You do what you can to help someone.
That's the job of many therapists, hoping to held lead their patient down the path of self-help and rehabilitation. No matter what difficulties arise, you stay the course, helping them find the answers and providing possible solutions they need.
Sometimes, however, that path gets cut short when the therapist realizes their patient is beyond help. What can you do when there's literally nothing to do?
*The following article contains discussion of suicide/self-harm.
"Therapists of Reddit, What was the moment you realized your client couldn't be helped?"
Maybe there's a bit of self-realization, the moment you notice your therapist has decided to no longer see you.
"My therapist had to let me go because my insurance decided my mental health wasn't worth paying for and I couldn't afford her rate. I miss her sometimes she was my first therapist and I enjoyed talking with her."
"When I was 12 I saw a therapist with my Mother in the room. This 70 year old therapist started the session with basic questions. One question was, “what is a similarity between and peach and a pear?” My response, “they both start with P. He said he had never heard that answer and that nearly everyone says they’re both fruit. Then he ended the session and dropped me"
Obviously, Go To One Who Works For You Within Your Budget
"My last therapist decided that if I can't come in twice a week, due to financial reasons, that she stopped letting me schedule appointments."
Always Be Aware When You're Not Getting What You Need
"For the most part, I've had the opposite as a client. Where the therapist sessions become mundane and unhelpful but the therapist doesn't let go - the client (me in this case) ends the relationship. It makes sense. It's that whole it's easier to keep an existing customer than recruit new ones. Sometimes the relationship just isn't working but I've never had the therapist recognise that they're not helping me. Whether it's genuine ignorance on their part or not is of course my own speculation but that point about customer acquisition does stick with me."
You can't help someone unless they want to help themselves. Any self-help professional will tell you that, and live by that, as evidenced by some of these dropped cases where it was apparent no desire for improvement was to be found.
It's Not The Kids Fault
"When the child is younger than 8-9 yrs old and the parents want me to only work with the kid to change the kid’s behavior. Ain’t gonna happen. You change the environment and parenting and THEN you see changes in the kid’s behavior."
"Edit: point of clarification. I AM NOT saying it is the parents’ fault or that they are the cause. I AM saying that to work with kids who are young, you need to change the parenting and environment."
"Examples: Autism and ADHD, not caused by the parents, but effective therapy requires changes to the environment, increases in prompts, forewarning, cues, help with regulating emotional and sensory responses. After the brain matures some, kids can better take perspective and think socially with help, a little later they can better plan ahead for contingencies, though the frontal lobes won’t fully mature until a much later point In development than that which I was referring."
Perfect Example, Right There
"One month in with this couple, a wife had just spent 5 minutes explaining the impact of her husband's language on her, and how devalued, disregarded, and unimportant she felt in the relationship. His response to her was to, verbatim, use the exact language she had just described to respond to her. She collapsed into sobs, and he sat back, sighed, rolled his eyes, and gestured vaguely to her, as if I would agree that she's the problem. I told him exactly the opposite. He stormed out. She went to the lawyer I recommended and cleaned him out. Full custody too. It was truly a happy ending."
Their Heart Isn't In To It
"The moment I realize they don't want to be helped. It is usually with the cases that are bullied into therapy by loved ones. Of course, most of them at least become curious of the process and start being a part of it, but there are the few that just won't stop resisting no matter how many sessions."
So Far Gone They Can Never Come Back
"I am a therapist for sex offenders. One particular client was a drug user, but thus far it did not seem to interfere with the therapy (it was in no way related to his criminal acts). Until one day he showed up for his appointment completely high on hard drugs, he had already been awake for 48+ hours. Turned out his drug abuse was way way way worse then he'd make it seem. He also severely damaged his penis while high (he told us) . We immediately referred him to a rehab and never heard from him since."
"I usually can tell in the first two-three sessions. Mostly narcissistic individuals who are brought to treatment by their SO or a relative desperately hoping for change. It never works."
Help They're Unable To Provide
"I'm a therapist for individuals with severe and persistent mental illness, as part of a team that does a lot of mobile and intensive services. As a result I've worked with a lot of people for years that I've realized I can't really help much with my skill set."
"Most commonly this is folks who are elderly and start experiencing a lot of cognitive decline. I eventually really don't do much beyond giving them some socialization and more case management to get them appropriate services. Therapeutically I'm not doing much to help them. Eventually they go to a nursing home with a dementia unit and I never see them again."
"The other scenario is when someone is actively invested against therapy (e.g. court mandated, when legal guardians are forcing therapy, or when payee services refuse to contact their clients except through us, county forces clients on us). In those cases I try to build common ground, develop as much rapport as possible, meet them where they're at, and be as radically open as I can. Unfortunately in some cases there's just so much grievances between us to be able to help them, which doesn't help when it's mandatory and insurance won't allow a switch (yay managed care . . . ). It's not so much that they can't be helped - it's just I or my team can't help them because of all these environmental factors interfering."
"I've dealt with a lot of serious cases (significant psychosis and/or personality disorders, etc.) and I don't think I've ever met anyone that I've felt was truly beyond any sort of help from anybody. Just a lot of cases of I'm not the right person in the right environment."
Then there's these, sad tales of therapists who realized their patient was far beyond their help, and perhaps far beyond anyone's help.
Not Understanding The Treatment
"my client told me that despite the promise from her psychiatrist that trying an anti-anxiety prescription might help ease the symptoms of her complex PTSD, it would only be treating a symptom and not the cause of the anxiety. I wish she had been able to understand that in order to move forward she would’ve needed to get out of her “fight or flight” mode, which was why finding the right anti-anxiety prescription was a good start."
"edit for clarity: the anxiety was fueled by her fear of an abusive ex"
Putting Them In The Right Place With The Wrong Head Space
"I’ve been a youth mental health therapist for 7 years, and I’ve not had that issue yet in mental health work. And honestly I don’t think I ever will"
"But previously I did family therapy and general social work, and had a client that had a drug problem, he was homeless and I did everything in my power to help him get work and shelter. He would always quit after 2-3 days citing that he couldn’t get along with the boss. And he would consistently lie about health problems or call me in the middle of the night to try to get money, or for me to sign off financial aid to him (I already got him monthly financial support prior - it was just going to more drugs)"
"Finally I managed to get him a place in a halfway house - the workers were kind, the other guys living there seemed really easygoing. It came with immediate employment and a place to stay for a year, and he’d be coming out with enough money to get by for awhile."
"He quit after a month…"
"It’s been years since then, and from what I know, he’s still in the system"
No, It's Not That Kind Of Relationship
"He kept hitting on me. I had brought it up for reflection in context of his functioning and history. Lots of attempts to deepen insight and hold a boundary. At some point the boundary needed to get bigger . So I ended our therapeutic relationship.
Worldwide Pandemic Can Do That To People
"They had an advanced extreme case of antisocial personality disorder, too agitated, too aggressive, with substance abuse. After months in therapy at a hospital, there was no progress whatsoever and nothing to be done, their family didn’t want them, neither did the police, nor the hospital and after setting their bed on fire and harming the other patients, i was just too scared to work with them so i closed the file and spoke to the doctor to find another solution. Sadly covid happened and they had to lay off a huge majority of the staff in the hospital, since i was still new, i was let go. I still don’t know what happened with the patient."
"When she committed suicide."
"It might sound harsh, but she was one of my very first patients as a doctor. Had several sessions with her together with colleagues. She was a very nice person."
"She will be forever stuck in my mind."
A very sobering read.
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/
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When we hear the words "addict" or "addiction", our mind usually jumps to drugs and alcohol.
But addictive behavior transcends those common vices.
Indeed, people can find themselves becoming addicted to just about anything.
While some pose a less significant threat to one's physical health, they remain no less serious a problem.
Redditor Windsorbear97 was curious to hear which addictions the Reddit community felt weren't given enough attention of concern, leading them to ask:
'What is an addiction that nobody takes seriously?"
Time to cut back on the screen time...
"My phone and my usage of said phone."- VagueViper88
And not the kind you find on stage...
"Some people thrive and are addicted to drama and chaos."- CM_NRS
You can't just have one
"Binge eating."- Loulabee1983
Oh look at that, I must have it!
"Especially if you grew up poor and have more money when you're an adult."
"My mom was so bad with this that when she died it was a disaster figuring out what she had paid for and where she had debt."
"I have a friend who would spend her whole paycheck on Amazon purchases and wouldn't even see this as being an issue, even when she would beg her parents or rich men for money to make rent."
"They usually buy junk they don't even need or clothes."
"So many clothes."
"They always shop when they are not feeling well, it is 100% a coping mechanism."
"I was in my 20s when I realized that no one else had a mom who would go to Walmart with a 100$ budget cause they were feeling sad."
"Such an obviously expensive addiction too." - User Deleted
How "social" is it though?
"Dopamine feedback loop from various forms of electronic entertainment and social media sites."- Clintman
"Went to a counsellor after I had taken any sort of social media app off of my phone in an attempt to stop using it to distract myself from what I'm feeling because I'm currently going through a break up."
"Basically as soon as I got too emotional in the session, she suggested we do this blinking exercise where you look at a nice photo and blink and do that a few times."
"we did this because she 'knew distractions worked well for me'."
"That's why I'm back here as well."
"Seems pointless to distract myself if my 'good' option is to be distracted by someone else sitting across the room."- Glum_Advertising_958
Can't think of getting through my day without it.
"Caffeine, without a doubt in my mind."- No_Relationship9732
Big money... not really
"It’s taken seriously to an extent, but things like the lottery are very glamorized, and there’s so many tv competitions and radio competitions etc out there nowadays and they’re kinda gateways."- Safe-Initiative4266
There's no harm in putting something off... until it's too late!
"It’s embarrassing because I should be able to 'just do it', but then a task that shouldn’t feel too hard will feel so daunting and impossible, I’ll end up doing it late or sometimes not at all, and the whole cycle is the root of so many problems in my life."
"It’s emotionally and functionally horrible when it gets bad enough."
"I’ve read all the advice out there and none of it works for me for longer than a day or two."
"I’m at my wit’s end and feel crazy because it’s so illogical but I can’t stop."- thatbassonist
Indeed, if you find yourself unable to kick a particular habit, it might be worth asking yourself if this is, in fact, just a habit.
And then find the courage to ask for help should you need it.
Banning and censorship is nothing new in America.
Or, in the world at large really.
It all starts on a small scale.
They start stripping us of things at school and work.
You know, all for the greater good.
Redditor t0rnado_thegamerwanted to discuss the items that have been taken out of circulation for ridiculous reasons. They asked:
"What's the stupidest thing your school/work banned?"
I feel the banning has only just begun. But let's see what we've already lost.
FallenGIF by LeannimatorGiphy
"We weren't allowed to build a snowman because it 'might fall on you.' They suggested we build a 'snow forest' instead - snowballs on the ground > 1 meter apart. Nobody built snow forests."
"6th graders and only 6th graders weren't allowed to draw outside of assigned art projects. I heard any number of reasons for the ban--'gang signs,' vandalism, distraction--but never got one for why the ban didn't apply to 5th or 7th graders. My only guess is that one of the 6th grade teachers just really hated seeing children's artwork."
"My primary school (age 5 to 11) in the UK banned talking during lunch. Every single child had to eat lunch in a big room, in absolute silence. No talking to friends or socialising allowed. It was pretty insane now I think about it."
"I was gonna comment this too. My school banned talking at lunch if it got too loud. We had a cup at each table the teachers would make us turn them over and stop talking frequently each lunch."
"The theory was that someone would choke and no one would hear them if it was loud. Incidentally, the only time somebody choked was during a period of quiet and nobody knew because YOU CAN’T TALK WHILE CHOKING!! The person was fine though."
The Rule Book
"The lack of shoes, as in there is an specific rule against it detailing what should and should not be worn in your feet, all this because a friend of mine read the Rule book and it only said that 'Students must always come wearing appropriate pants and shirts that do not break the etiquette code.' He went to school with shoes and took them off at the entrance for a semester just to piss off the principal. I love that guy."
CodeCharlie Brown Snow GIFGiphy
"Anything with a snowman on it. Apparently that was code for cocaine."
Wow, Snowmen really get a bad rap out in these streets.
OuchGo Easy On Me GIF by AdeleGiphy
"We weren't allowed to say anything was easy because it might hurt the feelings of kids who didn't think that thing was easy."
"Back in my high school, they banned water bottles unless they were clear bc people had been sneaking alcohol into school, but like clear alcoholic drinks are a thing?? so it basically did nothing."
"Our school did that, too, after previously banning water bottles altogether. One of my teachers then got really bent out of shape about so many people using disposable plastic bottles but the school was really strict about how clear your water bottle had to be and not everyone had a qualifying reusable bottle on hand so what did she expect?"
in the ye' olden days...
"Bottle flipping when that was a trend in the ye' olden days long since forgotten. I don’t know why, and it’s not like they did a good job telling us about the ban so my first and only detention I’ve ever gotten was from flipping a stupid water bottle. That and the 'fight club' that formed in PE but that’s a different story."
"Probably Yugioh cards.They were banned because a group of moms made up a rumor that in another unspecified country a kid had died while holding a fiend-type monster, so clearly they were satanic. Years later I learned that one of those moms was my friend's mom and she just didn't want to buy the cards for her son."
Ho Ho HoMerry Christmas Reaction GIF by Macy'sGiphy
"Saying Christmas. Had to be called 'the current religious festival.' And no decorations were allowed."
Why are we banning the wrong things? This is nonsense.
People say parenting is one of the most rewarding things in life. That all of the lack of sleep, constant crying, and stress is worth it when you see your baby smile. And all of that is true, for the most part.
However, being a parent is hard, and it's not always easy to give that unconditional love. Sometimes, you do your best for your kids and they still turn out to be people you can't really reconcile with.
You'll always love your kids, but sometimes it's near impossible to like them.
Redditor eyriesistable asked:
"At what point did you realize you don’t like your own kid?"
Some Reddit Users Talked About Momentary Dislike
These are parents of young, cute toddlers and are mostly joking about disliking their kid.
Laughing At Pain
"My 2 year old just yanked my hair and laughed when I said 'ouch!'. I still love him but he's a little f*cker sometimes."
The Classic Toddler Offense
"My two year old got sent home from daycare today because he bit three different kids, unprovoked, before noon."
"He stole my cat."
"Only 18 months old the little prick and he's always had a fascination with animals, any time he sees one he points, starts walking towards it going "aaaaaaaww""
"Anyway, me and my cat used to be best buddies but currently my cat is sat in his lap whilst he's stroking him going "aaaaaaaww""
"And it's the same every day"
A Drinking Problem
"I walked in to her room and caught my kid sitting on her bed drinking a Pepsi. She has always known we are a Faygo household. I can look past some things but when you disrespect me in my own house I just don’t know how you get past something like that."
Waiting To Get Her Back
"Every time the lil' f*cker wakes us up before 5 am. Can't wait untill her teenage years, I will be up at dawn every day asking why she isn't getting out of bed and make some of her day instead. Revenge is only 10 years away."
Others Talked About Issues That May Never Be Resolved
These are parents who don't like their kids' personalities and don't see anything ever changing.
A Missing Bond
"For real, I used to have an issue for several years with my three daughters. I didn't feel the parental love that one would expect. I would still protect them from harm and all that but I did not have the emotional connection I thought I would with my kids. I spoke out of concern with my wife about it several times and she suspects that it was how I was raised by an abusive father figure. Nowadays the love is there but I feel that I missed out on too many things when they were growing up. I did not bond when I was supposed to I guess. I never really went out of my way to hold them when they were little. I just pray that I hid that fact well enough from them that they don't find out. I don't want them to think I don't care..."
Some Of Them Want To Use You
"When they became a narcissistic adult-trash talking everyone for attention, me included. They are a user (of people) like I’ve never seen before. I still love them, but do not like them."
0 for 3
"My grandmother had 3 kids and doesn't like any of them. Loves all three but doesn't like them. The first is just an a-hole who used her for money and her house like a hotel. Second... they just don't click, total opposites. Third is a needy lil mooch/hoarder who throws tantrums over stuff like the frosting color on Easter cookies because "that's not how daddy did it when I was little""
He Is Mean
"He started hating on me from an early age. He would literally give me the cold shoulder - monosyllabic responses to me while not looking up from his games, then become open and chatty when anyone else entered the room. I ate it for years - he's just a kid, right?"
"I ended up leaving his dad. He blamed me for everything and called the cops on me after yelling at me over the phone."
"I talked to his brother after the cops left. He was so frustrated on my behalf and only then told me all the low-key things younger brother had done under the radar; he was more mean than I realized; I thought it was only directed at me. My older son was sympathetic and made me feel better. He said his younger brother had a lot of issues."
"I really don't give my younger son an option to call the cops on me again."
Lie, Lie, Lie
"I think it's kinda sad how I know that my stepfather (who had his own daughter) wished I was his kid instead of her. To be fair, the girl kept making stories up about what we did to her and she was alienating him from the rest of his family. I think I can even pinpoint the day he realised that this wasn't miscommunication but rather her just lying about everything."
"She ran away from home and after years of fighting it was finally calm. And honestly, screw her, she didn't have to lie to anyone about us, she didn't have to steal from me or my mum to the point that a gift for my birthday was a lock on my door."
"I hope she doesn't screw over whoever is taking care of her now but I doubt it."
These are some intense stories! Parenting is hard, and the truth is, when it's good, it's good, but when it's bad, it's really bad.
Have you ever had someone try to comfort you, but ended up feeling worse after what you just heard?
It happens more frequently than people would like, when what were meant to be words of comfort and encouragement end up having the exact opposite effect.
Indeed, sometimes we might be better off, or able to sleep somewhat easier had we not been told a certain statistic or recent study, which paints an optimistic light, but is bad news nonetheless.
Redditor Soupmandog589 was curious to learn what optimistic facts aren't quite as comforting as they seem, leading them to ask:
"What’s a fact that sounds comforting but is actually highly disturbing?"
I'd rather not crash at all.
"You’re statistically more likely to die in a car crash on the way to the airport than you are in a plane crash."- 593shaun
Cold comfort at its finest.
"You did your best."- a_fortunate_accident
The possibilities are endless...
"You never truly know what anyone really thinks about you.'
"I mean this like super literally."
"Like you never know if your spouse is planning on killing you, you never know if a stranger is keeping an eye on you thinking about assaulting you.'
"Several possibilities that you could never know."- bluburry420
"There are hundreds if not thousands of versions of you in the minds of other people."
"Depending on how many people you have met in your life."- He-Who-Laughs-LastMean Girls Gossip GIF by Paramount MoviesGiphy
I hope that day is a long time coming...
"One day you'll never feel pain again."- Antdawg2400·
Ignorance is bliss... or is it?
'The most peaceful way to die is in your sleep, but you’ll go to sleep not knowing you’ll never see anything ever again."- Hkro-2
We won't live to see it... but others will...
"There will be a point in time where humans go extinct."
"We wont experience it but imagine our future generations will see the 'end of the world'.
"You saw... nothing."- SunTzy69End Of The World Netflix GIF by LOVE DEATH + ROBOTSGiphy
The truth is out there... maybe...
"Either alien life exists, or we are totally alone in the universe."- ALA02
Don't get too excited
"You're really really sick, you have no energy, no appetite, and just the will to do nothing at all."
"Let’s say this is your grandpa in this situation."
"All the sudden grandpa calls you and says he wants to eat so much that it hurts and he wants to go do some fun projects, this sudden burst of energy kinda thing."
"Well you drive to the hospital to find that your grandpa has just died minutes after he called you."
"The nurse will then explain to you that this is very common when people are dying to just have a sudden burst of energy."- ReaperGrin
Either way, we're screwed
"While we're losing a lot of forests in the tropics due to climate change, we're actually gaining a lot of forest in the northern latitudes, and into formerly grassland areas as more available CO2 allows them to grow in more arid regions."
"And everyone loves trees, right?"
"The problem is the climate crisis is also a biodiversity crisis, and habitat loss, like grasslands or tundra becoming forest, is arguably even harder on species than changes in weather patterns."- RIPEOTCDXVItime-lapse forest GIFGiphy
Kind as it is to offer comfort to those who need it, it is also wise to think very carefully when choosing your words.
After all, as the saying goes "when you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."