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.
It's easy to get caught up in the past.
...so long as we knew what time of day it was going to be on.
What's something nostalgic for your age group?
Video games today are horrible!
Give us a 2-dimensional side-scroller of an Italian plumber fighting a dragon monster and nothing else good for many more years after that. Who needs all these fantastic releases, year in and year out, every year?
How Do We Enable "Big Head Mode?"
"Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, b, a, select, start"
"My toddler son has a toy game controller that plays a little jingle if you put this code in. I loved that they put that little Easter egg into a kids toy and it makes my husband smile every time he does it."
When Was This Old? *cries in tired old man
"Anytime recently I've tried to get back into Minecraft it breaks my heart because the game just feels so different now. I played it from 2010 up until 2018 or 19 almost religiously, but the past couple years have really changed the game. I'm sure it's just as fun to play now, but it doesn't have that same nostalgia factor anymore like it used to."
Tests Of Parenthood
"Neopets in 2005"
"My girlfriend at the time made me take care of one as a test for being a father. Literally."
Some things you long for aren't actually possible to do anymore, leading to the reasoning this is why the nostalgia is at an all-time high. What's worse than missing something that no longer exists?
The Smell, The Sounds, The Sights, The Ambience
"Going to Blockbuster with my friends on a Friday"
"Renting cheesy horror movies and making fun of them with the group!"
You Can Miss That?
"Dial up modem noises"
"Kiiiiiiiiiiii…kiiuuuu…kiiiuuuu.. it was something like that right? I even forgot."
"And then I used to open yahoo login page and do some other work for few minutes and come back while it loads, and then enter id password, hit login and then get a coffee until it loads."
Illegal, But, Yeah
"I remember the really early days of mp3 sharing, before P2P came along. There were hundreds of FTP servers that you could connect to with huge libraries of mp3s. No domain name, just a raw IP address that you found somewhere on usenet."
"But they couldn't just give it away, because then everyone would take and nobody would give. So they had quota systems: you'd upload an mp3, and for every byte you uploaded, you'd get to download 2, or 3, or maybe even 5. And this was over dialup, so uploading or downloading a single file could take 30 minutes."
"But it was FTP. Very simple and dumb. There was no memory of your "credits" between sessions, so if you uploaded a bunch of stuff and then lost your connection, you were SOL."
"It amazes me to think how much time I spent getting a few songs that today I can play any time I want on Spotify."
For some people, this next section will sound silly.
For others, this was our childhood, which sadly (when you really think about it) revolved around a television schedule we had no input on, meaning we had to plan everything out around when the next episode of Power Rangers aired.
Cartoons After School Are The Best
"Anime on Toonami. Cartoon Cartoon Fridays"
"Toonami had really great western cartoons as well. I loved watching Samurai Jack, Ben 10, Teen Titans, and Clone Wars on Toonami growing up."
"Old Cartoon Network, spiky gelled hair"
"Old Cartoon Network" is an interesting answer because people are gonna have different ideas about what "Old Cartoon Network" is. I think of Ed, Edd n Eddy and Codename: Kids Next Door. Another commenter mentioned Gumball which is still well after my time."
When Life Revolved Around Someone Else's Schedule
"Born in the 70s, grew up in the 80s...I remember huddling around the TV as a family to watch certain things."
"For some reason, they would show The Wizard of Oz every year on network tv..and it was a big deal. My mom would make popcorn...in a pot on the stove (It was the 80's) and we'd sit on a blanket on the floor and watch."
Or Friday Nights....Dukes of Hazzard (when it was new). Mom would get takeout from Burger Chef...and we'd sit on the floor eating hamburgers watching 'dem Duke Boys at it again."
"Or in the summer....they'd show Creature from the Black Lagoon 3D on tv. 7-11 would give out free 3-D glasses."
"For the younger Redditors....this was well before any kind of streaming/on demand service...and back when cable TV and VCRs were still a luxury that a lot of people didn't have. So, you really only got to watch what was on the few channels that your antenna allowed."
"Another one is coming home from school to watch old shows like Gilligan's Island, The Munsters, The Addams Family, Batman, F-Troop."
"Or staying up late and at midnight....the TV would play the National Anthem....then show a control screen and just "BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP" like this: https://youtu.be/Cnchea6LHN0"
The good ol' days.
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When determining how to spend our life in a way that feels worthy, many place a heavy emphasis on experiences. We want to die with scars and stories.
And sticking our necks out inevitably leads to a whole lot of struggle. But that doesn't mean we wouldn't do the same thing the very next day if we could go back.
Some things, though we'll never do them again, were too important an experience to pass up.
Redditor JackIrishJack asked:
"What should you do once, but not twice?"
Many people talked about the life experiences, big and small, that influenced their outlook. They recommend people go through some discomfort to gain important awareness.
A Capacity for Empathy
"Working in the food industry I feel like everybody should do it once so they can have a respect for food workers but it's also a hell I never want to go through again"
Paying for a Daydream
"Buy a lottery ticket"
"You're not going to win, but buying a lottery ticket gives you the chance to dream and pretend. Having a second lottery ticket isn't going to make your dreams more vivid."
Plenty of Implications
"Visit Auschwitz. I firmly believe everyone should go visit it so as to not forget what humans are capable of doing to each other. But no need to visit twice. Once was enough for me."
Others brought up things which, if done twice, would be a sure sign that something is very very wrong.
Supposed To Be Permanent
"Learning how to walk. The first time - good on you. Having to
relearn a second time means something went terribly wrong."
Only Two Sets
"Lose all of your teeth" -- Outrageous_Cream_112
"Haha I had to think about this for a second" -- ApplesauceDoctr
Don't Wanna Find Yourself There Too Often
"Get beaten half to death breaks the concepts of your limits. Second time breaks the spirit. Third time is overkill."
Others apparently viewed the question as an opportunity for a little cleverness.
If You're Good
"Cut...you measure twice before." -- wxguy215
"For me its more like 'measure twice, make sure it's just a teeny bit too long then go back and shave it off little by little until it wedges in perfectly' " -- pistpuncher3000
As the Saying Goes
"Fool me" -- Thia_suzieUzi
"FOOL ME THREE TIMES FU** THE PEACE SIGN LOAD THE CHOPPA LET IT RAIN ON YOU" -- nixusthegod
Only a Couple to Work With
"Donate a kidney" -- RealisticDelusions77
"Donate one kidney, you're a hero. Donate two kidneys, you're a corpse. Donate three kidneys, you're a felon." -- Drach88
"Be born. Going through the birthing process again would probably kill my mother." -- cylonrobot
Here's hoping we can all find the healthy balance between living a full, experienced life and punishing ourselves a little too much.
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Whenever I visit clothing stores, I make it a point to fold the clothes I unfurl. That is apparently my downfall as a customer.
Because of this, fellow customers often peg me as an employee and always ask me questions like where the bathroom is, or if the store has certain sizes left in stock.
Umm, no, I don't work here. I'm just a responsible customer. As you were.
Many of us make assumptions about other people just by looking at them. Who knew we were so presumptuous?
Curious to hear the experiences of strangers online, Redditor lilmizzvalz asked:
"What do people assume about you, based on your appearance?"
People often misinterpret moods based on how someone looks. That's unfair, wouldn't you say?
"That I'm caring and supportive. I have a resting nice face."
"That I am always mad. Nope just dissociating and staring off into space."
Not Meaning To Be Mean
"That I'm mean. I have a resting mean face for a dude I guess. Also lately it's worse because I'm bigger now. I don't really notice how my face appears but apparently, I seem angry when I'm looking at stuff."
"'You should smile' and 'are you ok?' comments followed me from busboy, waiter, bartender my whole career."
When it comes to measuring intelligence of others, some people are just way off.
Hard To Live Up To Expectations
"That I'm clever. People keep saying it to me, but I'm dumb and that sh*t is hard to live up to."
"I have glasses."
Eyes Full Of Wisdom
"I apparently have something similar going on mixed with looking like I know sh*t, because people come up to me in public and ask about directions, bus schedules and stuff all the time. Like, they'll deliberately avoid other people to ask me. Including when I'm abroad and should look a bit out of place."
"They assume I have an intellectual disability. (And also that I'm deaf, since I'm not able to speak.)"
"No, I am a person with two university degrees who happen to need a wheelchair because of a nasty neurological illness."
People don't always look their age. Some don't even act their age. But these Redditors have gotten their fair share of wrong guesses for their ages.
"That I'm 15."
"I'm 38 and a doctor. 'Did you just finish school?' EVERY DAY."
"This thread was depressing to read as I am 38 but often get mistaken for 50. I hate y'all and your youthful beauty."
Some people are typed out as certain types of people with just one look.
Watch Your Tone
"That I have a southern accent. Not one stranger has ever suspected that I have a 'New Jersey' accent (Born and raised in New Jersey before moving south)"
Not A Biker
"That I ride a Harley and/or work on them. I'm bald with a long goatee and tons of tattoos, but I'm in IT for a living and don't ride motorcycles at all."
Like others have expressed in the thread, I've also been accused of having "resting b*tch face."
You know, that neutral expression where you're not smiling the one time you're not in a situation where you have to be "on" for other people?
Yeah, that one.
If someone's resting face comes across as unfriendly, well, perhaps it's best not to upset them by asking them what's wrong all the time. Just sayin'.
Ideally, a teacher should take the job because of a genuine interest in helping students, furthering their education as well as their self-development. Of course, it's not as simple as that (administrative issues aside). Unfortunately, there are some teachers out there who aren't cut out for the job––and they even have a mean streak when it comes to their students. The effects this can have on the learning process are dire.
Teachers don't get paid well, and they're well aware. Many stick with the job because they have a passion for teaching; many others stick with the job because of the position of inscrutable authority it offers them over helpless students.
People shared their experiences after Redditor Ara-Rat asked the online community,
"What did your teacher do that made you call them 'the worst teacher ever'?"
"Questioned 5th-grade teacher's manner of pluralizing a word on the board. Got sent to the library to look it up in a dictionary and report my findings to the class.
Decades later and I'm still mad at that woman for trying to publicly humiliate a ten-year-old student."
That's awful. What is with adults who try to deliberately an example out of children?
"My old band teacher..."
"My old band teacher threw a projector at his students. He left the district later that year."
That was... probably for the best, when you think about it. (I had a teacher who threw a girl's pencil case out the window when she wouldn't stop talking; no, he was not fired.)
"My 3rd-grade teacher..."
"My 3rd-grade teacher got frustrated with a kid's stutter and started pounding the kid's desk with a closed fist while mocking his stutter."
Hopefully this teacher was disciplined and/or fired. That's the sort of behavior that thankfully would not fly today––it would go viral so fast.
"The worst were the teachers..."
"The worst were the teachers who would take books away from me and hold me up for ridicule because they disagreed or didn't approve of the genre or subject material. I was always into science fiction and horror genre's and many of them didn't consider it true literature worthy of reading. I remember my father getting into it with one of the teachers who disapproved of Robert Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land, to which he pointed out it was on the required reading list of a lot of major universities. Dad was awesome like that, and chewed the teacher and principal out for having the temerity to try to stop any student who wanted to read, regardless of what the genre was."
Teachers who mock students for reading are the worst. Reading is one of the best things any student can do––there are so many benefits! Hopefully you have not lost your love of reading.
"When I'd instinctively try..."
"She tied me to my chair. I was hyperactive, and also 5. She would also hold my hand during formation in the mornings and squeeze so hard my tiny knuckles would crack. When I'd instinctively try to pull my hand away, she'd hold onto it and smile at me and ask me if it hurt."
The abuse here is almost incomprehensible. But it happens: a few years ago, a teacher made headlines for hanging a student by his coat on a coatrack. You can bet there were lawsuits.
"I was in the only dress I owned..."
"Tried to get me suspended for a dress code violation when I was 15. I was in the only dress I owned at the time because I was going to my best friend's funeral. She'd committed suicide two days before. I was crying and begging her to just let me stay till my mom picked up my remaining friends to go to the funeral. Said teacher then took me to the office and I had to sit in the front office under a tarp until my mom picked me up."
"My 8th grade English teacher..."
"My 8th grade English teacher never published grades and every time I'd ask her about it she'd answer with, "I don't know, what do you think it is?"
IF I KNEW WOULD I BE ASKING?!"
I've had a few teachers like this. Makes one wonder: Are you actually grading anything? WHAT are you doing, exactly?
"My biology teacher..."
"My biology teacher took my yearbook away right before the summer break. I didn't put it away in time.
That year my parents divorced and I was moving away. I told her this after class and she didn't care. She kept it until the last day. I didn't get any signatures.
Ended up throwing it away. What a witch."
"My university lecturer..."
"My university lecturer was the most incompetent bloke I've ever met. He taught I.T and for the life of me, I can't figure out how he got that job.
- In the first lesson, he got us to sign up to Twitter so we could share lesson content, tweet at each other so we'd get to know one another, and also tweet him. Everybody, including the lecturer, used Twitter once. We just used the university intranet to share stuff.
- Again, during the first lesson, he announced he was going on holiday for four weeks during our first term.
- All of his lessons were PowerPoint presentations, each slide had about a paragraph of text written on them which he would read out loud while awkwardly looking over his shoulder. Once he was done doing that he would essentially repeat what he had just said.
- One day he asked us for help in booking his airline tickets online because he couldn't figure out how to use the website.
As sad as these stories are, consider that these teachers are very much the exception to the rule. The majority of the teachers I have known over the years genuinely care for their students, work tirelessly on their lesson plans, and would never tolerate a single moment of the behavior featured here. Thank you to those teachers for doing their jobs––we appreciate you. (And ya'll deserve a raise, it's honestly messed up how little lawmakers understand about how hard your jobs actually are.)
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments section below!
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