Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

We're never that surprised when we encounter people who are lackluster at their jobs. Bad waiters, rude customer service people, dishonest contractors, or inept colleagues abound throughout daily life.

But it's interesting that we expect to encounter that kind of ineptitude far less with certain professionals.


As an example, look no further than the world of mental health. The role of a mental health professional seems to denote such a knack for empathy, patience, and social tact that we're stunned when someone says or does something wildly unprofessional--or downright mean.

Nonetheless, there are problematic people dotting every professional realm, and the mental health sector is no exception.

Some Redditors offered up their finest examples of dreadful mental health care interactions.

Physical_Philosopher asked, "People of Reddit, what is the worst thing a therapist, psychiatrist, or mental health professional has ever said to you?"

Plenty of Redditors came bearing stories that were so bad you may struggle to believe them. These mental health professionals managed to say the most hurtful thing possible at just about the worst time.

The examples were almost cartoonish in how unkind these professionals were.

Salt in the Wound 

"I was dealing with a lot of family issues at the time and my ex had just broken up with me that week so I was taking it fairly hard."

"My therapist said 'it's because they found someone better' and when I said no and tried to explain she just dug in deeper that my ex had dumped me because they found someone better than me."

-- sgrmw

Suddenly, a Brainstorm Session for Insults

"14, telling my shrink about how I was bullied in school."

" 'Do they make fun of your nose?' "

" '...nnnno....?' "

"And that's how I found out I have a big nose."

-- KindlyOlPornographer

The Exact Wrong Outlook 

" 'You'll never do an important job like doctor, veterinarian, firefighter, lawyer, conselor...You'll probably end up in a Walmart for your whole life.' "

"I was 8 years old and still remember how mad my parents were lol."

-- -SincerelyDontCare

Some mental health professionals were simply too absent to be of any help whatsoever. These people may not have done anything outwardly mean, but their distant, neglectful demeanor hurt just as bad.

Mourning Snooze 

"Nothing. She fell asleep in her chair while writing notes....I was talking about the death of my parents. I was 16. Never went to another therapist" -- Papismurf101

"After reading a few of these I'm convinced some therapists get there education on a milk box. Flipping heck. I'm so sorry that happened to you." -- illthinkofonel8er

When Word and Deed Do Not Align 

"When they say things like 'okay I understand how you are feeling thank you for telling me' but proceeds to ignore most of the things I've said. -- PrestigeZyra

"Ugh I hate that. Sympathy is not Empathy."

"Rephrased: 'Based on what you've shared, I think I'm starting to understand what you have been through. Thank you for telling me. Now you said X, would you like to explain that further so I can better understand?' "

"It's called motivational interviewing and that specific technique is 'reflecting' and 'clarification' to ensure the client is able to fully explain their meaning without the provider 'assuming' anything or ignoring the person's statements." -- jhorry

Proven Wrong Almost Immediately 

"Go back to work, you'll be fine, you don't need different meds."

"3 times being sent home and psych ward visit later" -- BalancedJoker

"let me guess, diagnosed with depression (unipolar). prescribed an SSRI type antidepressant. turns out you have biploar depression and without mood stabilizers the SSRIs sent you into a strong manic episode." -- SecTrono

Finally, some people's therapists had bizarre hot takes that they just couldn't let go of. They introduced theories to explain a patient's situation, and gladly turned a blind eye to any realistic evidence to the contrary.

These mental health professionals treated the session more like a debate than a healing space.

Doubling Down 

"I had a psychiatrist who was convinced I was anorexic even though I wasn't."

"It really sucked because my therapist and my psychiatrist worked at the same company and they had a policy where they don't help people with eating disorders."

"So even though I went to a specialist and they confirmed I didn't have an eating disorder I was still banned from that facility and lost my long term therapist."

-- assainXD1

Throwing Shade on a Healthy Habit 

"I use my creativity with art and craft as both a coping skill and as something that gives me extra purpose in life."

"A psychologist told me that doing so is maladaptive. I didn't go back."

-- BlackCaaaaat

Wut

"Had a therapist tell me that my soul, long before I was born, chose my parents and subsequent childhood abuse so that I could learn from it."

"By this logic, of course, the abused person is always in control and the abuser is helpless. Argue with that logic. Needless to say I never saw her again."

-- mercuryrising137


I'm sure there are even more stories out there, and so many egregious comments not included in the list. It's sad but true: some therapists can't help but get in the way of the healing.

Here's hoping you never have any run ins like these.

Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.

What's that old saying? "Make sure you're always wearing clean underwear in case you're in an accident. What would the medics think."

I'm paraphrasing, but you get it.

That saying can be applied to many aspects of life.

What "surprising" items are hidden in your drawers? Or under you bed?

Or dear Lord... what is on your phone?

We all have ownership over a belonging or six that could cause quite a stir.

Especially if we aren't there to explain it's existence.

Keep reading... Show less
Candice Picard/Unsplash

I'll be honest, for most of my life I have had exactly zero daily routine.

The chaos was something of a calling card—but not one that was necessarily good for me.

Spoiler alert, I had a raging case of undiagnosed neuroodivergent shenanigans—and in recent years I've been able to get a better handle on being me.

As a result, a daily routine has sort of developed.

Keep reading... Show less

Games are a great form of recreation.

They can bring us closer together with friends and family (or drive a wedge between us—looking at you, Mario Party), and provide an excellent way to blow off some steam by ourselves.

Not all games are totally straightforward about how you win them, though. Sometimes you win the game by losing.

Keep reading... Show less