We all trust our healthcare professionals to have our best interests in mind, and this is especially true when it comes to our mental health professionals. Sometimes, though, even professionals can be wrong, and when they’re wrong, the consequences can be absolutely disastrous. Unfortunately, these patients ended up getting therapists that were so bad, they made things about ten times worse. After reading these, you’re going to want to yell and scream into the nearest pillow.
1. It’ll All Work Out…
I went to see a marriage counselor after my wife and I had separated, and the counselor asked me to fill out a questionnaire. It told me to score how hopeful I was about the marriage working out. I selected a very low number. When he asked me about it, I said that while I felt hopeless about the marriage, I was very motivated to work things out.
I further pointed out the fact that even though my wife moved out, which left me in a real terrible situation at home, I still left work in the middle of the day for the appointment, and was in his office paying full price to find some kind of path to reconciliation. His response was that he 100% understood the difference. But hours later, the horrible truth came out.
Later that day, my wife called me after her one-on-one with him where, according to her, he told her that he didn't understand why she even came into the office because I was clearly not interested in a future with her. He referenced my response to the “hopefulness” question in his questionnaire. I was beyond furious about that. There has been no other time in my life where I wanted to punch an old man.
2. Abandon All Hope
When I was 12 years old, my mother took me to a therapist. I did actually need therapy because I had a horrible home life, but my mother didn't take me for that type of reason. She took me because I was “acting out” and getting bad grades. I wasn’t “acting out” though. I was wanting to do things like “read” and “be a kid,” and not do things like “take care of my younger siblings” and “cook meals".
On our first session, my mom started outlining my many flaws, some of which were obviously a sign that I was having trouble at home, such as never wanting to come out of my room and having a hard time with hygiene. The therapist started making faces like I'm nasty and worthless. He gave me “homework” that week.
I had to bathe every day, help with chores and siblings with no complaints, and study every night. Of course this didn't happen. So the next week, we went in for our second session, and he asked if I did my “homework". Of course, Mom immediately told him that I didn't even try to do any of it. This was not true. I did try to study but she kept dragging me out of my room and lecturing me for “hiding again” when I should be cooking dinner.
She told me she did so much for me and I was so ungrateful, etc. This is when the therapist nearly made my heart stop. He turned, looked at me, and said, “You're worthless, stupid, and lazy. You can't even follow simple instructions". Then he looked at my mother and said, “You may as well give up on her. She's never going to amount to anything. She's stupid and lazy and will end up locked away. Just focus on your other kids".
Ironically, that ticked my mother right off and she took me away from that therapist and found a new one. This therapist was nicer, but really of no help either. My issues were right there, flashing in neon, but he never did anything about it. Mom stuck with him though, because he would let her vent. She used him as her therapist more than I did.
He kept reassuring her she really was a good parent, which is really what she wanted to hear. To this day, she insists she took me away from that first therapist because he said to give up on me, but she would never give up on me. This is partly true, but we didn’t leave because he was horrible to me. It was because by saying I was worthless and would never be worth anything and to give up on me, he was calling HER a bad parent.
3. Women Are Angels
I was 17 and recently homeless because my parents kicked me out for being bi and dating a girl. Unfortunately, this girl was also horrible, and actually once fed a neighbor's dog cut-up razor shards. As a result of the relationship, I was deeply depressed and anxious. So, I saw the therapist at my college, who told me that "women aren't like that" with a real snooty attitude.
When I countered with examples, she scoffed and said it "must not be that bad if I didn't just leave". Yep, classic blame the victim stuff. And then she asked for my payment. I was young and scared and had no support net, and in hindsight I was trying to find someone to help me mentally steel myself to leave this girl.
Instead, the “therapist” made me feel invalidated and weak and stupid. As a result, I stayed in a relationship that only got worse and more dangerous. I stayed for five more years, if you can believe it. I eventually figured it out, but she did so much harm. I wish I had that time back…plus a much better therapist than I got.
4. The Homewrecker
My husband and I decided to go to counseling that was being offered by Veteran Affairs, or VA, for families. Our dynamic was horrible at this time, and it was taking a toll on me. I cried at the first session and the counselor said that I was depressed and that I needed meds. She said that we could all resume sessions together only after I was medicated.
In the meantime, she would continue to counsel only my husband. After his first session alone with her, he was visibly upset. He didn’t want to talk about it, but eventually did—his confession was horrific. The counselor actually came on to him during the session and basically suggested they should go and get a hotel together.
She then mentioned that her husband was high-ranking and was always busy, so she could do whatever she wanted. My husband blasted out of there, and I immediately went ahead and called the VA to turn her in. My husband was so scared because she made a veiled threat that her husband could ruin my husband’s medical retirement status.
That woman was vile and aggressive. I wonder how many men or marriages she did that to.
5. I Just Can’t Decide
I was diagnosed with ADHD 18 months ago after a lifetime of depression, anxiety, eating disorders, etc. At the time, the psychiatrist said he strongly suspected that I'm also autistic based on answers to certain questions and family heritage, but we'd concentrate on the ADHD diagnosis for now. The ADHD meds definitely made a huge difference and enabled me to get some form of life back, but I was still having problems.
In December, after my mother and I filled in extensive questionnaires, I had a three-hour interview with a renowned specialist, and the autism diagnosis was unequivocal. Like my ADHD, it was missed for so long because I'm female and older. No one was looking for either of those things in girls as I was growing up. It really helped to put my past in perspective.
In January, I paid for a follow-up appointment with the original psychiatrist who diagnosed me with ADHD, and who had suggested I'm probably autistic in the first place. I told him of the new diagnosis, and his reply stopped me in my tracks. He informed me that I "actually can't possibly be autistic because you can socialise".
He then proceeded to tell me that the company who diagnosed me tended to "diagnose everybody at the drop of a hat". He actually sent a letter to that effect to my doctor, telling him to take my autism diagnosis "with a pinch of salt". I was floored over this. He was an older, caring, father-figure type whom I trusted, and credited with changing my life.
I didn't want to disagree with him, but accepting what he says basically means I go back to my original image of myself as just broken instead. However, perhaps he's right. Even so, how unprofessional is it to dismiss another psychiatric institution like that, and to put that in writing? I'm still trying to work all of this out in my head, but my main takeaway is I think I need a new psychiatrist.
6. Hungry For The Truth
After a couple of long years of medical struggle, my therapist hit a wall and yelled at me that I had an eating disorder and I needed to accept it. She put me on a diet of all the things I hated eating, and told me to not come back to her until a month had passed. I hated eating the foods on the list not because I had an eating disorder, but because they hurt me.
The list included things like acidic foods, high protein foods, and peanuts. Four months later, I was diagnosed with multiple digestive conditions, had a long list of sensitivities and allergies, got declared disabled, and was gently reprimanded by my doctors for following my therapist's demand because it caused esophageal bleeding and slight scarring.
My doctor is definitely mad at her for ignoring what was clearly not a mental health thing. I got a new therapist.
7. Who Needs Privacy?
In high school, I was being pretty difficult because of some really intense events happening in my life. I had a super rough family home life, and I withdrew because of it. My parents were very "Sunday Christian," meaning while at church, they're the best Christians, but the teachings did NOT make it home. They gave us NO privacy whatsoever, and were always in our phones, our bags, our rooms.
They were just in every aspect of our life if it offered them control. Eventually, they "found me a counselor," and hinted I knew them personally. What they actually ended up doing was sending me to therapy with the PASTOR'S WIFE. It became super clear that she was telling them the things we were talking about, but I held out hope because I didn’t really have proof of it happening.
One day, I just couldn't take it anymore, so I made a plan to catch them in the act. I ended up lying and telling my therapist I got in a fender bender. Well, she told my parents right when I left, because when I showed up at home, my dad demanded to see my bumpers. My bumpers were fine. My parents won’t admit what happened to this day, but they never made me go again, so there's that, at least.
8. A Meal Of Horrors
I was going to an eating disorder therapist. On my second appointment, she made us buy dinner and come in as a family. I then had to endure an hour of her trying to convince me to eat my dinner, which basically consisted of her guilt-tripping me with zingers like, “You don’t want to disappoint your parents do you?” Or “You don’t ACTUALLY think you’ll gain weight from that, right?” Meanwhile, my siblings watched me and cried a little bit.
9. A Misunderstood Artist
One therapist tried to read into my sketches and doodles. I drew a realistic fish, which I was quite proud of, in pencil. So, I was told that the fish was a silent, scaled, armored or walled-off creature, with no one around to interact with. A fish is not really noticed, and it wasn’t done in color, so obviously I thought that all the color had gone from my world.
In reality, I was nervous over the fact that I hadn’t been accepted to a post secondary school at that point, and was practicing drawing realistic images as a way of giving myself something to focus on as I waited.
10. Not My Problem
While in a meeting about how my notes have been behind, I disclosed that I just learned that I have severe ADHD, and that I had spent the last month getting medicated, learning about the diagnosis, and finding what systems and strategies work best for me. The clinical director, a therapist for over 20 years, stopped me in the middle of that explanation, while waving her hand in my face.
She said, "I don't want to hear any of that, that's your business on your personal time. I want to know about your notes". I was kind of stunned, because it was an explanation about my notes AND my strategy for staying on track.
11. Twisted Dating Advice
I went to see a psychiatrist because I was having symptoms of PTSD after an ex tried to hurt me when I left him. He then stalked me, forced his way into my apartment, and forced himself on me. The psychiatrist, who was an older man, told me that I needed to work on my physical appearance and demeanor to be more feminine and demure.
Apparently, "quality men" weren't attracted to women who looked and behaved like me, and I should never try to get involved in another relationship without making myself more appealing to "quality men" first, or I would end up right back in the same situation. Yeah, I dropped that guy like a hot potato after that.
12. Young And Carefree
I was fresh out of high school and really depressed. I had no friends, a horrible relationship with my mom and step dad, and no one to confide in. I gave in after being pressured to see someone because mental health issues run in my family. I booked an hour assessment. But I was in and out within 20 minutes.
The therapist completely dismissed me because I was young and “every young person goes through these things. Everyone worries about their future, this is totally normal". It took me three years to go back to therapy, and this time around, I was admitted after just my second appointment. Listen to your gut and get a therapist who listens too.
13. The Wrath Of God
When I was in my early 20s, I was still a virgin at the time and it was really upsetting me. A therapist told me it was a good thing, and then showed me pictures of STDs. Oh, but it got so much weirder than that. She told me that STDs were God’s punishment for immoral behavior, and that one in three people had one.
When I brought up the fact that condoms exist and can help with that, she told me that condoms couldn’t protect me from God’s anger. She then prayed I remained a virgin until marriage, and that I would no longer desire to commit sin. Looking back, I should have reported her to some sort of therapist license board. Also, I ended up getting plenty of action about a year after that, and still no STDs. I guess God isn’t angry enough at me.
14. Belittling Your Patients
This guy was an "ADHD specialist". I was seeing him to try and make sense of my crippling executive dysfunction and lifelong problems with attentiveness. He just spent our sessions telling me my problems weren't bad enough because, "You make good eye contact and you're an engaging, interesting conversationalist. Clearly, you can't have ADHD".
He kept saying things like, "My other patients are addicts with no direction in life. You think your problems are as bad as theirs?" Apparently, everyone with an attention disorder is a delinquent. Also, way to throw your other patients, who are surely coming to you to deal with their own demons, under the bus, dude.
15. Don’t Date Patients
I was in a mental health ward for a month and became close to a nurse. After leaving, she gave me her number and we hit it off. We started a relationship, but I finally noticed how secretive she was. I soon found out she was doing this to other patients, too, forging relationships with them after they got out.
Once she found out I knew, she blocked me on everything. Since then I’ve struggled with addiction and two driving charges. I don’t blame her for what she did, but I became reliant on her and felt loved. I felt so betrayed. She is still a mental health care nurse.
16. I’m Always Right
I was having panic attacks daily, and the meds I got made my anxiety worse. It turned out I just have bad reactions to the medication, but my therapist was a moron and kept prescribing me the same kind. I let him know, and he just started taking it really personally that all the medication he had put me on was giving me seriously bad side effects".
Have you just given up then?" he asked. "Do you just want to be like this the rest of your life?" Obviously not, that’s why I'm in this office trying new medications! I was so angry, and ironically had a panic attack in his office that very day. I ended up just walking out and finding a new psychiatrist later, and they are much better.
17. Never Say Never
My therapist and I were on the topic of facial expression recognition. My ability to read facial expressions had actually been tested, and it turned out I scored far above average. However, I was still diagnosed with autism, and my therapist told me, "You will never be able to have normal social relationships. Other people will always need to adjust to you". Despite what my therapist said, I’ve simply never had problems with social situations.
18. Maybe It’s Not The End?
My ex broke up with me because I was more invested in the relationship than she was. It was a totally fine thing to do, but my shrink told me that “Your ex-girlfriend is acting this way because she wants to get back together with you, and if you hang in there I’m sure she will". Yes, this is ridiculously bad advice, and I took it hook, line, and sinker.
I spent a whole year truly believing that any minute we were going to reunite, and this was actively encouraged by my therapist. It was awful. After 12 months of tormenting myself and my ex with these fantasies, I dumped the therapist, and my ex and I are actually pretty good friends now. That year was a lost year for me.
19. Baring It All
In three different clinics, on at least six different occasions, a male therapist entered my bedroom while I was in bed in my underwear and told me to get out despite me not being dressed, while they were in the room. This happened when I was ages 18 to 20. They would never leave instantly after a "no". Instead, they'd stay and try to convince me.
One time, after I kept refusing, this nurse went to the head therapist, and I had to have several appointments on "not cooperating in therapy".
20. Leaving A Bad Taste Behind
My first-ever psychologist, who I saw when I was about 20, was super into astrology. She had a “purple room” where she would figure out the exact second of your birth, and how the planets related and all that. I don't remember what else, but she charged an additional like $500 for it. That wasn't the worst thing, though.
So one day, I had some abnormal test results with a pap. I was worried about it, and expressed that to her. She told me some story about my chakras, and told me my tongue ring was causing my abnormal paps. Looking back, it really ticked me off. She set the expectation of what I could expect from a psychologist, since I didn't know. I didn't seek the right treatment for many years after because I thought, “What's the point, they're more loony than me!”
21. But You’re Not A Man!
A few months ago, my 16-year-old daughter's therapist asked her if she was thinking about her career after high school. I work in the trade industry and have encouraged her to look into trade jobs or careers. My daughter, no doubt influenced by my example, told her that she was going to take a course to become a professional welder.
The therapist told her, "You don't want to do that, that is a MAN's job. It will be hot and you'll ruin your makeup". My daughter told her, "I don't wear makeup,” and ended the session. She then called me at work and told me all about it, almost crying. I immediately cancelled her next three appointments and changed counselors.
22. It’s Quittin’ Time
During sophomore year of nursing school, I told my counselor that I was getting really scared I was going to relapse into anorexia because of my perfectionism in school. If I got less than 93% on assignments, I felt that I didn't deserve to eat and would restrict. Her response was, "Well, I really admire your hard work, and I think it's admirable what high standards you hold yourself to. That dedication is going to help your future patients".
I was also her last appointment of the day. She was behind her desk, packing her things up to leave while she was talking to me.
23. A Familiar Face
I saw a therapist maybe a year ago, and I felt pretty good about the connection during our first session. Two weeks later, I came in ready to talk, and she said, “You look so familiar. I feel like we’ve met before". She didn’t remember that we already had a session and talked for an hour. One of the things I was struggling with was feeling like my family forgot me often, and didn’t spend time getting to know me.
24. Going Ga-Ga
My therapist told me, “You should have another baby". That was said to me after a session where I was discussing the insane amount of stress I was living under. My teenage son had emergency brain surgery a year before, and since then, my world basically revolved around doctors and therapists. I was 40 years old, and the therapist was already aware that I only had one child based on a mutual decision between me and my husband that we were very much happy with.
That therapist is no longer my therapist. The baby comment was the last straw.
25. When Kindness Goes Too Far
This happened to me before I was married, and was struggling with living on my own. My therapist began to feel so bad for me that she asked me to come live with her. She had a big house and two other adopted daughters. I was like, 19 at the time, and I'm pretty sure that broke every rule of patient-doctor boundaries. Needless to say, I felt very uncomfortable with that doctor and switched soon after.
26. It’s All In The Chemicals
I was told that with medication and therapy, I could become straight, and then I would “be fine". She wasn’t a psychiatrist, and couldn’t prescribe medication, but encouraged me many times to get my hormones tested, which all showed up normal. She insisted that if I wasn’t chemically gay, then I must have experienced trauma with a man to have made me that way.
She didn’t believe me when I said no, I’m fine with men, I love my dad a normal amount, and I never suffered trauma with a man. She was just very cold and weirdly unable to deal with people expressing emotions, and I know that she received complaints from other clients too. Thankfully, I switched psychologists eventually, and I was ironically too distraught during our sessions to really absorb anything the old therapist was saying and to put her plans into action. Still, what a horrible way to start off therapy. I was 14 years old.
27. It’s Just A Simple Instruction
It was a bad time for my marriage, so I went to visit a marriage counselor. At the office, there was a sign on the door that said, “Do not knock. Please sit and wait for someone to get you,” or something like that. Well, I was standing near the door when my wife came over and knocked. I told her, “There’s a sign that says don’t do that!” So, she sat back down.
The therapist opened the door and saw me standing there, and she immediately hated me, thinking I knocked on the door. She just bashed me the entire session. I had to walk out and when I left the room, this lady even started talking about me behind my back. I was shaken. I refused to pay, and told her she shouldn’t treat patients like that. Those were some terrible times.
28. I Know Your Secrets
One therapist tried to convince me that most of my problems came from a secret resentment of my younger sister, who has autism. I told her I had a great relationship with her, and that my parents were awesome at dividing our time 50/50, even though her needs were a lot more…involved, I suppose is the word? She didn't believe me, and even tried to convince my mom that I resented my sister. I stopped after three visits.
29. A Total Joker
I was in college having a really bad panic attack. Actually, it was more than a panic attack, because I felt like I was dissociating and leaving my body. I was scared and I needed to see someone to calm me down, so I went to my school's mental health care facility and requested to speak to a therapist on call. They allowed emergency walk-ins like this, but for some reason it took like 30 minutes to see her.
I was still panicking when I finally got to see her. She recommended some muscle tension technique where I clenched my fist and focused on the feeling of releasing my fist. Well, that triggered my panic attack to enter some different dimension. Pins and needles went up my arm, into my neck, and down my spine. I thought this was it.
I didn’t know what was happening. I started crying hysterically and gasping for air. I took off most of my clothes and sprawled out on the ground. I was holding onto her for my life. I couldn’t see and couldn’t feel my body. It was terrifying. I finally just surrendered to the feeling and stopped resisting, and just kind of mentally let go.
I instantly started to feel better and slowly came back to my body. As I was sniffling and calming down, makeup all over my face, slowly putting my clothes back on, she just said to me, “You know, you should really try laughing sometimes". She didn’t say a word to me while I was having an episode, and this what she thought was appropriate to say to me when it was all over?
30. Women, Am I Right?
Keep in mind I went to a volunteer clinic that accepted donations as payment, so I'm sure this guy was trying his best, but I had a horrible experience. First off, I do struggle with being around strangers, so I asked if my husband could come with me the first time. While the doctor was asking me questions, I mentioned that I was bipolar.
He proceeded to look directly at my husband and said, "Wow, I feel sorry for this guy. It must feel like your wife is going through her monthly cycle all the time". Long story short, I left and never went back.
31. First, Do No Harm
A psychiatrist told me after I started hormone replacement therapy that I'm going to regret it and that it'll ruin my body. That was a difficult decision for me, because I was just scared to make the wrong decision. After the psychiatrist put her finger in that wound, my anxiety was suddenly so bad that I wasn't able to sleep or eat for a few days.
I needed Lorazepam for weeks to become a functioning human being again. The weird thing is, although I worried a lot before, I never had an anxiety disorder until then. I really don't get why she said that, because I talked with other mental health professionals, and they knew me better than her after just five appointments.
32. Missing The Point
I finally broke down and told a mental health expert at school about the endless pressures of school, and how I was developing bad anxiety. The response I got was, "Hmm, your grades seem fine to me. You have no reason to worry". Two months later, my panic attacks got so bad that I began to see a real therapist. Thanks to her, I have now gone two years without another panic attack.
33. Questioning Your Beliefs
I specifically sought out a therapist that had training and specialization in treating ADHD patients. I ended up finding a particular therapist who specified on her website that she specialized in ADHD. So I booked an appointment, and we got to talking. I start talking about how difficult things have been with my ADHD symptoms, and she said, “I actually don’t believe in ADHD. I think it was made up to sell more pills".
I was completely shocked. In my head, I was thinking to myself, “What? Are you joking? You literally specified on your website that you specialized in ADHD!” Instead of arguing with her though, I just got up and left. I didn’t even pay for the session. The whole entire thing was false advertising at the very least, and was harmful.
34. I Shouldn’t Have Listened
I was pregnant at the time, and my then-husband was, well, not a good person. He called me when I was out of the house asking me to come home. I thought he sounded odd, so I asked a friend to come with me. It turned out he was intoxicated, which brought out all of his angry, violent tendencies. He ended up firing a gun at me.
He missed, thankfully. The authorities were called, a standoff happened, and it was hours before he was finally taken down. The psychiatrist who treated him afterwards told me not to leave him as he wouldn’t cope. Unfortunately, they did succeed in guilting me into staying, but I got out a few years later and gave my kid an awesome life.
35. Too Beautiful For This World
On my last day in a psych ward, a doctor told me, "You shouldn't transition. You have so many beautiful feminine features that I personally am very attracted to. You would ruin that!" I was alone with him in a room that could not be opened from the outside without a key. My transition hadn't even started at that point, and was not the reason I was there at all.
I swiftly left his office, then the hospital. I later learned that this treatment of any queer person was basically the norm there, and my experience was "mild".
36. You’re On Your Own, Bud!
It was my first psychiatric appointment with this doctor. After talking to him for about five minutes, he said, "You're smart enough to solve your problems on your own. Once you learn why you are feeling like this, you're going to be much better". And just like that, I was dismissed with a Xanax prescription. Dude, if I'm looking for help it’s because I can't figure out on my own how to stop having panic attacks at work.
37. Boys Need Not Apply
A mental health “professional”—I have a hard time viewing him as such—told me that I couldn’t have male friends. This is apparently because mixed gender relations always mean there are romantic inclinations. Basically, girls and guys CAN’T just be friends, so all my problems were because I didn’t have enough female friends.
I held my tongue and kept myself from asking about how this would work, since bi and gay people exist. Instead, I told him that I was asexual, so it wasn’t like it would matter. He then proceeded to “mansplain” that I wasn’t that at all, simply because he has had other patients who thought they were, but they all changed their minds eventually.
38. Get Yourself Educated!
I think the worst was my therapist telling me I should give up on my career and go back to school again to become a teacher. According to my therapist, teaching was "steady employment". Nevermind the fact that I had no interest in teaching, and had no financial means to go back to school since I was still buried in debt from my first two degrees. When I brought those points up, I was told I was making excuses.
39. Too Much Self Love
My very first therapist ever told me to stop my dieting, and to eat "intuitively". This meant that I should be eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. If that meant I ended up weighing 300 pounds, then I shouldn't feel ashamed and I should love myself at whatever size I am. But she had an ulterior motive. Ironically, she was about 350 pounds, and said she recently went horseback riding, or at least she made an attempt to.
She found out real quick that her size prevented her from riding. Most horses really shouldn't carry more than 200 to 250 pounds, max. So, she wrote a nasty letter to this place, saying they were fat phobic, and should get bigger horses for people her size. I told her this was our LAST session because she was insane. I am very confident and I do love myself no matter my size, but I can still improve and drop the extra weight. There was a lot of self-projection going on with her.
40. A Bit Of Puppy Love
One time, I had a therapist who tried very hard to tell me that I definitely wanted to marry my dog. All I told her before that was how I had a very loving relationship with my dog, and how he was my favorite thing in my life at the moment. She then proceeded to go on a 10 minute rant about how she really wanted to marry her dog, and how I also really wanted to marry my dog. Needless to say, I never went back.
41. Just Some Casual Recruitment
During a session, my therapist told me, “It sounds like the only time your parents cared about you was when you were playing hockey. Since you can skate, do you want to join my friend’s roller derby team? They’re always looking for more girls. Here is some information". Yeah, I never went back after that one. I also never played on that team.
42. You’re Not My Boss
I was told by my therapist, "You have PTSD. But diagnosing you with that would make you non-deployable and the Army signs my paycheck, not you. I'm diagnosing you with Adjustment Disorder so you can still go to Afghanistan next month".
43. It’s All In Your Head
I was working for a professional mental health agency. I had a doctor tell a trans client that he wouldn't give them a referral to the LGBTQ+ clinic to get information and discuss the transitioning process. He refused to give them the referral because "I'm not going to be a part of furthering that delusion". The client had no history of psychotic features, by the way, just a LOT of PTSD and
44. How To Measure Love
In middle school, I went to my counselor to talk about my mom passing that month. I told her I was really upset that I didn’t see my dad cry. She told me, “Maybe he didn’t love her as much as you thought". Who says that to a kid?
45. Playing Pretend
Recently, I was trying a new therapist. During the session, I said that while working, I would at times pretend I was "undercover" as a cis-het woman as a coping mechanism. I didn't feel safe coming out at the office, plus I was only a temp, so it was better not to. Later, I had a phone appointment with my therapist, and he asked if I was "having fun being undercover".
I was so shocked that I snapped back, "Yeah, I love having to hide my identity out of fear for my safety". He stammered an apology, but I immediately switched to my current therapist, who is an ANGEL.
46. Bitter Irony
I’m bipolar and I rapid-cycle, so my mood fluctuates a lot. I called my psychiatric nurse practitioner last summer and told her I was getting depressed again. She said, “Your mood fluctuates too much. Only call me if it’s serious".
47. Sweet, Sweet Karma
A psychiatrist told my mother that my non-verbal brother was pathetic and sad. He was just four years old at the time. A few years later, the psychiatrist was in the newspaper because he was trying to set up his wife as being mentally incompetent through fake reports, all so she couldn’t get custody of their children.
My mother cut out the news article and wrote, “Who is sad and pathetic now?” Then she sent it to his office.
48. The Nose Knows
When I was 14 years old, I was telling my shrink about how I was teased in school. "Do they make fun of your nose?" She said. "...nnnno....?" And that's how I found out I have a big nose.
49. Be Good, Or Else
In 4th grade, my father got incredibly hammered around Christmas time. I was trying to sleep while my parents were fighting. I heard a crash and came out to see my dad had fallen into the Christmas tree, knocked it over, and broke a bunch of family ornaments. My mom stormed to bed, slamming the door.
My dad laid there, then threw up. I helped my dad up, and got cleaning supplies to start cleaning his vomit. Soon, I couldn’t help but start to cry. My dad started yelling at me for crying, and then he started crying and started telling me all these horrible things that happened to him as a kid, and about how good my life is.
I went to school the next day, exhausted, overwhelmed, and I forgot my book report at home. I couldn't hold back the tears, so the teacher sent me to the school counselor. I opened up and told her about this horrific night. Her response made my blood run cold. She looked at me and said, "Well that is terrible, but you know, some little girls’ daddies get hammered like that every night".
She then continued, "And that's really bad. If this happens every night, people would come take you away from your family, and you'd have to live with foster parents! Wouldn't that be worse?" I remember the thoughts racing through my head. I had come prepared to finally talk about my dad's problems and how it was affecting me, but the words "really bad" were bouncing around in my head, along with "foster care".
So instead, I just nodded and didn't say another word. It absolutely wrecked me for about four years. Having a secret, a burden you feel that you carry alone, and if anyone finds out you'll be ripped from your family, is the loneliest feeling as a kid. In 8th grade, my mom took me to Alateen, and I believe it saved my life.
50. Childhood Horrors
When I was 8, I went to a children's therapist. She liked using puppets, despite both me and my mother saying they creeped me out, so much so that I actually had a kind of phobia about them. While I was in one session, said she was trying to help me not bottle things up, so she would push and push and push, asking more invasive questions that I felt uncomfortable answering.
On our fourth or fifth session, she got particularly frustrated with me not answering her nosey questions and, for the first time, I began to cry during the session. This made her even angrier. Then she did the worst thing ever. Instead of comforting me, she started talking to one of her puppets. "Ignore her. Don't talk to her. She's just attention seeking," she said to the puppet.
Then she made the puppet say, "I won't be your friend if all you do is cry". To make things worse, I got sent to her in the first place because I had been severely depressed ever since my parents divorced. My teachers were concerned because I didn't have any friends, and I had recently started getting overstimulated or overwhelmed and crying in class. So to say she didn't help the situation is probably an understatement.
51. Your Dreams Mean Nothing
So, I had my first episode with psychosis when I was about 13, but I recovered and didn't need care or medicine. The second time it happened was when I was 16, and it was so much worse. I saw a psychiatrist at my local health department; my parents had no money so this was all we could afford. This "doctor" specialized in mental health for teenagers.
He even had an article in the local paper once a week. For a bit more background, I had always been overweight, but still, I always aspired to be an actor. Well, in less than an hour, he completely took all my confidence and dreams away. I looked up to and trusted my elders, so I thought this man knew what he was talking about.
Not to mention that I was extremely vulnerable at the time. He said, "You know, most actors and actresses are slim and attractive". Then he asked me, "Are you ordinary or extraordinary?" He even wrote it on a piece of paper, and circled the word “extra". "Most people are just ordinary, not special. It's okay to just be one of those people".
I never really got over that, and I'm 43 now. I figured if I can't handle my senior year of high school and I had a nervous breakdown, how could I ever handle Hollywood or New York? A doctor's responsibility is to help their patients heal. This guy cut a wound in me so deep it still hasn't healed at all. I'm sure he said more messed up things to me in that session but I don't remember because of those two things.