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.
Love is crazy. I've finally come to that conclusion. And marriage, you take your life in your hands and just throw caution to the wind in hopes of survival with that step.
When love falls apart, things can get real messy, real fast. And I've always been stunned by people's behavior when love subsides.
More often than not, it's like they become different people. Sometimes people are beset by tragedy and grief and sometimes people smile wide and move on. It's a coin toss.
But my favorite post divorce personality has to be the sudden super villain. Oh honey watch out for them!
Redditor u/hyperyog wanted to hear all the tea from the divorcees out there by asking:
Divorced Redditors, what is the craziest thing you or your former spouse did after divorce?
I once had a friend who burned her ex's house down when he wasn't home. He had started seeing someone almost immediately, so she thought, lemme set their sparks. Yeah, she wasn't well. Whatever happened to just a quick goodbye?
Swipeddean winters crying GIF by MayhemGiphy
"She removed the retaining clips for my windshield wipers, but put the wipers back on the arms. First storm after I got my car back from her, driver side wiper flew off the car on Interstate 40. Good times."
"He wrote suicide notes and put them in my kids backpacks for them/me to find. Then he turned off his phone and went to a coworkers house to play crib and have drinks.. all the while knowing I would be freaking out searching for him thinking he was in danger or worse. Thankfully my kids didn't see the notes and didn't know what was going on. This was just one of the many, many crazy things he did. Two years out and he just recently stopped showing up at my work and driving by my house at night."
A Sad End
"Died of a drug overdose. To be fair, her drug addiction was the reason for the divorce, so maybe that isn't too crazy."
"That's so incredibly difficult to have gone through. I unfortunately know the depths of this kind of pain, and while I'm sure the circumstances surrounding it are different, the loss that still happened is a tragedy. My condolences."
"Stalked me for 5 years. Would make fake social media profiles to try to follow me (which I would block endlessly) and would try to find where I worked so she could talk to me. This lady cheated on me with 7 different men 2 months after we were married. I kicked her a** to the curb and made her sign the court papers."
"When we had our day in court she cried in the judges office while I just wanted to get this crap done. After, my dad was with me and he threw 50 dollars at her and told her to "change your freaking last name." Good guy Pops. I haven't seen or heard from her in about 5 years, thank goodness."
Take it All!skin care spinning GIF by Primal Life OrganicsGiphy
"I had an ex-boyfriend go through my apartment and take back every gift he had given me that he could find. Then he went in my bedside table and took the condoms. And the vibrator he had given me."
See now, when I'm out... I'm out! I don't want to see you, hear from you or know you. I wish you well in life, but please live it far from me. Anyone agree? Clearly not the people here. Let's continue...
For the Boybicycling father and son GIF by NETFLIXGiphy
"All I wanted was custody of my son, I gave her everything else except one of our cars. She fought me through 5 hearings, I won. She never came to see him again."
"My ex cheated on me the week my mom died in the hospital. She spent a year and a half trying to get in touch with me. She would call my old work and make fake accounts trying to message me on FB. It was insane. She later sends a certified letter explaining she was sorry that she did what she did and that she aborted our child."
"Wanted me to meet her somewhere so she could apologize face to face. She already married some other guy that she had children with and was still trying to get in touch with me. I never understood her."
"After years of telling me she wanted a child, that she wanted to be a mom, that her life's dream was to be a stay at home mom, she got pregnant with the first guy she slept with while we were getting divorced and put the kid up for adoption even before it was born. This was a long-standing thing with her, she always wanted something (car, house, dog, cat, marriage, etc) and the second she got it she immediately hated it."
"Called me and pretended he had been hit by a car while we were talking. He even tried to voice the crowd that had gathered around his "body." God-awful acting, but pretty funny listening to him try to mimic a woman's voice. Points for trying to be inclusive, I guess."
"I think he was trying to get me to re-live my trauma of being on the phone with a friend who actually HAD been hit by a car while we were talking. Too bad he didn't realize that hearing the real thing is worlds different than hearing a dumba** try to act it out."
"I was sending 600 dollars a month to support my daughter because she's the only thing I give a sh!t about. My ex texts me and tells me I need to be sending 1200 a month because she's broke and can't pay her bills and I should feel guilty about it. She left me for another guy while I was on deployment I told her to go screw herself--call my lawyer."
Pop OffTom Hanks Drinking GIF by The Good FilmsGiphy
"Took the sodas from the fridge as he walked out the door. Dumfounded."
See, I blame Alanis Morissette and her "Jagged Little Pill" album. All I'm going to say is... the secret song. I think she gave people ideas. (I love that song) Y'all, seek therapy if you can't shake people. When it's done, let it be done.
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Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay is highly regarded for his delicious plates, his ability to run a solid restaurant, and, let's face it, his stage presence.
He's also a foul-mouthed Brit who is all too willing to dismantle people's self-esteems and compare them to livestock animals.
Alas, as watching all reality television goes, we love to see the crashing and burning.
But what if the shoe was on the other foot? What if you were the one being torn into by the sailor of all chefs, Mr. Gordon Ramsay.
Wondering what horrible dishes were lurking in unknown kitchens all over the place, Redditor FalloutSl*t413 asked:
"What's something you made that was 100% delicious but Gordon Ramsay would slap you for anyway?"
Some people talked about those purely functional meals that are just perfect for piling on enough protein and calories to get through the day.
"My mom used to make us 'Volcanoes.' Mashed potatoes topped with ground beef with some ketchup. I still tear it up to this day."
Quick and Easy
"I make weeknight 'enchiladas.' "
"You stick frozen taquitos in a casserole dish and cover them with canned or frozen chili and cheese. Bake them until everything's hot, serve with a dollop of sour cream. They sound disgusting but they taste amazing, and they take like, five minutes to prep."
"I know it looks like, smells like, and probably tastes like cat food but potted meat sandwiches. Look, when you're poor as hell and you can make 3 sandwiches with one little can that cost like 20 cents, it's pretty good."
"While I'm at it, Treet and bologna are pretty great. I have the taste palette of a raccoon and I like it that way."
"When I was younger I would make this thing where it was a patty melded of:"
- "a can of tuna"
- "two eggs
"And I would eat that almost daily, pan-fried, for lunch. Just slap me now and lets get it over with."
Others shared the recipes they make to feel fancy despite being totally trashy.
A Nuanced Process
"I call them 'chicken puffs.' Some par-cooked chicken (white or dark meat, either works) with sauteed serrano peppers and onions and garlic."
"All wrapped in crescent roll dough in little balls (a bit smaller than a baseball), put in a casserole tray filled juuuuust above the top of the little dough balls with cream of roasted chicken soup. Baked to completion/safety."
"Overly indulgent and delicious."
A Famous Side
"I consistently make a box of pastaroni angel hair and herbs as a side with meals I prepare for people. EVERYONE always asks for the recipe LOL please don't tell my secret"
Just a Couple Additions
" 'Fancy Ramen' Ramen made normal. Don't mix seasoning. Drain water. Add Mayo. Then mix in seasoning. And Volia. A lot of people question it. Until they try it."
Others outlined the things they eat that combine some ingredients it may seem disgusting to mix together.
Throw An Egg On There
"Fu** it lasagna, alternating layers of bread and shredded cheese (your choice which, I use cheddar) then crack an egg on top and put it in the microwave. Old depression meal, but it still holds up."
Hard to Wrap Your Head Around
"As a kid I would eat a banana with a cheese slice. Haven't tried it in years but it might hold up" -- Send_it_to_me
"Let's not" -- Sea-Entertainer-4974
"When I was younger I would make toast with peanut butter on it, then add pepperoni. Delicious then but I cringe thinking about trying it today"
The truly horrifying thing? There are so many more recipes out there that would leave Ramsay trembling.
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People love to talk about food. There are blogs, books, television shows, conversations in bars and farmers markets. In all likelihood, there is a recipe swap happening right this second in some deep corner of a suburb somewhere.
But sometimes talk is a lot of hot air. And the topic of food sure isn't immune to that criticism.
You can't get through a day without some telling you what "you gotta try."
The problem is, talking about food is often far more exciting than the food itself.
Redditor anicaodha asked:
"What food is overhyped?"
Many people were angry about garnishes. They hated the way restaurants try to entice people to eat certain menu items by slapping some kitschy ingredient on there.
A Very Expensive Burger
"Anything with gold flakes, absolutely pointless." -- Spend_Total
"ugh, i just remembered throwing up gold flakes from goldschlager, yuck!" -- spaceygracie12
"Aka how to add a crunch to your dish like a douche." -- CakeBot_TheReckoning
Catches the Eye Though
"Any rainbow food, rainbow grilled cheese, rainbow smoothie..."
"Just a cheap money grab."
No Breath On My Meal Please
"Dragon's breath/ nitro puffs or any dessert that contains liquid nitrogen to make it look cool." -- throwjango
"This stuff exists? God, I'm out of the loop." -- -The-Magic-8-Ball
"Truffle oil, usually doesn't contain a single truffle." -- BlckontheMoon
"The 1 thing I love about Truffle oil is I've never seen someone use it on a cooking competition show and not lose." -- igotmadshirts
Some people talked about the big trends that they just never could quite figure out.
That Almighty Nectar
"Remember when people were treating Nutella like it was the second coming of Christ?" -- Grapezard
"I had an Italian friend once invite me to his birthday party in high school. His mom made a Nutella pie and it was one of the greatest desserts I've never had the pleasure of trying again. It was so simple, like a soft flaky dough covered with Nutella."
"I don't want to come out of the blue and ask this kid for his mom's recipe 15 years later so I'll just suffer I suppose." -- JupiterTarts
"Red velvet is literally a red chocolate cake that has nowhere near enough chocolate and to much red food coloring. It literally was invented when done dudes chocolate turned kinda red when he added vinegar to the chocolate cake mix."
"Friends loved the color, but it was finicky to get the red color without changing flavor of cake, so he decided to use red food coloring."
"Fu**ing Avocado Toast.
"Avocado is a buck. Toast is few cents. Avocado Toast is $10+"
And some discussed the things that people insist are fancy and delectable, but are really just run of the mill entirely.
Meat is Meat?
"steak is good, and I'd even say a high quality steak can be very very good. But people act like it's better than busting a nut and that's just not true. It's just meat"
"Lobster. It's good, but poor value given it's almost always the most expensive protein available."
"Plus most places just drown it in butter, which again, fine, but if all you taste is butter, why spend that much?"
Depends on the House
" 'Housemade' ketchup. Give me the damn Heinz and get your banana aoili mess away from me." -- peanutbutterallytime
"I live in Pittsburgh and I have seen multiple restaurants try and fail to make housemade ketchup work. Every single time they go back to Heinz." -- HooBoy401
So if you find yourself tired of hearing people go on and on about something you don't go wild over, know that there are others fuming too.
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It's not easy to always do the right thing.
Which is why most people don't usually do the right thing. Doing the right thing involves a lot of thought, empathy for others, and a self-awareness of your place in the world. You're not making a choice just for yourself, you're more often than not doing it for someone else. This, in itself, presents a difficult hill for most people to climb so, usually, they feel it's easier to make the selfish choice.
Doesn't mean people always do. They can surprise you sometimes.
*The following article contains discussion of suicide/self-harm.
What's the hardest moral decision you've ever had to make?
Even when the choice amounts to something small, it can still matter to someone else.
How Dare You Make Me Morally Astute?!
"This is small potatoes compared to most of the people on this thread but many years ago I was travelling and had very little money. I went to a stall at a market, handed them a 10 dollar bill. Item cost 5 dollars but instead of handing me a five dollar note, the handed me a 50."
"I was walking away from the stall when noticed. My first thought was BONUS. But I had lately been hanging out with a bunch of people who were really into karma. So I stormed back to the stall, slammed the 50 down on the counter and told them off for making me make moral decisions. Lady behind the counter was like "ahhhhhh, thanks"
Didn't Believe The First Time, But Can't Deny Visual Evidence
"I told a co-worker his wife was cheating on him. It ruined our friendship for a good amount of time, until he caught her himself."
"To bad he couldn't just believe you."
Owning Up To The Mistake
"Fessing up to an error I made at work that cost the company 5k. I was a manager and misinterpreted a sales promotion. I almost lost my job, this is the one time that telling the truth actually saved me. It's true what they say that the cover up is usually worse than the crime. Lesson learned.."
Doing something morally correct when it comes to family can be tricky. On one hand, you don't want to ruffle the feathers of the people you're going to be related to for the rest of your life...which is how family works.
On the other hand, do the right thing.
Making The Best Call For Your Children
"Removing the mother of my two sons out of their lives completely as she was unfit and abusive while I was on deployment. They were 3-4 years old then and now they are 17 and 15 with their mother never attempting to come back into their lives which I would prefer at this point."
Because They're Going To Be Sad Later...
"My grandmother died, and I lied to my parents about it."
"My grandparents were 95 and my parents hadn't had a vacation in 30 years. So when she passed away with only 5 days remaining on their vacation, my family decided not to ruin it for them; instead, we'd plan the entire funeral and if my mother wanted to make adjustments when she returned, we'd arrange it for her; there was nothing they could do to get her back."
"Having to decide on the DNR (do not resuscitate) order for my father who had been victim to a massive stroke..."
"I know millions have done it before and millions will again but to me it was devastating....."
"As a health worker, you did the right thing by your father. I've come across families of patients who keep them alive for their own peace of mind while the patient themselves is tired and in alot of pain mentally and physically from the constant treatments and would rather rest from it all. Don't feel bad for your decision."
Never doubt your actions when it comes to protecting children.
"Calling CPS on a student's family after she begged me not to. CPS did an investigation and she was pissed at me for months until the vice principal had a talk with her and explained that I only did it because I care and didn't want her to get hurt."
"That VP is awesome. I sat in his office while he coached me through the call, since it was my first time calling CPS."
Standing Up For Your Friend, Even When No One Else Will
"I was in high school and my best friend was being bullied on the bus. She brought a knife to school and had previously mentioned a list of people. I cried a lot when I went to the principal to turn her in. I knew I was ruining her life but I wanted her to get help. I didn't want anyone to get hurt because we were all just kids. She was expelled and forced into therapy. We had been friends since we were 11."
"My mom listened on the phone line when I was trying to comfort my friend (while absolutely not admitting it was me) and my mom jumped on and told her I'm not allowed to be her friend anymore. I had told my mom I had turned her in and she had no empathy for this girl. Because I had been bullied and stood up for myself and never "did anything like that". My friend was getting cornered on the bus by 4 people whereas I was normally taunted in public and was lucky enough to always have an upperclassmen or school employee around to help me out. I felt guilty about turning her life upside down for many years but would do it again because she did get help."
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/