Mental states are fragile. One of the most popular themes of American literature, in fact, is the fragility of man's sanity. H.P. Lovecraft utilized this often in his horror stories, and the death of the "American Dream" and the effect it had on the sanity of its dreamers was a popular theme in Arthur Miller's plays.
Unfortunately watching somebody's mental state deteriorate in real life doesn't carry with it the safety of a Lovecraft novel or a play in a theater. It's real. It's awful.
Here were some of those answers.
Nine Years Alone
Watched my dad join a cult. Get diagnosed with cancer. Get dumped by the cult and die alone. It was horrible, one of his friends used the word "sick" as in "ill" and that really made so many of his choices clear. He was dying, he felt like crap. He didn't want to get medical care. He became mentally unstable and ended up pushing everyone away over 9 years, he got his wish. He died alone.
Quick Chemical Turn Around
I watched a friend get overtaken by his first bipolar episode in about 3 weeks. He started smoking a LOT more than he had before. He was on Snapchat and social media nonstop. He started drinking heavily as well, and barely sleeping. He totaled his Jeep and got a dui. He went to his job and told his boss to f*** off among other things. He was fired.
He started getting angry very easily. During this time I spoke to his mom to let her know what was going on but she was in denial still. The drinking and mania continued for another week. He went golfing with some friends and as they were driving home, he lost it and started ripping his clothes off and tried to jump out of the car. They pulled over and he was screaming for someone to come and kill him. They calmed him down enough to get to the hospital where he stayed for a few days. This all happened in 3 weeks. He's better now which is really good to see.
Intelligent Yet Alone
So I am a nurse in an Assisted Living Facility. Most people there have dementia. Of course I have plenty of stories of sun downers. Or hospice patients. However, this person just stuck with me when I was an aide at a local hospital.
There was a woman who came in to a med-surg unit. She was middle aged, so not old. I don't remember why she was on our unit, but I remember it had something to do with a car accident, but she was so smart. She had two doctorate degrees and enriched many lives at a local college. I just remember being in awe of the conversations I would have with her when I had the time. She was there for a long time. I remember saying goodbye to her at the end of the shift and her commenting that she was going to a rehab facility. A few months go by and she came back. I remember seeing her name and being excited to see her.
When I went to her room she didn't recognize me, which wasn't too odd. Sometimes our regulars didn't recognize me. However, she didnt' even know how to use the remote for the TV. She could still for the most part take care of herself with minimal help, but something was... off. I told the nurse who had taken care of her the previous night about the status condition change, but the nurse didn't do anything. The next times I had her I just watched her decline. Become incontinent, unable to care for herself, mood swings, all of those. It was the saddest thing I had ever seen at that point in ny career. She ended up passing in the hospital. I will never forget the intelligent, strong woman I had met just months ago become almost a shell and non-verbal so quickly. I never saw a visitor there even once.
Grandma, she had Alzheimer and dementia, she started losing her memory slowly over time, then one day she fell and broke her hip, being bed ridden accelerated her illnesses and within couple of months she was just laying there and staring at the roof,barely speaking and all she says is none-sense, she doesn't recognize anyone, not even her children. It's like she's not there anymore and all that's left is her body.
The sad part is that she's been like that for years, dead but not really dead, that we can't even mourn her probably because all the sadness and tears were shed while her body still lies on her bed.
A close person to me told that he had what he thought was a mental breakdown at the age of 5 or so. And the reason was intrusive thoughts about death, specifically his own death.
I said "Why would you even be thinking that at that age?" and why would he worry about that because he was still a child and far from death. He just responded with "I don't know. It's like I know how it feels.
It might've been just a one time thing but he had these mental breakdowns sometimes and it was not good. The most recent bad one was when he was 15. He was doing something happy or anything but then he suddenly freezes up then flinches and starts to cry like a child. And he cries for hours and kicks his feet. At this point I was scared because he was inconsolable and don't know what to do.
After a nights sleep, He seems to be fine but he seems to have momentary "aftershocks" and would flinch and start to cry again. He said it takes 2 months to recover from this or be back to his normal happy self but he becomes scared, frantic and sad in these 2 months.
Worse thing is I think he kinda had PTSD from these episodes and if something reminds him of these situation he breaks down again. One specific song was enough to make him have a mental breakdown and it seems he is likely to have these in December or in the night.
He's fine now and has ways to recover from the breakdowns but it seems he is still prone to having these episodes.
My fiancé's mom past a few years ago from creutzfeldt-jakob disease (CJD for short). CJD is most commonly called mad cow disease even tho they aren't the same. CJD only happens to humans and Mad cow is bovine. CJD is when these proteins in your brain called prions go crazy and start to fold and basically turns your brain in to Swiss cheese. There is no cure and it is very rare. Only a few hundred cases a year. She was perfectly healthy except for being diabetic but she had zero complications with her diabetes.
Then out of nowhere she started having problems remembering things and then starting having mood swings. She went to the doctor but they couldn't figure out what it was. It wasn't until a month or so later that a specialist diagnosed her with CJD. She went from being completely healthy to not being able to move her arms, legs, control voluntary and involuntary functions and then death in 8 months. It was extremely hard on my fiance to see her mom lose everything that made her who she was. Her own mother and father had to see her deteriorate as well. It was just awful for the whole family
No Longer The Person I Fell In Love With
When we came back from my deployment, I literally watched my then-husband become a shell of the person he previously was. Prior to the deployment he was so light, optimistic, and social. He slowly transitioned into a man afraid to leave home and eventually began to use substances and was finally released from duty because of it. We still remain friends after all these years, but he's still only a ghost of the person he was before.
It Kept Going
My grandmother was very ill for many years with almost no immune system. Minor cuts and scrapes would get infected and run rampant. Every now and then the infection would make its way to her brain.
It would usually start slowly and progress to hallucinations. Commonly she would see mice or cockroaches. One time she believed fully that she had hair lice, and would get her husband to check and comb her hair to the point it would start falling out.
Eventually she'd have no idea of the date or even the year, sometimes believing it was as early as the 40's, the same year she was born.
She'd then begin to forget how old people were and at its worse, who they were. All this time she believed she was fine and refused to go the hospital.
Even after all that, the hardest was the vitriolic hateful things she would say to you and everyone else when the ambulances were called because she could barely stay conscious.
These infections happened 4 or 5 times, maybe more. And every time the doctors would tell us that she wouldn't make it, and she did every time.
She passed away in 2017.
Erratic And Dangerous
My group of friends witnessed two friends go through paranoid schizophrenic breakdowns, one after the other, in the space of two years. The second one was my roommate. It happened very suddenly. He just woke up one day and decided that we were all lying to him all the time, and acted with the hostility and contempt that you would expect from someone who thought those things. He did erratic stuff like smashing all his belongings with a baseball bat in the driveway and piling all his socks on the kitchen floor. He eventually went back to his parents' house, which was a relief. From what I have heard, he never really got the help he needed.
No Good Can Come From Bad
Friend fell back into addiction. I thought I felt powerless as I listened to him downplay his use.
I felt even more useless as he started looking off into corners. Then said the voices that he was hearing "weren't from meth, they were from living with [his] parents".
While I was away, my bf went over to him holding a kitchen knife to keep his parents (who were half a world away on vacation) in the basement. He hid in a bench for 6 hours.
Finally, he called the cops on his voices.
Visited him everyday I could in the mental ward. When he got out, he blew up our friendship, went missing, went back into the psych ward. That's the last thing I knew.
I love characters I love to hate.
Even when I hate them I can always find the reason they're involved in the story, so I find it difficult to want them to be erased.
Certain characters flaws and the most heinous decisions are written to further story and bolster the audience's love for the heroes.
So as much as we loathe them, we need them; much like our enemies in real life. That is what makes compelling drama.
Redditor u/nekoandCJ wanted to spill the tea on the characters we could do without in our favorite stories by asking:
People of reddit, what fictional character do you hate with a passion?
The list is long for me. It all starts with the guy who shot Bambi's mom. Lord, to this day that is still traumatizing. But she had to go to give Bambi a story. And Michael Douglas's character in "Fatal Attraction," what a putz. He got what he deserved. But how else would we be able to sympathize with Glenn Close? Even though... well y'all get it.
Family FailHome Alone Christmas GIF by FreeformGiphy
"Kevin McCallister's uncle… "look what you did you little JERK!"
"Percy from the green mile, that freak can DIE IN THE MENTAL WARD!!"
"That was what was so good, there is a Percy in every large group and more that one in any team where failure isn't punished, like a government job working at a prison. He was a great comment on humanity."
Love Sharon Though
"Ginger from Casino."
"Major kudos to Sharon Stone, her performance made me utterly loathe that character. She was a manipulative junkie who tied her young daughter to a bed so she could go out to score. I wanted to reach through the screen and choke her."
"Loathe the character, but that performance is absolutely god-tier. Helluva an acting job. Her and Pesci just freaking nail it to the stratosphere, playing thoroughly unlikeable characters in the absolute most realistic way. Ginger is the holistic ideal of the gold-digging party girl. And Pesci is that moron Dunning-Kruger guy we all know."
"Manny from Diary of a Wimpy kid I think there's a while subreddit about that little monster."
Call a Doctor!Giphy
"Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. My favorite antagonist ever. Louise Fletcher was perfectly cast for the role, too."
Ohhhh... good choices thus far. Although, I found Sarah Paulson's Ratched more detestable. You know who else is a mess? Elmira Gulch. Love the Wicked Witch. Hate Elmira! Go figure...
True Evilthe sopranos hbo GIFGiphy
"Livia Soprano made my blood pressure rise every time she was on screen. Great acting. Mission accomplished."
"I will say, I've seen Comic-Con panels with him and his smarta** sense of humor fit Micah perfectly. He may have hated the character, but boy oh boy was he a fantastic casting choice. As were all the main cast, for that matter."
All the Drama
"When I tell you I stood up and cheered when I originally saw Heather from Total Drama Island finally get booted out of the competition. 'Twas a good day."
"Season 1 I HATED her and loved when she lost her hair. But then it was more of a love-hate relationship with her. She's a fun character. Owen, now that monster I hate. Loved him season 1, but then he just got reduced to fat guy who farts and contributes nothing."
"Craig from Malcolm in the Middle. He's a selfish, annoying coward. Like the episode where he's injured and he makes Lois drive all over town to different restaurants for him. I love when the helper monkey turns on him, that's what he gets for treating it like crap. I especially hate the episode where Hal asks Craig to help him buy a comic book for Malcolm."
"And Craig also makes Hal drive him all over town for different meals and treats and gifts, then when Hal dares to ask when they're actually going to the comic book store Craig flips out and demands to be let out of the car and says he won't help Hal anymore. Like come the hell on, I just want to slap him."
"Do you need a cough drop, Dolores?!"
"I loved Umbridge for the simple fact that she brought out McGonagall's savagery like no one else, and it was glorious."
"Voldemort is just another generic, pointlessly evil type of character that only seems to exist in fiction. Umbridge is the type of tight @ssed bureaucrat that mimics the actual villain in many average people's real lives."
This thread could be endless. So many villains and loathesome characters so little time. But Lord the drama is good!
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Everyone has their own little quirks.
What's the weirdest thing you find attractive?
Perhaps the thing you find the most attractive is completely unnoticeable to the average person. As in, if you weren't looking for this one tiny, small, completely negligible thing, you would never notice it.
But these people did.
Whip It Back And Forth
"My wife had shoulder length hair for a while. Once, when I called her name and she did the hair-swish-smile thing, I just about f-cking died from cuteness."
Little Stragglies Of Cuteness
"The neck, when a woman has her hair up and those little bits of hair curl around."
"Seeing a girl have to stand on her tiptoes to do basically anything, especially to hug or kiss me.
I think it's the cutest thing ever"
Then there are those people who find things attractive that, on first viewing, someone else wouldn't see as "Wow, that's a real turn on!" However, you have refined and cultured taste. Of course you'll love it when someone's bones stick out a little bit.
"Collarbones. Can't even explain it. Just a shirt low enough to show a pronounced collarbone."
"Omgyes! Protruding collarbones and (at least imo) hipbones are crazy hot! It doesn't have to do with them being skinny though! Slightly curvy people can also have really nice defined collar- and hipbones!"
Controlling A Massive Machine
"My husband reversing the car. He puts his arm around the passenger seat and looks over his shoulder...."
"Oh, man, I love watching people drive. The arm-around-the-passenger-seat-while-reversing thing for sure, but also just people driving in general. There's just something about that focus people get when they're behind the wheel; the way their expressions are usually passive, but their eyes are attentive... oh man. I'm with you on this one for sure."
Someone Has A Thing For "Teen Wolf"
"Long canines. The teeth, not the species.
Not unnaturally long like vampire fangs, but just enough that they're longer than the rest of the teeth."
"Huh, weirdest compliment I've gotten from a guy before was that he liked my 'pointy teeth.' This was at a bar and it made my coworker do a double take."
Then there's these, which you may not have known did it for you, but after reading these there's no going back. You're hooked, now, and that's okay. Embrace the weirdness.
I See You Are Also An Individual Of Class And Substance
"Chokers, f-ck those things stir up something primal in me"
"Ah I see you also grew up in the 90s and watched buffy the vampire slayer..."
Wait, That Seems Pretty Obvi-Oh, That's Why...
"Guys who wear glasses.
For some reason I think it's sexy when we're making out and he has to take them off."
Seems Like You Like Everything They Do. Which Is Great.
"I like when women have to go pee really bad and do that dance. Yea it's weird.
Or when you successfully feed your girlfriend at the appropriate time of day and she does a little dance or starts humming a song as she's chewing.
I like watching the daily skin care routine as they furiously and rapidly circulate their little raccoon sized hands in various nonsense that I'll never understand"
Everyone is different. Everyone has different tastes. Everyone has things that speak to them. These are all perfectly acceptable, and steering into them might actually help you along as you continue your search for a viable romantic partner. Don't shy away from the things you find sexy. Embrace them. Be happy.
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When we're kids, we expect the adults in our lives to notice everything, know everything, and maintain a just, sound moral order.
Psh, don't hold your breath.
Whether it's a teacher, the parent supervising a playdate, or mom and dad at home, kids expect them to have eyes on the back of their heads.
That way, when a kid gets into a spat with a peer, has something stolen, or feels a quiet emotion, the adult in the room will respond with full knowledge of all the facts at play.
But adults are just human beings with a limited bandwidth in their heads. Half the time they're doing other things when the incident goes down.
So they weigh in as best as they can with the limited info they receive--usually in the form of two screaming children pointing at one another.
Curious to learn about the times when the adult got it wrong, Redditor Butterat_Zool asked:
"What minor injustice was wrought upon you as a child that you're still salty about today?"
Many people talked about times when a prized possession was stolen, destroyed, or squandered. Sure, things are just things.
But to kids they mean a whole lot.
Covering Her Tracks
"We had a special arts and crafts week when I was about six, maybe younger. I made my dad a Christmas stocking out of clay, because I'd always thought it was unjust that he didn't have one. It was going to be my Christmas presents to him."
"I took it to the teacher to show her, and so it could be fired later. She methodically destroyed it by balling it up in her hands, and then tried to put it down to a brain fart. I was shocked, but mostly I wanted a replacement stocking, since it was meant to be a gift. I asked her to remake it for me, since she, a teacher, would be allowed to use the clay any time, but I only had a few minutes left."
"The next day I was told I'd been bad and I wasn't allowed to participate in the arts and crafts week any more, and that was that."
No Help From Pa
"When I was 4 I had a little red rocking horse necklace. It was my favourite. I wore it to a puppet show my dad took me to one day and took it off and put it beside me."
"The kid next to me picked it up and wouldn't give it back. We fought."
"My dad told her dad he didn't recognize the necklace and let her take it. I'm 45 and still salty."
In-School Pawn Shop
"Teacher took my 2ft long pencil and sold it to another student."
"Yup. A few teachers at that school sold supplies like pencils to students. It just so happened that this one was taken from me because it was 'too distracting' "
All Them Nintendos
"When I was younger I wanted a Sega Dreamcast. My parents wouldn't just buy it for me, since 'I already had enough Nintendos.' I got a job at Hollywood Video. I couldn't even drive yet, so I would ride my BMX to work in my tuxedo uniform."
"When I saved enough money, I told my parents I was going to buy it myself. They told me no. When I asked why, they said it was to teach me that I can't always get what I want, even if I can afford it."
"I bought one anyway and successfully hid it from them. Every night when I went to 'bed,' I'd hook up the Dreamcast and play as quietly as possible. I still give them sh** for that decision, but they stand by it."
Other people fixated on the times an adult embarrassed them in front of multiple people. Of all the examples given, these are enough to make you really worry about some of the people watching kids out there.
"We were on a field trip to some Washington forest and the ranger started asking about products that grow in or are made from forests."
"3rd grade me who had just discovered in some Ranger Rick article that latex rubber comes from tree trunks confidently raised my hand to share."
" 'Uh rubber from trees, now that doesn't sound right does it' and she moved onto another. 35 years later and the salt is still there."
"In 4th grade our teacher told us to write a paper about what we thought of our school, now our school wasn't great and I was homeschooled up until that year and struggling with the change so wrote about my frustrations and how I was generally unhappy with it..."
"...and she insulted me in front of everybody until the point that I cried and then told me I should get up and read the paper to the class, I refused and she made me rewrite that paper until it was positive, you know instead of trying too help me with the problems I had"
Don't Cross a Paleo Nerd
"I was failed on an essay in English class because my interpretation was incorrect. The poet was describing an airplane and they asked us to figure how what it was being interpreted or anthropomorphized as."
"I was a paleo nerd and chose a pterosaur, because the author described the engines as screeching, and heaving, wings outstretched but still, etc. This was in 6th grade and in my essay I wrote 'and pterosaurs weren't like modern birds, they certainly didn't chirp!' "
"The teacher specifically read my essay out loud to the class as an example of something bad and wrong and 'incorrect.' She also didn't know what a pterosaur was or how you say pterodactyl. Big Salt could mine me until the sun explodes."
And finally, others shared the times they found themselves doing the wrong thing, in the wrong place, at the wrong time. The adult only saw a snippet of a much broader context of behavior.
And the minimal knowledge led them to punish exactly the wrong person.
"Someone's phone went off in class, so teacher demanded that person turn their phone it. No one budges. She holds us in class for a good 20 minutes into the next period antagonizing us about this phone that rung. Eventually she let us go and warned all other teachers about this phone incident."
"My 8th period teacher then gets involved and antagonizes us all again. Said he was gonna stand out in the hall and whoever knows anything to report to him. Some kid went out there and said it was my phone. I got yelled at, got written up for Saturday detention, and later that year found out the kid who told on me was the one who's phone rung in class."
The One Time
"In kindergarten, we sat on this foam mat made out of large puzzle pieces, and we were all assigned one. My puzzle neighbor, Tommy, threw his garbage onto my square. Every time I pushed it off, he'd put it back."
"I eventually got mad and told him to knock it off, and the teacher noticed and yelled at me for throwing garbage into his square. I sat out for the rest of the day and my pin was brought down to 'bad day'. I accidentally broke his nose on the metal spider a few weeks after during tag, though."
Pulled In to the Chatter Hole
"Once a week, in kindergarten, they would pick a name of a kid who would win a toy. Only good kids could participate."
"I was alway a good kid, but not really lucky. My name got picked only once in the whole year. That day, unfortunately for me, I was next to a kid who would not shut up during the lesson. I spoke once to ask him to please stop talking. Guess who the teacher chose to punish for disturbing the lesson? That's right. Me. Didn't get my toy."
Until some kind of horrifying technology comes out that allows adults to see and know every facet of their child's existence, tiny injustices like this will proliferate.
But perhaps those couple slights are totally worth the freedom of adults that don't know everything we're up to.
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Modern medicine is a marvel. It's the reason why we've been able to effectively eradicate some serious diseases and improve the quality of health care around the world. When you take these two things into consideration, it's easy to see why vaccine hesitancy can be such a frustrating topic for people right now.
Many people would not be able to survive without the benefits of modern medicine. That's what we learned after Redditor forevernostalgic23 asked the online community,
"If modern medicine didn't exist what medical condition would have died from or been severely impacted by?"
"Bad vision alone would have made me terrible at most things."
I had bad vision until my early 20s. I second this.
"I would have had a very short life..."
"I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age seven. I would have had a very short life without modern medicine."
Having known many people who live with diabetes, I am glad that they are still here.
"I probably would have died..."
"I probably would have died at 6 years old from strep throat."
This is a big one: In the past, it commonly killed many people. And guess what, it still does? The CDC estimates approximately 11,000 to 24,000 cases of invasive group A strep disease occur each year in the United States, with 1,200 to 1,900 of those cases resulting in death.
"I was born..."
"I was born with a bilateral abdominal hernia and amniotic fluid in my lungs, no way I would have survived infancy without modern medicine."
"My brother and I..."
My brother and I were bitten by a rabid farm kitten when we were 6 and 4 years old. Without the foresight of my grandfather who had the cat tested and modern medicine creating the vaccine, my parents would be childless."
Frightening! I saw Cujo as a child and that told me all I needed to know about rabies, thank you very much.
"I would have gone deaf..."
"I would have gone deaf from recurrent ear infections as a child and then died at 14 from pneumonia."
"But since that..."
"I was born two months premature, so I'd likely not survive that in an earlier era. But since that, nothing."
"Mom and Dad..."
"The way I was born. Mom and Dad had to feed me through a tube down my nose the first year and a half."
"If the recurrent..."
"If the recurrent tonsillitis didn't get me, my appendix would have been the end of me as a teen."
"Neither kiddo nor I..."
"Giving birth. Neither kiddo nor I would be alive without emergency surgery."
Amazing, right? Be grateful for modern medicine––there are new developments each and every day. And who knows what the future has in store for us? Will there be a cure for cancer? Alzheimer's disease and dementia? The sky's the limit.
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments section below!