mood changes, physical difficulties, and social isolation. However, depression manifests differently in different people and feels different to different people.
Reddit users divulged what depression felt like to them when Redditor iodineseaspray asked:
"What does depression feel like to you?"
Some of this is sure to sound familiar.
The Worst Kind Of Boredom
"Like being more bored than you could imagine but also not wanting to do anything at all, even breathe. So you want to do something, but you can't imagine anything that you would like to do so you're just sort of stuck."
"So you then spend literally hours staring at a blank wall hating yourself, your life, and everything around you. Well, as much hate as you can summon in the absolutely mentally numb state you find yourself sat in day after day."
Lack Of Motivation and Energy
"Complete lack of motivation."
"Ignoring people that I love, and who are trying to help."
"I feel it extra at work. Letting things slide until you either get into trouble or trying last minute to prevent it."
"Funny those times when I'm working to save my butt, the depression goes away and i feel super focused and motivated."
"I try to carry that energy over but no, it's rinse and repeat."
"Insecure about absolutely everything, no hope for the future, dissociation from society and not knowing how to “act” anymore, feeling like I’m not as good at the things I always thought I was good at or that the “talent is wasted on me”, only food cheers me up and sometimes even that doesn’t work"
Loss Of Creativity
"This. It's like some numb fuzziness you feel in your brain. It's the worst thing ever for an artist who just wants to create but your brain comes up dry with a dense fog that wants to just lie down for a few hours"
A Mental Inability To Breathe
"For me, it feels like I’m in a lake with a ball chain tied to my feet, desperately swimming up for air, the only problem is the chain isn’t long enough. I can only get an inch of my head out of the water to breath, and as soon as a high tide comes, the water just floods over me and I feel like I can’t breath again. I live like this, constantly feeling like I’m struggling to breathe, weighed down by my own mind. It’s a struggle and I can’t really describe it in any other way, I’m jealous of people who don’t worry about depression"
"Like suffocating under a heavy cloak"
"Like being crushed. Like if the air was crushing my muscles and bones and I can’t breathe because I’m being crushed…"
"Kinda like that."
"Scrolling thru your steam library. Thinking you want to play something, either not settling on anything or not wanting to put the effort into the game. Going back to the scrolling."
"It feels like you're forced to play a game of Monopoly (represents life) and your just rolling the dice to appease everyone but you genuinely don't care about where you go, where you land, what you pick up, what you pay, what you gain."
"You kind of just watch it happen without interest and while people are cheering or oh no-ing for you, you genuinely don't care. Everyone is a piece on this board that hardly matters and you feel like we're all just running in a circle over and over again and it's boring and disinteresting as hell."
"You lose all curiosity for everything and just let everything happen and pass by you. No motivation, hardly any love, hardly any care. Feels like the world is in black and white and your waiting for the game to end became it's so absolutely boring and disinteresting, but it never does."
"You come to resent the game and eventually hate it because it feels like you're being forced to play it and suffer it's consequences when you never asked to play it in the first place."
"That's what depression felt like for me. Since then I've been medicated and recieved therapy. I'm doing a lot better now and I don't feel this way anymore, thankfully."
A Relation To Fantasy
"You know that scene in the Lord of the Rings where Bilbo is describing to Galndalf what having the Ring all those years felt like? "I feel thin. Like too much jam spread over too much bread." That's honestly the best way I've seen to describe it."
"I always say the closest thing to compare it to is a dementor in harry potter. It sucks every ounce of happiness out of you until there is only darkness left."
"Side note: chocolate always helps"
Fear Of Lack Of Justification
"Like someone close to you died yesterday. Expect no one has, and nothing has happened to justify how you feel."
A Physical Pain
"Physical pain in my heart, will start crying just by attending to the physical sensation in my body."
"I've always described it as having a shadow fixed to your brain which fuels things like indecision and negativity. You can do things to temporarily help but you can't truly shift it. Previous normality is forgotten. But it's amazing how much you can mask it."
"I found I didn't realise how bad I was until I started to get better"
"For anyone suffering with depression. Please, please speak to someone. Best thing I ever did"
Depression isn't something you can just deal with or get over. Learning to cope is not easy. However, as Redditor DavosLostFingers pointed out, talking to someone can literally save your life.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with depression, contact the American Psychological Association by phone at 800.374.2721 or 202.336.5500.
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