Therapists Reveal How They First Discovered Their Patients Were Sociopaths
Therapists Reveal How They First Discovered Their Patients Were Sociopaths[rebelmouse-image 18361039 is_animated_gif=
Sometimes people are just not ok mentally. That is not a judgement. Knowing you need help is 90% of the battle. Maybe if we all acknowledged we needed help sooner we'd all be better off.
Redditor dahdoc asked the therapists of Reddit to divulge Therapists of Reddit, what made you realize you were treating a sociopath? It's all slightly unsettling but... we ALL have issues.
PEOPLE ARE DISAPPOINTING.
Psych nurse here.
Patient I gained a lot of trust with told me about this person he and two others tortured almost to death. I knew the case because it made the news. He went to jail for it. Went in to details about the torture. It included making hundreds of cuts to the persons body and giving them an acidic bath.
This guy was in our ward for about a month (continually threatening suicide if he was discharged). .
Thing is he stood trial as a minor and threw his mates under the his, claiming they were the instigators and he simply went along with it. They are still in jail
DOES SOMEBODY HAVE SOME HOLY WATER?[rebelmouse-image 18361040 is_animated_gif=
I worked in a locked inpatient psychiatric unit for 5 years. I saw many things that scared me but the most bone- chilling patient I ever worked with was a handsome, charming 35 year old man we will call Mark.
On our unit, if you told your nurse you were actively suicidal, you were placed on a 1:1 meaning you had a staff person assigned to you at all times to be in any room you were in to make sure you didn't hurt yourself. Mark nonchalantly came up to his nurse this particular day and stated he was suicidal and needed assigned a staff personal. Even though we knew (or so we thought bc you can't be 100%) that he was lying, we had to provide him with a 1:1. I was the only available staff person and was therefore assigned to him. He asked me to walk "laps" on the unit with him. I said sure.
As we walked he asked seemingly meaningless questions about things like my favorite food or holidays I enjoy. I am always cautious about giving out information and felt his questions were harmless. About an hour into our walking he commented that He gathered I care deeply for others. Then took his head and smashed it through a glass window. Blood gushed from his face and glass was stuck all over his head. We had to transport him by ambulance to our emergency department.
Two days later he returned back to our unit, medically/ physically cleared. Upon coming back he came up to me to apologize for "scaring me", winked, and walked away. I fully believe he caused pain to himself to put that ever terrible visual in my head and scare me into knowing that if he could so easily hurt himself, he could do the same for others.
VIDEO PROOF IS EVERYTHING.[rebelmouse-image 18361041 is_animated_gif=
Great kid during the day, tormented his foster siblings and videotaped it at night. Loved being the "good kid" in the house during the day and "didn't understand why Jimmy would scream and hit so much." Meanwhile Jimmy" was his target at night but wasn't verbal and couldn't tell anyone. Sociopath was always kind to the verbal child so only Jimmy was prey. In front of the foster parents, Sociopath seemed like a model teen. Finally a video surfaced through sheer dumb luck and now Sociopath is in jail. No one believed it until they saw the video. He's handsome, charming, and will ruin lives because his youthful offender status means he won't have a criminal record.
WELL THAT IS FRIGHTENING![rebelmouse-image 18361042 is_animated_gif=
My dad's a (now semi-retired) psychologist. Back in the 90's, he was working as the director of psychology for a large housing and treatment facility for the severely mentally disabled. He wanted to get into doing some therapy sessions for non-disabled folks on the side, just to mix things up and stretch his professional wings a little. Our house had a home office "wing" with a separate entrance, so he decided to start seeing a few patients on the weekends.
This plan lasted about three weeks before he realized that he'd made a terrible mistake.
One of his patients, a very large gentleman, began visibly melting down during a session, pacing around the office and acting increasingly erratic. My dad's thoughts turned to the fact that his wife and three kids were now in the same house with a big dude who was clearly unstable. He slowly positioned himself by the door in case the guy tried to bolt for it. The guy noticed this, pulled out a gun, and said, "Don't worry, if I wanted to hurt you or myself, I would have already used this by now."
My dad utilized the same skills that he knew from working with violent patients at his main job to talk the guy into putting the gun away. He escorted him from the premises, and never saw another patient at home again.
My mom was pissed.
OK. BYE FELICIA.[rebelmouse-image 18361043 is_animated_gif=
I've worked with a few, the most disturbing one was an ex military guy. He had served time in Iraq in the early 2000s, and he had killed in the line of duty. He always seemed a bit off, but the story he told me that was like, "holy hell he's a sociopath" was when he told me about how he would do things like kill goats, because he could get away with that and some families there depend on livestock to survive.
The second was more of a "sterotypical" sociopath. He had been arrested for drug possession, and during the arrest attempt had stabbed himself a few times while trying to stab the arresting officers. He was very sharp, but intentionally choose the life of a drug dealer because it was violent. I don't think he ever actually killed anyone, but he definitely abused people pretty horrifically. He dealt meth and enjoyed power tripping off messing with desperate addicts. He was also the only antisocial person I've ever met who had a weakened pain response. He once stabbed himself with a pen to prove to me he "didn't feel pain". And I mean like a legit, buried the pen in his flesh, blood everywhere kinda stab. Yeah....
I CAN'T!![rebelmouse-image 18980145 is_animated_gif=
While one cannot be diagnosed with Anti-social Personality Disorder (the disorder most-associated with what the layperson understands as sociopathy) until adulthood, Conduct Disorder is often the place-holder diagnosis given to children who meet similar criteria. While working as a Clinical Supervisor/Clinician at a mental health crisis/assessment facility, I had parents who brought in their 6 year old son. This kid was freaking adorable, soft-spoken and polite. When queried as to history, the parents remarked that among numerous incidents of animal cruelty/abuse.
RED FLAG!! RED FLAG!![rebelmouse-image 18345996 is_animated_gif=
Honestly, he made me feel scared and panicky to be in the same room. Part of being a therapist is you build a very strong client-therapist bond, and there's a lot of empathy/openness in the room, so things can get quite intense and emotional (in a good way). With this guy I felt like a tiny trapped little animal in the room with a dangerous predator.
He had no remorse for his actions. He'd slip in remarks meant to impress/threaten, then look somewhat annoyed when I did not react (I was reacting inside). I do not fully recall his name/looks and wouldn't on here anyway, but on the outside he looked totally normal and actually seemed kind of ok. But after talking to him for a while, there was this emptiness that I found quite disturbing.
He casually admitted to domestic abuse in the same way someone would admit they left the hall light on by accident... to me, in front of his partner!! He'd never brought it up before and, as a trainee I should NOT have been working with DV cases. They would be triaged and referred to someone with specialist experience. I can't go into details, obviously, for confidentiality reasons... but it was a huge overreaction to an honest accident (could have happened to anyone) and he literally mentioned it in passing, and seemed to be more like'Oh for gods sake, this isn't even worth mentioning, why did I bring this up, I'd rather be talking about myself'. He just didn't care.
I remember just nodding and remained calm, whilst drawing a huge exclamation mark on my notes. I made it through the session somehow, then immediately told my supervisor and had him transferred to a different counsellor.
I've honestly never been so scared of another individual just from a'vibe'.
IT'S ALL IN THE EYES.[rebelmouse-image 18980146 is_animated_gif=
I've been a licensed therapist for going on three years now, but I've been seeing clients (with an Intern license) for about five years. The vast majority of my clients have been on probation or parole and have had a wide range of mental illnesses, including anti-social personality disorder (ASPD).
My mentor described folks with ASPD like this:"It's in the eyes. They've got shark eyes: cold and predatory, like they're staring right through you, looking for your weaknesses to exploit." And, having worked with several people with that diagnosis (and adolescent precursor Conduct Disorder), it's pretty damn accurate. People with ASPD are some of the most manipulative people around, and many of them enjoy it. Manipulating people is almost a game to them--well, a mini-game to indulge in while they work on whatever else they're planning, even if it's as simple as "present as normal." And, let me tell you: they're good at it. It's incredibly difficult to out-play someone with the diagnosis at their own game because they've been playing it their entire lives. Since my clientele are court-ordered, most of the manipulation revolves around trying to cover up whatever else they're doing (abusing their domestic partner, abusing substances, etc.). Some are more impulsive than others with the diagnosis, but they all have the shark eyes.
KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR THE KIDS.[rebelmouse-image 18980147 is_animated_gif=
Not a therapist, school psychologist. When talking to a student, he casually mentions how he keeps his parents _"in line" _by threatening to call ICE to have his mother (undocumented) deported. He doesn't care about his family in the least, and they have zero control over him. His two siblings are typically developed and are terrified of him.
YOU CAN'T SAVE EVERYONE.[rebelmouse-image 18980148 is_animated_gif=
I work in a residential substance abuse program. I don't take offense to most clients behaviors; they were in the midst of their addiction and they're trying to get better for any number of motivators (self-referral, family, probation/parole mandated, etc.). I've worked with convicted murderers whom were remorseful and great to work with, so whatever, let's do some work together. But I'll speak of one person whom I believe to have Antisocial Personality Disorder:
After approximately 30 minutes talking to him during intake, I could tell how well he might be able to manipulate those he believes are "dumber" than him, and he stated as much. He mimicked my language, posture, he spoke eloquently, and was charismatic as all hell. But something was just off. I take note, and move on; needed more data. And as he continued in the program it became apparent. Everything was someone or something else's fault. Failed relationships, his addiction and particular drugs of choice, his inability to hold jobs; no accountability or responsibility. He even blamed his brother for getting upset that he (my client) stabbed his brother. After my client had stolen his brother's car in the dead of night and drove it in a ditch and abandoned it; then he lied about it and stabbed his brother for being "annoying". He manipulated other clients and staff, and was damn good at it, except for a few of us who would call him out in group sessions or through behavioral contracts.
He was my individual client and during a session, I was challenging him because there were inconsistencies in something he shared. Then he finally came clean. He is HIV+ (I was aware of this). He contracted HIV by cheating on his partner or sharing a needle (he and the person he cheated with shared needles). He had discovered he was HIV+ prior to his partners return, as they were gone for an extended period of months. He got on treatment, and then... didn't tell them at all. Still hadn't at the time I stopped working with him, and I believe they are still together.
He completed treatment by going through the motions and is now out in the community. He is young. I have a strong feeling that at some point he will move to even more malicious acts, and I wouldn't be surprised if he kills someone in the future.
PEOPLE CHANGE.[rebelmouse-image 18980149 is_animated_gif=
This isn't exactly what you were asking, but a relative of mine was given an unofficial diagnosis of ASPD when she was younger. At the time, the doctors told her family that they "didn't like to officially diagnose someone that was under 18."
As a child, she was extremely manipulative and could go from acting very _"normal" _to being stone cold in the space of a moment. Her parents forced her to go to therapy, but as soon as she became an adult, she stopped.
Her life now, as an adult, is pretty normal. She is still extremely manipulative but is also better at hiding it, so she comes off as charming. She works a normal job, though she usually changes jobs (by her own decision) every year or two. Her boyfriends seem to only last as long as they are useful for whatever reason. I don't think she really has friends though.
ALWAYS BE READY TO SWING.[rebelmouse-image 18346884 is_animated_gif=
Not a therapist, this happened to my Medical Psychology teacher (psychiatrist). Guy comes in. First time, has appointment. He is greeted by my teacher's secretary. Doctor is with another patient, running 5 minutes late. Patient is upset because he was told he would go in at X time sharp. He sits down. After 5 minutes the patient gets fed up, stands up from the reception's chair, goes to the secretary's desk, grabs the 15 inch CRT computer monitor and crashes it into the secretary's skull.
He leaves, calmly.
Secretary suffers several vertebral fractures along with a skull fracture.
I don't know if the police caught the patient afterwards.
CHILDREN ARE SCARY EARLY ON! PAY ATTENTION![rebelmouse-image 18980150 is_animated_gif=
I work in an elementary school, I started there three years ago when the boy in question was in third grade. I knew something was off about him, but I didn't have much interaction with him. Fast forward a year, he's in fourth grade and since I work primarily in fourth and fifth grade, I'm having to deal with him a lot more. He mimics behaviors, has cold eyes and stares through people like he's dissecting them. He's very manipulative, but unfortunately (for him)/fortunately (for us) he's so wrapped up in pleasing himself and getting what he wants, he's not charming at all. Very manipulative, but lacking charm.
He was violent and would hit and kick other kids, which he was repeatedly written up for. Towards the end of fourth grade it came to a head. We were at recess playing a huge game with a lot of the fourth and fifth graders and he essentially got out. He freaked out and hit the kids who got him out. When he saw I was getting the behavior/incident report out, he ran at me.
I guess because I'm a 5'5" female, and am overweight, he wasn't expecting me to be as strong as I am, but he tried to tackle me, and instead I planted myself and he bounced off. He tried to punch me and the other teachers I was with called for back up. I just kept blocking his punches and kicks until the main disciplinary officer showed up. All the whole this kids is screaming details of how he's going to torture me, told me he was going to use my intestines to strangle me.
Reports were written and he had to go to in-patient treatment. He's back now, towards the end of fifth grade, and while he's less violent now, and doesn't threaten anyone, he's still very manipulative. He scares me.
THE BIRDS!!![rebelmouse-image 18980151 is_animated_gif=
He had a wealth of dead birds under his bed that he poached himself. Each of them being a name of a childhood friend he"once knew."
NEVER ACCEPT FIRE!![rebelmouse-image 18346850 is_animated_gif=
I work with kids. The boy was very charming and confident. Polite and well mannered. But I knew that he attempted to burn his sister and he liked to smear feces on the wall. He ran away a lot too. I asked my supervisor what would become of a kid like that. She said he was a sociopath in the making. Generally you don't label kids as such but his behaviors for a 10 year old were extreme. Sad case. Sad and horrifying.
SOMETIMES IT'S TOO MUCH![rebelmouse-image 18980152 is_animated_gif=
Therapist here. I've had several clients that were a bit extra. The one that sticks out the most was during my work as an inpatient therapist where a borderline HIV + sex addicted client tried locking me in her room during rounds and offering "favors". I haven't done therapy in 2 months now and I think I'll stick to academia for now.
NO REMORSE. PAY ATTENTION![rebelmouse-image 18345853 is_animated_gif=
I work with adolescents mostly in group homes. This kid was particularly quiet and kept to themself. It was clear he didn't understand social norms and rules. Would interject oddly and forcefully into conversations, had little to no theory of mind (understanding that others have thoughts), and would play games to understand how they should think during therapy. Anyhow, to make a long story short, they figured out how to mimic many emotions, graduated out of the program, and was transitioned back into the community. A few months after they'd left, their family was on the highway and this kid threw a dog out of the window. Zero compassion, zero remorse. They didn't learn those well and it was apparent during the intake interview and subsequent therapy. They struggled and showed distress not knowing how to act and most of what they talked about after was how to not be discovered again.
It's a teacher's job to leave a lasting impression and set a good example for their students.
With this in mind, particularly in this age of viral videos and social media, teachers have to be very careful of what they say during class hours.
Even so, there are very few teachers who haven't said something they've regretted when teaching a class.
Sometimes to control unruly students, other times when they've simply had enough.
Then too, sometimes teachers leave their students baffled and perplexed by what they say in their classroom, well aware of what they were saying.
Always making for a memorable story.
"What’s the wildest thing you’ve ever heard teacher say in class?"
And Anyone With Such Closed Minded Views Shouldn't Be Teaching...
"Had the Head of the Department in college claim in class that anyone who actually needs accommodations for mental health issues should not be in college to begin with."
"This was while we were discussing 'Death of a Salesman' and the discussion had veered over to unhealthy pressure and social standards for success."- RavensQueen502
"My very well-respected Biology teacher in college spent almost an entire lecture telling us that Jamie Lee Curtis was a hermaphrodite."
"It seemed oddly personal to him."- Urbane_Cowboy
Sad On So Many Levels
"Not heard but my freshmen year high school teacher once pulled a bottle of Jack out of his desk and took a shot during class."
"He was dying so towards the end I think he just stopped caring."- Mangothefello
Can't Take The Heat, Then Stay Out Of The Classroom...
"High school science teacher told my class that a kilometre was longer than a mile."
"Refused to budge when refuted and kicked out several students for doing so."- SupersonicDebris13
"5th grade teacher: 'Mount Whitney in California is the tallest mountain in the world'."
"5th grade me blurts out: 'No it isn't, Mount Everest is."
"Whitney is not even the tallest mountain in the USA, which is Mount McKinley in Alaska'."
"I got in trouble for 'contradicting the teacher'."- gtmattzget out GIFGiphy
It's Not Just Students Who Are Bullies...
"I had a teacher ridicule a fat kid about his lunch choices in front of the whole class."
"He ran out crying as she was making fat guy blimp gestures and telling him he was going to be huge as an adult."- SnooOwls5859
Some Dramatic License It Seems...
"I had a literature teacher who told the class that he didn't believe in dinosaurs, because the universe is only a couple thousand years old."
"The bones were put there by Satan."
"Thank f*ck he wasn't a science or history teacher."- AllBadAnswersof montreal dancing GIF by Polyvinyl RecordsGiphy
Everyone Deserves Nice Acomodations...
"My English teacher told us that he genuinely believes that the Rothchilds own a hotel for aliens in the Bermuda triangle."- TroyLear77
"We had this kid in our 6th-grade class."
"Very dark skinned kid from Africa."
"His name was Tajak."
"Every now and then when we'd line up to go to another class or lunch and the lights would go out some of his friends would go 'where Tajak at?'"
"Anyway one day we had a sub and we we're lining up for lunch, the lights went out and there went the 'where Tajak at?' and the SUBSTITUTE TEACHER who was also black went 'Boy you darker than night'."
"6th grade was f*cking wild."- 11221mikew
"Psych teacher in high school told us that 1 in 10 of the people were friends with in high school would be dead within 5 years of graduating."
"At the time I thought it was hyperbole, but it turns out he was being conservative."
"3 of the people in my high school friend group were dead by the time I was 22."- Reddit
Do They Really Need A Reason?
"'Now girls, don't you let them boys touch your breasts'."
"'It'll give you cancer'."- jondru
Maybe Should Have Checked With The Geography Teacher?
"A teacher in Elementary school claimed during history class that the Colosseum was in Greece, as an Italian kid I was very confused, this was in Mexico."- Spascucci
So Much For Instilling Hope...
"Didn't hear this personally, but read in a book about a guy who recalled his teacher skipping chapters in a textbook and saying 'You will not need to know this when you are down in the mines'."- futanari_kaisa
The mark of a good teacher is that students will take everything they hear from them with them for the rest of their lives.
Though, the less-than-wonderful teachers may also say things their students will never forget.
People Who've Had A Serious Illness Describe The Exact Moment They Knew Something Was Really Wrong
As a kid, I never raised alarm bells even when I started to feel sick. My mom got stressed easily and was busy taking care of my younger brother, so I never wanted to be a burden by making her take me to the doctor only to find out nothing was wrong.
However, in fifth grade, my ears started to hurt and I knew something was wrong. I told my mom, she took me to the doctor, and I found out I had an ear infection.
Now, an ear infection isn't serious at all, and it was easily treatable. Still, I learned something from that experience: no one knows your body better than you. You know if and when you're sick and how serious it is, even if you don't now exactly what is wrong.
Redditors can corroborate this. Many of them have experienced symptoms that told them they were sick in some way -- usually with a very serious illness -- and are ready to share those experiences.
It all started when Redditor thelearner18 asked:
"People who have had a serious disease (cancer, MS, organ failure, etc) when did you realize something was really wrong?"
A Lesson Learned
"Hust found out i have rectal cancer. 42 yrs old. multiple stools per day, not fully emptying, thin poop. so got a colonoscopy. bam! cancer. starting chemo next week. lesson learned for everyone....if your stools or stool schedule changes, go see a doctor"
A Lucky Break
"I had been having a lot of pain in my midsection, and all around my torso for several weeks. I went to the doctor and it was dismissed as gynecological cramping (menopausal?). It remained. After several weeks (6-8) I couldn’t take it anymore. I went to emergency in the middle of the night. I got a CT scan that showed a large kidney stone. They also found a mass on my ovary. The kidney stone lead them to finding a rare ovarian cancer. If not for that stone, I wouldn’t have known about the cancer and might not have caught it in time. I have been in remission since September 2021."
Cause For Concern
"My kid, who was 14 at the time, kept throwing up in the morning and having weird headaches. Her doctor thought it was migraines. She went back a couple of times, but the doctor was not concerned. Then one day she complained of a whooshing noise in her ear. Went to the children’s hospital and found out it was a brain tumor near her cerabellum. She was in ICU for a month, but turned out it was non cancerous and it never grew back. She is doing great now."
"I heard a whooshing noise in my ear a few years ago I only really heard it at night when it was quiet it would sometimes switch ears now I basically never hear it. I'm pretty sure it was just pulsatile tinnitus but still scary."
It Was The Salt
"I have Cystic Fibrosis (terminal lung disease) and it was found out when I didn't sh*t for 3 days after I was born and then my mother gave me a kiss and said I tasted REALLY salty."
"Now I'm on a gene modification drug called Trikafta and this is some serious witch craft a** sh*t because I no longer feel sick to death and I basically feel like a normal person. It's f*cking wild!
"Went from 19% lung function to 87% in 3 months. I no longer cough my a** off or feel like I'm suffocating from mucus. Go science!"
A Funky Optic Nerve
"I was diagnosed with MS when I was 22 after having blurred vision in one eye after a ski trip. I went to the optometrist and they said I had a dry eye probably from not wearing goggles while snow boarding. So they gave me steroid drops. After a week it kept getting worse, so I went back and they told me my eye looked much better so they did a field of view test, which showed I couldn’t see anything out of the lower half of one eye. They sent me straight to the emergency room since nothing was wrong physically wrong with my eye. They did some tests and I was diagnosed with MS and ended up going completely blind in one eye. My vision eventually came back and I got on medication within a month so haven’t really had any symptoms or issues since thankfully. I’m only 29 now though."
Caught It In Time
"This isn't me, but this happened to my best friend VERY recently. Like in the last couple of months."
"Was perfectly fine and healthy one day. Then the next he started feeling a little bit of pain in his kidney. He'd had kidney stones before, so he figured it was that again. Then he started peeing blood. He thought it was still part of the kidney stone thing so let it go for a couple days, but he was still peeing blood and the pain was getting worse."
"That's when he decided to go to the doctor. They did an X-ray and found a mass in his kidney and told him that based on where it was located they can't remove the mass, and they can't do a partial kidney removal, and it's about a 90% chance it's cancerous, but they wouldn't be able to do a biopsy without removing the kidney first. They did the whole insurance dance, but it went fast and within two weeks he was in surgery having his kidney removed."
"He's still recovering at home right now, but they got the biopsy results last week. It was indeed cancerous, but they caught it before it spread."
Happily Ever After
"I couldn’t walk anymore with my crutch I had been using to get by. Had Been on Percocet for 8 months because of the extreme pain. Nobody was finding answers to my pain but I knew something was wrong, badly. After finally having an ultra sound on my hips at the age of 26 I found out I had to undergo a double hip replacement to walk again due to a serious rare disease. I was stage 4 Avascular Nercrosis. Took a year to recover from both. But Happier ending, I’m doing good now. However it was very very upsetting news to get over a phone call at 26."
It Really Sneaks Around
"My wife started getting numbness in her right arm. The breast cancer had spread to her right shoulder and the tumor was crushing the nerves. She has stage four breast cancer in her bones."
A Turn For The Worse
"For me, it started May 14, 2014. I went to work and was having a good morning. Then, at about 9:00 in the morning or so, I started to feel some lower abdominal pain. Not to be crude, but it felt like that cramp you get when you really need to go to the bathroom. I did so, but the pain didn't go away. It got worse. I started to feel chills, was sweating, and felt nauseated. My employer has a clinic on site, so I went there. After some poking and prodding, the nurse asked me if I wanted to go home or if I wanted to go to the emergency room. I decided to go home, and if the pain didn't subside, then I'd go to the emergency room. As I was saying that, though, I noticed that my pain had gotten a LOT worse. They always make you rate your pain on a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being no pain at all and 10 being the worst pain you've ever felt. When I went into the clinic, I was mostly uncomfortable, maybe a high 2 going into a 3. On that very subjective scale, I was now a 6 or a 7."
"I changed my mind and decided to go straight to the nearest emergency room. My boss drove me, and by the time we got there about 15 minutes later, I was now a 10. This was the worst pain I'd ever felt. My previous definition of the worst pain I'd ever felt was when I broke 7 bones in my wrist, it was misdiagnosed as a sprain, and I had to have them rebroken 2 weeks later. The pain in my abdomen was now worse than that. The emergency room admitted me and put me in a wheelchair. They wheeled me to a room, I curled up on the bed they put me in, and passed out."
"At some point, a nurse came in and gave me some morphine. Great stuff. No pain at all anymore. A doctor came in and told me they suspected a kidney stone. He wanted me to get a CT scan to confirm it, and I agreed. An orderly wheeled me off to imaging. I got scanned without contrast and was wheeled back to the room. My wife had arrived while I was getting scanned. Shortly later, the doctor who told me he thought it was a kidney stone came into the room. With another doctor. And two nurses. They all crowd around me with solemn looks on their faces."
"The first doctor told me it was a kidney stone. A 2 to 3 mm kidney stone had been lodged in the ureter of my left kidney. That's the tube that goes from the kidney to the bladder. It passed into my bladder when they gave me the morphine, but they could see evidence of it on the CT scan. Then the other doctor said they were more concerned about the 6 cm mass they found on my right kidney. They had my attention."
"They did another CT scan, with contrast this time, and it was impossible to see anything but a tumor in the pictures they showed me. They made an appointment for me with a urologist for the next day, as well as an appointment in a few days time to get it biopsied. It was an after-hours appointment for the urologist, but he was nice enough to stay late to see me. He looked at the CT Scans and cancelled my appointment to get it biopsied. He said there was nothing else it could be but cancer, and the kidney would have to go."
"Two months later, I had the kidney and the tumor removed laparoscopically. I was incredibly lucky. They caught it in stage 1. The doctor said there were signs it was going to start moving soon. I have no idea how doctors can look at a softball sized lump of cancer and tell anything other than 'gross', but that's why they're the doctors and I'm not."
"My recovery was smooth, and I've been cancer-free for 9 years. I was incredibly blessed. I didn't have to deal with chemo, or radiation. While those can save your life, they are also horrible experiences with nasty side effects. I didn't have to deal with any of them. I was bracing myself to have to. They said it was a possibility. But I didn't. I have every respect for those not as fortunate as me, and wish them all the best in recovery."
Reason #5,622 To Start Exercising
"I started jogging again to try and get back into running shape. I kept noticing that just after a mile or so, I'd stop and get REALLY lightheaded. Kept thinking, "oh, I'm really out of shape" and kept going. Went in a few weeks later for my annual physical and doctor said "you ever been told you have a heart murmur?", no. Two months later I spent Christmas of 2017 in the ICU after having a section of my aorta cut out and a new valve put in. Surgeon said it was bad. Said it wouldn't have made it too much longer."
"Edit: for clarification, it was an aortic dissection."
Slow And Steady
"My dad's friend went on a hike with a doctor who knew him and he was winded not far from the car. The doctor clocked it right away and told him to get his heart checked. He had 98% blockage in his heart arteries."
"He tells my dad so my dad gets the test to see how his arteries are doing and they found a massive aneurism on his aorta. He is getting it removed tomorrow. He had no symptoms but the doctors said if he had overdone it he would be dead before anyone would even know what was going on. Crazy how a random friend's hike may have saved his life."
It Takes A Village
"I never did, my teacher and parents did."
"I was seven, usually an active kid and my first grade teacher noticed that rather than running around at recess I sat down and took a nap. It happened a couple more times and after I fell asleep in class (totally out of character), she gave my parents a call, we had been visiting the doc fairly regularly cause I was also complaining of joint pain and frequent ear infections combined with the new symptoms and a new doc at the practice I was finally diagnosed with leukemia."
Thank goodness for that teacher (and of course, the parents)!
When in the beginning stages of dating, it's important to know as much as humanly possible.
The element of surprise is no longer a fun aspect of romance.
Ask the small questions. Ask the hard questions.
Interrogate. Grill. Investigate.
Of course, you should do it with a subtle hand instead of an interrogation lamp.
The truth is all we have.
Redditor RedditPenguin02 wanted to make a list of the best inquiries to make when starting a relationship, so they asked:
"What is a good question to ask before you start dating someone?"
From what I've learned in my past, always ask... "Are you into Buffy the Vampire Slayer? The TV show."
If it's a no, then it's a dealbreaker.
I DoShocked Schitts Creek GIF by CBCGiphy
"Are you married?"
"I would ask that. If they said no, the next question was 'Would your wife agree?'"
"If they laughed, they were telling the truth. If they got indignant and pissed off that I thought they were lying…they were married."
"Worked every time."
"Do you clap when the plane lands?"
"I swear people used to do this all the time when I was a kid (early 2000’s), and I don’t think I’ve heard anyone do it in 5+ years. I guess 9/11 really made people afraid of flying for about 10 years and then most folks decided they didn’t need to applaud when the plane landed safely?"
"Do you want kids in the future? If one person wants kids and the other wants to stay child-free, then they are not compatible. And it is better to try dating someone else."
"It confuses me whenever some couples who disagree on this end up in a conundrum because one expected the other to change their mind. This is something I bring up early cause I see no future with someone who wants kids when I do not."
"You should always put childfree on your dating profile. It's not a small thing. Either you agree on it or not. If I had to date, I would put childfree on my profile too."
Carb it on...
"Do you like bread? That is the extent of my flirting skills."
"Being German, bread is like a frickin' cultural phenomenon here, we have around 300 kinds of bread, there's a bread museum, every time I go on vacation I'm like yeah it's nice here but the bread ain't it yall, never as good as home lol. So yeah, valid question and the only answer to this is an enthusiastic yes."
Room TemperatureFrosty The Snowman Winter GIF by filmeditorGiphy
"What temperature do you set the thermostat to throughout the year?"
"Haha this one always gets me as someone who needs low temps - you can always put on more clothes, I can't peel my skin off to get cooler."
The thermostat is a dealbreaker for me.
It's gonna be 60. Love it or move on.
DiscoveryBlown Away Wow GIF by AminéGiphy
"When was the last time you changed your mind about something?
"Opens a window to how they think."
"If that was really early on in the dating I’d think it was a bit of a head-f**k question. I’d probably find that question a red flag, tone dependent, although I agree with the sentiment."
"Aside from major differences about finances, kids, politics, or religion, a big one is; What are your hobbies? If they don’t really have any, you may be the next hobby, which isn’t going to work unless you’ve got that kind of time. If the hobbies are time-consuming ones generally done with a SO."
"But you have no interest in them, that could be an issue as well. If only one of you likes camping, wanted to spend vacation lounging instead of exploring, didn’t like sports, etc either that partner is annoyed or the other feels like they don’t get to enjoy what they love."
"Ask them about their exes. If they think every single one of them is an a**hole... they are likely the real a**hole."
"I have mixed feelings about that - I've been in three previous relationships and all three were emotionally abusive towards me (one wasn't nearly as bad as the other two, though) in various ways. I know this is a common sentiment and it always makes me afraid that people won't believe me or something.
"I mean, I realize in your comment you said 'likely' and not '100% sure' and there's plenty of room for nuance."
"I would try to take care of any dealbreakers. If I find out that she has different political values than I do, it's not going to work out in the long run, so I wouldn't bother. Same thing with other factors (religion, financial values, etc.). I would also ask how much cuddling she likes to engage in, as I prefer a lot."
EssentialsTell Me More To Do List GIF by Disney ChannelGiphy
"When I was dating my three essential questions were always kids, sex, and money. If you're not on the same wavelength for any of those three things, just don't even try."
"So, how much personal debt do you have?"
"Source: the guy who dated a woman with huge debts and was asked to pay for everything and then some".
"After that, I'd go with, 'Have you ever been diagnosed with borderline, narcissistic, or histrionic personality disorders?"
The questions are basic.
Just ask for the truth.
Do you have any good Qs to add to the queue? Let us know in the comments below.
As much as we always hop for our dating efforts to be worth it and for every relationship to work out, we all know that some relationships are not destined to work out.
But sometimes relationships end for totally valid reasons, and sometimes the reasons are painful, if not devastating.
Redditor overIorded asked:
"What went wrong with your last partner?"
History Repeating Itself
"He cheated on me. And I was glad because that was finally reason enough to allow myself to leave."
"Now I know somebody who's in the same situation. They're trapped. And she's such a gentle and fun person who's afraid to leave him because 'well, it's always been like this, I'm used to it,' and 'I deserve it.'"
"She wants to leave him, she knows she should leave him, but it's so hard to do it, and I know that feeling."
"I'm thinking I should give her my phone number like when the day comes you've had enough, I'll gladly come to help you move out from that s**thole."
Mental Health Struggles
"I'm lost in my own trauma and mental illness and he deserves better than anything I have to offer right now."
"I’ve been on the receiving end of this, and mildly said, it absolutely ruined me. Her trauma and mental problems were BAD, but I still wanted to be with them. So if you ask me, as long as they can give you the space and support you need, and want to be with you, let them make the decision."
"It's also fair and mature to care very much about someone but realize that you only have the emotional bandwidth to take care of yourself right now."
"I'm sure it was very hard for both of you to come to terms with that decision. I don't think it's that he deserves better, I think it's that your attention needs to be on guiding yourself through this thicket of trauma and mental illness before you can be someone else's partner. You can love each other very much but also acknowledge that you don't have the tools to spare for a relationship right now."
"I'm proud of you for focusing on your own mental health and someday, when you have more emotional stability and energy, I hope you find a wonderful partner."
"We disagreed on how many women he was allowed to date. I’m very strong on monogamy and have no interest in someone (in a supposedly committed relationship) that isn’t."
At Least There's That
"Her psychotic brother tried to kill me. Thankfully he has a Stormtrooper's aim..."
"Hate the attempted murder, love the 'Star Wars' reference."
"He wanted a big family, like, six kids, all-natural. Obviously, he wouldn't be birthing them. This was very important to him while I was pretty ambivalent about kids, and the further into my adulthood I've gotten, the more I've realized I just don't want to be pregnant."
"I broke it off so we could both get the lives we wanted. He was also quite a bit more conservative than me, and at the time closeted pansexual person, and some stuff he believed just didn't line up with what I believed. It hurt, but it was amicable."
"Now he has a wife and kids like he wanted, and I am happily partnered and childfree. It worked out for the best."
"She hated that I had a healthy relationship with my family and was trying to find ways to sabotage it."
"Similar aspect to mine, she hated my sister and mother because she had a bad relationship with her sister and mother. She would get mad at me whenever I brought my family up."
"My last boyfriend dumped me because I got mad that he was coming to Dallas after I hadn't seen him for two months, but didn't want to see me."
"He was going to meet up with some friends of his he hadn't seen in a few months. I told him that was fine with me, but I felt he should make time to see me too since we hadn't seen each other in two months and we were supposed to be a couple."
"He responded to my anger by ghosting me. That was two years ago."
Distracted with a Punch
"A girl contacted me about him talking to her. I asked him what was going on, and he sucker-punched me in the face."
"He cheated on me for all six years we were together and then accused me of cheating on him, even though I wasn't allowed to leave the house."
"I'm also pretty sure he slept with my sister-in-law when my brother and I went to pick up dinner."
Children Come First
"He was and still is no father to his kids, has anger issues, and probably has other mental health issues. I tried for years to help him and help the relationship, but he wasn't having it. After seeing how my oldest suffered under him, I had to leave."
"I communicated how I felt about many things in the relationship. He never communicated about anything."
"Oh look, it's the last 14 years of my life..."
"I'm guilty of this, and boy, do I regret not being able to open up about my feelings. It cost me my marriage. But now I'm trying to be more open and share my thoughts and feelings. Just wished I could've done this earlier than later."
"I started drinking again and became a miserable a**hole due to my own depression and my s**tty job. As such, she didn't get the attention she deserved, and had to put up with my s**tty mood all the time... so she left. I don't blame her."
"So, it was me. I don't know if I trust myself with a relationship again, but aside from the shame of knowing I hurt someone who I loved, and loved me back, but I was too self-absorbed and selfish, I am trying to be a better human to everyone."
"And to my ex: You'll find someone again... someone better."
"He wanted to move to Alaska to be with some girl he was 'friends' with before me."
"My ex's early-onset Alzheimers (at the age of 50) and the resulting violence, paranoia, and irrational thinking. I tried to honor my vows, but he was so far out there, I feared for my life."
Different Definitions of Marriage
"She cheated on me after five years total together, the last one of which was while we were engaged. She cheated on me for months, all while I was planning the wedding, working part-time, and going to graduate school so I can support us comfortably in the future."
"I planned on giving her everything I could and sharing the rest of my life with her, and apparently she didn’t care."
This conversation just goes to show that relationships can end for all kinds of reasons. Even in relationships where there is still a lot of love and committment, the relationship can still end, just like how the relationship can end suddenly because of a surprising and devastating realization.