People Struggling With Imposter Syndrome Reveal How They Try To Overcome It
It's not easy being insecure.
You've earned your place in a school or a job that seems way out of your league. But now, you're there, and you are expected to pull your own weight. But you don't feel equipped to do so---how do you manage?
"Impostor syndrome" is persistent feeling that causes someone to doubt their accomplishments despite evidence, and fear they may be exposed as a fraud. AskReddit, do any of you feel this way about work or school? How do you overcome it, if at all?
Here were some of the answers.
Nerds Droppin' ElbowsGiphy
Academic here : a lot of us suffer from this syndrome. Positions are so difficult to obtain that a lot of us almost feel guilty when we get one : all academics know colleagues that were as bright, if not brighter than themselves, that couldn't be hired or left the academic world. Therefore, there is this permanent feeling that we might not fully deserve this position and that at some point someone will discover that we are not as bright, as deserving as they think.
So you keep pushing, you keep working harder, overtime, on week-end, during holidays, just to convince yourself that you belong here. And it's hard, because when you work in academia, you encounter frequently people who are factually geniuses, who are out there in terms of cognitive possibilities : their brain just don't work like yours, really, there is no way that even through hard work you can achieve their level of understanding of a discipline, of methods, etc.
In addition, academia is very competitive : frustration, bullying, d!ck-size contests, public humiliation are part of the 'scientific debate' unfortunately and it really doesn't help regarding the impostor syndrome. Meanwhile I try to promote 'kindness', but it's very very difficult.
I'm a faculty, for 20 years now, one of the youngest ever hired in my field and there is not a single day where I don't have this fear that one day I will be unveiled as an impostor. It's tiring, depressing, hard. But there is one thing that keeps me afloat : teaching. I may not be a great scientist, but I'm a decent professor : being in the arena, among students, explaining, describing, questioning these young, and often brilliant minds is the only thing that I find fully satisfying. It gives meaning to my life really. And that's how I cope with the syndrome, because I know that in my classroom, at least, I'm useful to somebody.
Don't Make Me Decide
I feel it almost every day. Especially when a decision comes down to me. It's like really? You're going to let me decide something that will affect employees for years to come? Are you sure this is a good idea?
I just push forward anyways and am not afraid to ask for advice and opinions. Lots of communication helps for me at least
Even If It Were Your Life's Work
I'm retired now. I went to lunch with an old boss/friend my last day and confessed to him that I was relieved to be getting out before they all realized I'd been making everything up all along.
Finding A Groove
I've felt this way the entire time I've been at my current job. In my last job I migrated from tech support to development, and my current job I was simply hired on as dev.
I'm one of those self-taught types, so I don't have any degree to back me up. I mean, I read up on good practice, I look at code samples and study design patterns and even worked on getting my math up to snuff.
I mean, they seem to think I'm okay, I've been employed here three years now. Still, I'm absolutely convinced I'll make some simple but stunningly amateur mistake and get kicked to the curb.
Little Love Notes
My brain, at baseline, is a swirling vortex of fear and negativity. I experience imposter syndrome often. All the time. All through grad school and in my career. I basically need my boss to explicitly say "you're doing a good job" and I need to hear my colleagues say "we appreciate the work you're doing for the team" and I need to see really concrete, explicit evidence that my clients are making progress or I just feel like a sham, a trash person, an imposter.
I write little notes of affirmation to myself when I'm not getting enough feedback from my team. I'll put post it notes around my desk that say "you deserve to be here", "20 people interviewed for this position and you got it", "you passed all licensing exams because you're smart". And those notes will usually calm me down.
We Are All Impostors
Being a Software Engineer that about sums up my experience at least first 2 years in the field and still comes up once in a while when I find a huge hole in my knowledge. The way I overcome it is realize that:
- I don't know everything.
- They (others) don't know everything.
- I know what they might not know.
- They know what I might not know.
- Stop comparing yourself to others.
- Look at what you learned, achieved, created and realize "I might be an idiot but I managed to do this, so even if I'm an idiot I'm damn capable one for sure."
- Realize not knowing something is temporary if you've the attitude to learn.
The Law Isn't A Popularity Contest
I'm a lawyer and every day I wonder if the judges and my fellow attorneys are taking pity on me for being such a blithering idiot. But then I realize I've been doing this for 5 years, and law is not a career where the other side cares about your feelings.
When The Stakes Are High
For what it's worth, my situation is that I'm a support worker for people with disabilities(primarily acquired brain injuries, but a couple of other conditions as well). Some require a staff 24/7, but others only have a certain amount of hours a week, etc. My educational background is as a child and youth worker, and I fell into this field because a lot the training and skills are transferable.
Depending on which site I work at and how scheduling goes, I work with about 8-9 different clients. Every single g*ddamned day, I doubt how I handle a situation at least once, and I feel like I lack the necessary knowledge and confidence to do my job in an outstandingly skilled way.
I feel like half my coworkers secretly hate me, despite a lack of outward evidence. Some clients, I simply can't develop a rapport with no matter how hard I try. The list goes on.
But I do the job, almost every day, and I don't see myself quitting anytime soon. I know there isn't an easy fix to how I feel. I just hope that I grow more confident over time.
How Does One "Become Secure"
i recently became a programmer. most people experience imposter syndrome in any skills-based field. it's hard to overcome—i haven't. confidence is everything. building confidence comes from consistent effort and becoming secure in oneself. that's the only way to overcome imposter syndrome.
Probably Gonna Get Pulled OverGiphy
I just got my license a month ago and every time I drive alone I feel like a little kid who shouldn't be allowed to drive. I'm terrified of being pulled over for anything even though I am legally allowed to drive and I don't do anything illegal while doing so (except speeding ig). It doesn't help that I'm not the best driver so I feel like all of these adults on the road are watching and judging me.
In my early 20's I decided I wanted to be a software engineer. So I started spending my free time studying and working on various passion projects. At the same time I was getting my bachelors in Accounting. I would go to school in the morning, internship until 5, then coffee shop until several hours after they kicked me out.
I did this for several years and all the while was absolutely sure that despite how much time I spent and how well I prepared, I was nowhere near as talented as the average professional. When I finally went pro, I was pleased to discover that wasn't the case, but I still feel like I may have missed some fundamental lesson that any classically-trained developer would know.
In the end, I think the more you discover, the more you are afraid of what you don't know you don't know.
The Paralyzing Fear Of Life
Probably everybody can relate to this, I think. I don't know about myself though because I actually don't get much done at all. I used to be productive I'd say but who knows anymore. I'm legitimately afraid to leave the house and think my phone's hacked, and I could take an antipsychotic but should I? What if my paranoia is justified? It seems like people on Reddit are reading my mind, or reflecting my thoughts back at me, basically implying that I'm a judgmental piece of sh*t. If we're actually anonymous, sure, but it's starting to get really strange.
Maybe I have a depersonalization personality disorder.
Is that imposter syndrome talking? I really don't know. I realize I do probably come across as a judgmental *sshole and I don't know how to cope with it or change it.
I'm pretty darn young for the role that I currently have at a big company, and I got very self-conscious over my first few months. I particularly still struggle with standing up for myself when clients or my peers are asking for too much because I don't see myself as equal or superior to them since I'm basically a 12 year old.
My therapist gave me incredible advice. If you say "sorry" a lot in emails, replace it with a phrase along the lines of "thank you". For example, instead of "sorry this took so long," say "thank you for being so patient!" It's been boosting my confidence and making me feel like I have more control and power. I also pretend I'm writing emails on behalf of the people I look up to most in my job - that typically allows me to act a bit more tough.
I Know ALL The Physics!
Physics undergrad here. I experience imposter syndrome almost daily. Sitting in a lecture or doing an assignment and seeing a definition or equation I should definitely understand and thinking it looks like gibberish until something simple is pointed out. Its like I feel like i know absolutely nothing until im pushed and all of a sudden some deep rooted knowledge ends up on the page, and i pray that i havent f*cked it up too bad.
Why Trades Are Important
I work as a lead developer for a big company, making 7-8 times more than some friends I have. I don't have any degrees and it's the first time I ever worked in an office - I freelanced my whole career. Most of the time when we have an issue, I have no idea what to do - I just Google it until I find an answer that maybe works, do that, see why/if it doesn't and google again.
Don't get me wrong, I know stuff, but I can't remember stuff - I even google simple stuff I used hundreds of times before. I'm with them for about a year and every day I feel like they'll figure out they can google stuff too and not have to pay me anymore. I'm not a fraud per se, they're happy with me and I get the job done, but I'm sure that one of these days I'll have something Google won't help me with and I'll be f*cked.
The More You Know, The Less You Feel You Know
This sounds so familiar. I am a student and finished my BA last year with almost perfect grades. I am in my MA in the moment and I have a student job in a company where I want to work later. They love me and hired me for the next project as well.
But I still feel stupid most of the time. I think three things helped me and helping me in this moments.
1.) Say thank you to compliments. In this way you may start to believe it.
2.) Don't compare you with the ideal version of you. Look around you. It sounds mean, but there are so many people, who couldn't do what you do. But that also means that there are also so many people, who can do more than you. So be proud with yourself right now.
3.) Sometimes I forget that my close friends are all as intelligent as I am. Maybe even more. So I don't have a good comparison. Just a good environment to learn. To always improve me. I try to keep that in mind.
- Imposter Syndrome and Social Anxiety Disorder ›
- Are You Suffering From Imposter Syndrome? Here's How To Tell ... ›
- Feel like a fraud? ›
- The five types of impostor syndrome and how to beat them. ›
- What is imposter syndrome and how can you combat it? - Elizabeth ... ›
- What Is Impostor Syndrome? ›
- Yes, Impostor Syndrome is Real: Here's How to Deal With It | Time ›
- The Reality of Imposter Syndrome | Psychology Today ›
- 5 Types of Imposter Syndrome and How to Stop Them - The Muse ›
- Impostor syndrome - Wikipedia ›
Danger comes in many forms.
Treacherous roads and weather, dubious substances, spoiled or undercooked food, and even people.
Yes, sometimes even being near, or even knowing of certain people, can result in finding yourself in a dangerous situation.
As they may pressure you to take part in something which puts your health and safety at risk, or their behavior is known to have had both physical and emotional consequences on others.
Many try to keep their distance from these people, for others doing so sadly just isn't possible.
"Who is undoubtedly the most dangerous person you know?"
How Did She Even Get a License?
"My mom has totaled around 5 cars."
"She's a terrible driver, shouldn't even be on the road."
"If she's driving I'll say "'ll take my car and meet you there'."- uncultured_swine2099
But Lives To Tell The Tale...
"My dad eats mushrooms from his backyard, and hoses out his toaster and hangs it by the cord on the washing line to dry."- misspoopyloopy
An Unfortunate Addition To The Family
"He’s a chronic alcoholic with a narcissistic personality and violent tendencies."
"He has assaulted each of his siblings."
"He’s been enabled and taught to be a victim his whole life."
"I’m terrified of him, but he’s someone you never want to show fear or weakness."- Consistent-Common196
How Did She Even Make It That Far?
"A nurse I have worked with once."
"She completely stepped over boundaries, disconnected a picc line without informing me (the picc trained nurse), didn't wear gloves or wash her hands."
"Couldn't take criticism or couldn't be taught about the error of her clinical judgement."
"Instead shouted at myself, the patient and other staff."
"Didn't come back so she's probably moved on to another area."
"That was her last go at palliative chemo to give her some more months of quality time with her children."
"The picc blocked."
"They didn't give her another one."
"That nurse contributed to that woman having less time with her family."
"I will never forgive her."- DragonmamaGlasgow
The Older We Get, It's Important To Know Our Limits
"My grandad, when he was alive."
"He was a sweet, humble old man who loved gardening but oh my god I do not know who allowed him to keep driving."
"He was 84 with arthritis, plus he was deaf and almost blind, but he insisted on still driving."
"One time he parked his car on a tram track with my sister inside it."
"He is the sole reason I think there should be an age limit on driving licenses."- molwalk
Don't Underestimate What Those Stubby Little Hands Can Do...
"Babies in that stage of crawling and almost walking."
"Those nutcases try to eat electricity."- Aromatic-Armadillo98
You Think You Know Somebody...
"My parents moved into a neighborhood with a truck driver as a neighbor."
"When they finally met him (he drove ALL the time), they found out his son had been in jail/prison on and off since he was a minor."
"Trucker dude was super rough around the edges, but had acquired quite a bit of wealth over his career of hard work."
"My parents started having him over for dinners and became pretty good friends."
"He didn't like to talk about his son and got realllllly grumpy when his name came up."
"Dad wasn't the (direct) problem."
"His son got released from prison and came back home on a 'last chance' deal with his dad."
"He was in rehab."
"He was helpful and helping my parents with projects and chores."
"They started trusting the guy."
"He seemed like things were going well in his life for once."
"I even met the f*ck up and agreed he was a nice kid with a bad life (he was older than me and I still say kid lol)."
"Dad called my parent and told them he had been missing for 2 nights and that's not a good sign."
"Turns out he went on a bender..."
"He started calling my parents with burner phones asking if he could come over."
"The answer was a hard no."
"He then escalated to he was gonna 'roll up with his crew and take their sh*t while they slept'."
"That escalated things even more."
"He got caught the next day at a trap house and arrested with an illegal handgun."
"F*cker was locked in for 7 years and released on good behavior."
"Nobody knows where he is at, his dad died a few years back."
"They think they saw him multiple time sitting outside of his old house late at night."
"That's the scariest person I know."
"My parents did nothing but feed him and offer advice when he needed it."
"Just a nice old couple."
"Unpredictable people that flip on a switch scare me."- Remz_Gaming
What He Can't Tell Them Says It All...
"My BILs best friend who works for the government."
"He’s not allowed to tell us what he does and all we know he leaves for a couple of weeks at a time every few months, speaks several languages and looks like he’s cut out of wood."
"There was one time where he came over to a party I was having and I’d set up some VR games for people to try."
"There was a game where zombies attack you from all sides and it’s all about keeping your head on a swivel and headshots."
"I don’t remember the specifics, but none of us had gotten past level 2 or 3."
"He made it to something like 30 without breaking a sweat."
"It was his first time playing that game and he hasn’t games since SNES days."
"Everyone that saw him play/move that day agrees he’s probably not working in IT."
"I’ve never asked him what he does, I just heard 'he can’t talk about it' so I don’t bring it up."
"I’m not saying he’s Jason Bourne."
"All I know is that he was in the army and I think I remember someone mentioning he went to Ranger school."
"His job sends him all over the world. In the time that I’ve known him (about 5 years), he’s lived in the UK, Philippines and Africa."
"This one is from a completely personal point of view, but he definitely has a 'I’m not going to f*ck with that guy' vibe."
"He’s a super nice guy that’s never shown an ounce of aggression, but I think if you asked him during dinner how many people are in the booth 3 tables over, he’s be able to tell you without looking."- LocalArea52Man
Never Judge Based Off First Impressions
"My grandfather, wonderful, kind and caring man."
"Won a military cross for exceptional bravery for taking out 2 machine gun nests in ww2."
"He ran out of ammo and killed multiple enemies with a shovel by hand."
"Was quiet, not boastful but towards the end of his life talked about how easy it became to kill in the war and he remembered the sound of an enemies head coming off when he hit him with a shovel."
"Made me think how quiet and unassuming he was but when necessary he was able to do that."- wallabyfan76
Some people simply live for danger, and go out of their way to put themselves in dangerous situations.
But no one should ever feel unsafe, simply by being around, or even knowing someone.
Thankfully, even if you think you are all alone, there are always people out there who will stand up and protect you, without a second thought.
Friends come and go.
That's a hard lesson.
When friends are constantly together and the times are fun and great, you can't ever imagine not having these people involved in each and every milestone event.
But life happens.
New chapters, new beginnings, moves, deaths.
The circle disbands.
We just have to try not to get down about it.
Redditor Cyber_Optics05 wanted to discuss all the reasons friends tend to go their separate ways, so they asked:
"What kicked off the end of a friend group?"
That's how my groups have disbanded.
VanishedGIF by VPROGiphy
"Two of us got in relationships and just... vanished. I get it, the honeymoon period is a hell of a drug, but it hurts to know that some people are one good date away from forgetting they have friends."
"They all died, within a month. To be clear, they were all older guys, 68, 74, and 89 (I was about 50). Group of friends I had in my building, we'd have coffee every day and watch a few sitcoms, and chat."
"Fred died first, which was sad, but the dude was nearly 90. Then Terry died, he had a couple of chronic conditions, and a chemo treatment messed everything up. And then a couple weeks Dave died, from complications caused by Complex Regional Pain Disorder. For him, death was a mercy."
"The friend who was the 'glue' of the group moved to the other coast and one of the couples broke up the same weekend. I tried to invite the old gang to a birthday party and the only one who showed up was the one who moved."
"That’s similar to what’s happening with my friend group. I was the glue, but now I’ve gotten too busy to be able to hang out, so it all kind of just fell apart. The few times I show up to lunch no one says anything."
"In the middle of that right now. Used to play video games several nights a week, DND every other week, and meet up to hang out on a regular basis. Then he met someone, and he just started bailing on everything and has now moved in with them after 4 months. Never even made an effort to introduce us to the new person. I've just got to accept that he's happy, and I'm glad for that, but I'm also not willing to put in the effort for no return, and that's also fair."
New ChaptersJump Yes GIF by Valparaiso UniversityGiphy
"Grad school finished and we all scattered."
"Grad school was the last time it was easy to make friends. Now in the adulting world and it all sucks. Especially if you don't have kids and that's the main way adults seem to pair up is having kids involved in things where you meet other parents."
The school days are over.
Then so is the love.
Dramajoan collins march GIFGiphy
"One of us broke up my sister's marriage and started immediately dating her after she kicked her husband out. And they tried to act like nothing happened."
Money Changes Everything
"They all got rich. I did not."
"I remember as a kid version I very specifically drifted away from my high school friend group because all my friends at the time were super smart and successful and I was on a straight shot to community college (loved community college no hate just as a teenager at the time it's hard to see the value over the flashier universities)."
"One friend started dating one of the other friend's ex. Blew apart a 35+ year friendship we had between four of us since grade school. We all live within 2 miles of each other, but none of us have talked to any of the others in over 25 years."
"I need to point out that the only person to ruin anything is the friend whose ex started dating one of the group. they were not together and you can't fault love. because they got all up in their feelings doesn't mean the other person did something wrong."
The Great Upheaval
"COVID wrecked a lot of my social life. We had a weekly game night and weekly trivia night and a few other semi-regular events and none of them have come back."
"A lot of my friends have gotten married or started families over the pandemic so it's possible that maybe this was going to happen anyway, but it sucks to go from a pretty thriving social routine to nothing. I still have friends and we still do things together but I miss the regularity we used to have."
The Next GenerationPlaying Happy Children GIF by MOODMANGiphy
"Kids. One of the couples got pregnant and within a couple of months, it basically went from 12-15 of us down to 4. Can’t complain though. The 4 of us are living much better lives now."
Kids ruin everything.
Get a dog.
They adapt to friends better.
Kidding, of course!
Have you ever experienced a friend group falling apart? Let us know in the comments.
Life hacks that make adulting easier and more fun are constantly trending on social media, but these hacks do not typically focus on safety.
The irony is that, while knowing how to organize our cabinets more efficiently is great, it will not save someone's life.
Redditor Tsukuyomi_Enhancer asked:
"What's a life-saving tip you think everyone should know?"
Memorize "Ah ah ah ah... Staying alive..."
"CPR should be done hard enough that you break ribs and done to the same tempo as 'Staying Alive.'"
"It's also important to note that CPR will very very rarely bring someone back to life like in movies. The purpose of it is to keep the blood and oxygen flowing enough that when professionals arrive they will be able to revive the person with minimal brain damage."
Stop Driving Tired
"Driving tired is just as dangerous as driving drunk. I got up at 4 AM to make a 7 AM flight from Toronto to LA, but I got bumped, and routed via Vancouver instead. Instead of getting into LA at 11 AM local time, I ended up getting in at 4 PM, and hit a massive traffic jam heading south."
"This was before cell phones so I had no traffic info that I understood, and I just stayed on the highway. By the time I turned off the highway, I'd been up for 20 hours. I could feel my head falling as I micro napped and jerked awake, but I had only a few miles to go, so I kept going."
"Bad move. Another micronap, crossed the median, and hit another car. Just a broken foot for me, and a few bruises for her, but it could have been much much worse."
"If you're that tired, pull off and sleep."
This Should Be Basic Knowledge
"Take care of your oral hygiene."
"Ask for help when you need it. If you don't get it, ask someone else."
Avoid the Bystander Effect
"If you ever need someone to call 911, make sure you specifically point someone out of the crowd of people. 'You in the red shirt, call 911.' If you don't, nobody will, because they assume someone else will."
Know the Bear Rhyme
"If you come into contact with bears, there is a rhyme. 'If it's black, fight back. If it's brown, lie down. If it's white, say good night.'"
"In the case of black bears, they're generally smaller. If one is attacking you, then you have a chance of survival by fighting back. You'll probably be in awful shape, but you'll live."
"In the case of a brown bear, it's best to show it that you are not a threat to it or its cubs. Lie down, and protect your neck and head. Make sure it's gone before getting back up."
"In the case of polar bears, things are very different. If you notice a polar bear hunting you, then it's already too late. Make peace with your gods because you are going to die."
These Are Not Just for Training Purposes
"If someone is drowning do not dive in to save them, throw something that floats."
"If you suspect someone is being shocked by electricity, use wood or rubber or anything non-conductive to help break their contact with the energy."
"If someone is breathing and knocked out or fainted, or blacked out from drugs, turn them on their side to avoid the risk they might drown in their own vomit."
"If some people are working overhead, with fall arrest systems, have a game plan to get them down if they fall. FAS has a time limit before the constriction on their legs risks permanent damage or death."
"If someone is buried alive from a tench collapse, you need to unbury them all the way, because of the pressure on their body. Especially their legs."
"Confined Spaces contain invisible, senseless death. It can be any heavy gas in there, stay out."
"Small falls kill."
"And one thing I tell the kids I train, 'You gotta be smart if you want to be dumb.'"
Know These Heart Attack Symptoms
"Heart attack pain for women is often different than men. The classic symptoms of chest pains radiating down your left arm isn’t what most women feel."
"It’s often a chest tightness, horrible gastric reflux feeling, and an impending sense of doom. It’s also described as the worst pain you’ve ever felt and women don’t go to the dr for it because 'childbirth was worse,' etc."
"So women, don’t ignore any sort of tightness, pressure, or twinges in your chest."
No Signal? Try Anyway.
"In the US, by law, every cell tower has to receive and connect 911 calls. It’s entirely possible that your cellphone says 'no signal,' because you’re not in range of your specific network and you have roaming turned off, but if needed you could call 911 without any issue at all."
Prepare Your Vehicle
"If you live in an area of extreme temps, keep stuff in your car in case you break down and can't get help immediately."
"For any temp, keep water and high-density food such as protein bars."
"For cold, keep a sleeping bag or blanket."
"For heat, keep more water and something to make shade."
Trust Your Gut
"An obvious and simple one, but it's saved me on numerous occasions."
"Trust your instincts and your gut when it says, 'Don't do it,' or 'Something doesn't feel right.'"
"We sometimes forget to trust ourselves."
Immediately Seek Out the E.R. for These
"If your vomit ever looks like coffee grounds, you are bleeding internally and need to go to the ER immediately."
"Sorry to be gross, but if your poop is black, thin, and sticky, go immediately to get help."
Be Aware of Other Forms of Fire
"If you smell fish in your house, it could be the start of an electrical fire."
The Coughing Shouldn't Stop
"Choking is silent. All a choking person can do to signal distress is a sign for it."
Please Learn How to Swim
"Knowing how to swim."
"I find it disgusting that there are adults who still try to defend, not being able to swim. They say things like 'maybe they grew up in the desert,' or 'maybe they’re scared.' But they always expect someone else to risk their life to save them."
"Quite often, they panic so badly and attempt to drown their rescuer so much that they have to be punched in the face until they’re unconscious to be dragged back to the shore."
"This is all because they needed to try riding a JetSki while on vacation and life vests are uncomfortable, so they took it off. It’s all just selfish entitlement."
"Source: spent my teen years and early twenties as a lake lifeguard."
Basic Human Decency
"Maybe not directly saving your life or a life, but being kind of at least giving respect to everyone you wind up meeting. Of course, not everyone is going to get along and some people are going to cause you problems, but at least being a decent human being is going to get you much further in life."
"It's because the world, while big, is smaller than you might think. The person you bumped into on the street could be the barista you wind up getting served by when you go to Starbucks, that nurse you saw during your doctor visit could have a child in the same daycare as yours, and your tax guy could wind up talking you up in a bar."
"As ridiculous as that sounds, meeting people you've only briefly met before happens all the godd**n time."
"Being a good person, or even being a decent person, nets you great connections when you choose to use them. That barista could possibly give you a discount or even recommend a cheaper drink if you were polite about the bump in the street; that nurse could give you great tips for your child's health when you meet again at that daycare, and you could have a great friend that can teach you all of the taxes when you see each other at that bar."
"But the most important note, you have to be willing to do the same for them. If you're able to help those, they'll help you, and that CAN save your life, or at the very least really enrich it."
These honestly are all fairly basic concepts that everyone should know but often do not.
And that very last one is just the sign of being a good human, but when you're willing to help someone, they're much more inclined to help you in return by calling 9-1-1 or giving you a ride home after a party, which really could save you at some point.
The Dumbest Things Patients Have Ever Tried To Lie To Their Doctors About
Going to the doctor or dentist is one of those maintenance tasks that we all have do but which some people are incredibly uncomfortable with.
In an effort to make the experience go more smoothly, some patients will lie about their healthy habits or positive oral care.
But it's more obvious to doctors and dentists that their patient is lying than it might seem.
Redditor KyeLindsay asked:
"Surgeons and Doctors of Reddit, what's the dumbest thing your patients have lied about?"
Self-Sabotage at Its Finest
"A guy comes in, between 17-19 years old for 'pebble hits penis.' Pretty odd. He says he was doing yard work when the tool knocked a Pebble into his penis, he went to check it, and now it was making pus."
"The nurse clarified that he was wearing pants. Denies sexual history. He stands by that he got hit on his penis by a rock through his pants which made him produce pus. He had chlamydia."
"Another guy says he was forced to do meth (or something similar) at a store. Came in because he thought he was dying."
"A fun bonus: a frequent flier comes in for 'his stomach hurting from eating this chili he had' while continuing to eat said chili in the lobby."
"Woman comes to the emergency room with complaints of vaginal discharge and discomfort. A pelvic exam initially reveals a significant yeast infection, but there appears to be a foreign body in her vagina."
"'Is there something stuck inside?'"
"'No, I don’t know what’s in there…'"
"A speculum examination reveals a very soft mandarin orange, peel still on."
"'Oh, that! We heard it would improve our fertility…'"
"You can’t make this s**t up."
The Classic, "No, I Mean Yes."
"'Do you have any medical problems?'"
"'So no diabetes?'"
"'What medications are you taking?'"
"'Metformin. For my diabetes.'"
"I facepalm every time."
Oh, How Did That Get In There...
"Guy came in for a wound on his lower leg that he said came from a biking accident."
"An X-ray revealed a bullet inside his ankle joint. The wound was from shooting himself by accident while holding a gun. Still don’t know how he didn’t fracture anything."
But It's Corn!
"Part of my job is dealing with medical records. My favorite part is when you are reading the doctor's notes and you can tell they are fed up with the patient's bulls**t from their tone."
"Like this: 'Patient in for a routine colonoscopy, asked if solids consumed in 24 hours prior, patient confirms no. In the process of the procedure, several dozen kernels of corn are discovered in the colon and cannot continue. Patient specifically instructed not to consume corn beforehand as this happened prior to visit.'"
Plot Holes Everywhere
"One dude lied about being paralyzed after a lumbar puncture. I get a call from a nurse that the patient says he can’t move his legs following a lumbar puncture (spinal tap)."
"I called the team that did the procedure and they assured me there was no indication of this sort of injury happening during the procedure but agreed with my plan to get an urgent MRI."
"I go to examine him and the nurse says she thinks he moved one of his feet. Next thing I know he says he can actually move his legs again but they are feeling weird."
"Then this weird feeling turns into intense pain and he asks for intravenous narcotics (Dilaudid). I tell him no because this story makes no sense."
"By god, it was a miracle I tell you when this man walked himself right out of the hospital after I refused the IV narcotics."
"Also, the MRI was normal."
Absolutely No Alcohol
"Patient: 'I haven’t drunk alcohol in months!'"
"Patient's family: 'It’s true, I’ve been with her the whole time.'"
"Me: 'Ma’am, your alcohol level is 325.'"
"Patient: 'Impossible! I would never lie to you!'"
Against Medical Advice
"One of my favorite things I wrote my first year out of medical school:"
"'Please note patient has stated multiple times that he wants to leave and would leave AMA (against medical advice). He asked multiple times whether he could eat and stated he is hungry. Explained to the patient that we would like to start a full liquid diet first and if he tolerated it well, would transition to regular foods.'"
"'However, the patient ordered Chinese food delivery instead. Then, the patient was complaining of a headache. Was given Tylenol for the headache. The patient stated that this did not help him.'"
"'His sister at bedside went to the nearby pharmacy and bought Goody powder (aspirin). Sister did ask whether she could give him Goody powder. She was told not to give the patient the Goody powder. She supposedly did not.'”
"For context, the patient had a catastrophic GI bleed from taking too much aspirin."
Quitting or Taking a Break
"'Do you smoke cigarettes?'"
"'No, I quit!'"
"'When did you quit?'"
Just a Little Secret
"I had a lady tell me she had no idea how she got a rash she had on her face. I left the room, gave a report to the MD, and when I walked back in with the doctor, she looked at me and said, 'I didn’t think you’d be coming back in the room.'"
"She then proceeded to confess that she’d been cheating on her husband and thought she had herpes. She did not have herpes."
History of Smoking
"A common one is about their smoking. Smoking is an enormous risk factor for fracture nonunion, meaning a fracture that doesn’t heal."
"When I walk into a nonunion patient’s exam room and it smells like a cigar den, I know they smoke."
"But they’ll tell me they don’t right to my face. Before signing them up for revision surgery, I’ll commonly order a urine test for nicotine metabolites. Often it’ll turn out positive and suddenly they have a Surprised Pikachu Face."
"Their identity. Insurance fraud using a friend's and relative's insurance card. As a resident in a very large east coast hospital, I was tasked to figure things out when the blood bank called and said their blood type changed."
"When confronted with getting the wrong blood that may kill them, they almost always tell the truth. This type of fraud has also resulted in people who have been dead (and autopsied) raising from the dead and 'appearing' in a clinic or ER."
Dentures Have Entered the Chat
"My dad neglected to mention he had no teeth... since 1976. We found out in the ICU. In 2022."
"Wait... did he wear dentures, or did you just not notice that he didn't have any teeth?"
"Maybe he had a comically large mustache."
"Actually, HE DOES. But he also never mentioned having dentures!"
Most Recent Snacks
"Medical school student. Not a big deal but a patient lied to me about what she had eaten."
"She was obviously having some problem with her gallbladder. Typically this pain can be caused by greasy food."
"So I asked the patient what she had eaten before she got this pain. The patient said she only ate a salad with very little ranch, that’s it."
"I even explained how greasy food can cause this pain but she’s adamant she only ate a salad."
"Anyways, I report back to my attending and we see her together. The attending asked her what she ate."
"The patient said salad then adds she also ate a burger! It wouldn’t have changed the plan but why lie??"
Doctors are always full of interesting medical stories, but the ways in which patients lie is especially fascinating.
If a person is pursuing medical treatment, wouldn't they want to give the information that would help the doctor most accurately treat them?