24 Therapists Reveal One Thing Most People Think They Are Alone In Experiencing.
Therapists and psychiatrists of Reddit were asked: "What is something that most people think they are alone in experiencing/feeling/thinking?" These are some of the best answers.
1/24 Feeling like they are the only one in their age group that doesn't have their sh*t together.
2/24 Sudden, unwelcome, sometimes even violent, thoughts that pop into your head are also normal and not indicative of psychopathology or sexual perversion. They're intrusive thoughts and as long as you don't think you're going to act on them, there's no reason to worry about them. The more you attend to them and perseverate on them, the more they're going to bother you. Like the pink polka dot elephant.
Frankly, I am a generally well-adjusted individual who has never self-harmed a day in her life, with a comfortable life and no particular desire to die, but sometimes when I drive over a bridge, I think about what would happen if I were to drive over it. I do not want to hurt myself or anyone else involved, but I still wonder. Likewise, I do not want to kiss my boss. I'm straight and even if I weren't, she's not my type. But sometimes when we're talking, I wonder what would happen if I kissed her.
3/24 No one's got their sh*t 100% together. Not even me, and I'm here to help you. Just because my shirt buttons line up does not mean my socks match. Don't get down on yourself thinking you're the only one. You're just doing your best and that's normal.
4/24 Not caring deeply for family members. Especially for their children. They expect this instinct to kick in at some point where they'll feel fiercely protective, but it never happens.
5/24 Feeling "imposter syndrome", which is basically a feeling that you don't belong somewhere (work or school), that you're not capable, and soon everyone will figure out that you got there on a fluke and kick you out.
6/24 Teenagers who think they are "special" and "mature for their age". It's almost all of them. Its kinda funny, actually.
7/24 Feeling "crazy". I would say the majority of my clients at some point ask if they are crazy. It's sad that mental illness is seen as black and white, sane or crazy, and not a continuum that can ebb and flow over time.
8/24 I think the most common thing I find in my practice is that people assume they need to "get rid of" their negative feelings. Anxiety, anger, sadness, guilt...these are normal feelings everyone experiences and it's ok to feel these things and acknowledge them. Learning how to "sit" with negative feelings is something I think I've tried hard to normalize with my clients.
9/24 That everyone is looking at them and their decisions and judging them.
10/24 That their family can't relate.
11/24 "Inappropriate" sexual desires.
I have been working for years with couples and single people that express a, let's say, social perspective of what sex should be, and although we have come a long way and things are getting slightly better - in the sense that homophobia is still a thing, but at least society is starting to understand and deal with it -, there's still this emotional tagging related to what you should feel and experience when it comes to arousal and physical intimacy.
People try to self label themselves as heterosexual, homosexual or something else to create an identity for everything they are as a person, when in fact, this is a very simple definition that affects very little of you apart from your sexuality. And even that is matter of many factors that go beyond separating hormonal activity in social groups. That happens, unfortunately, because society relies on labels to distinguish their inner groupings, even if there's no such thing and people get to use those definitions to conclude that we are different regarding other contexts that do not apply to the particular "difference" that we are defining.
The mind simplifies it - as it always does and most times with healthy consequences - and takes it to "gays are...", "lesbians are..." or "men are..." kind of discourses that make no real statement when it comes to our everyday lives, even in a sexual context.
Because of this environment, many people get to define sex and sexuality as the same thing, arousal and sexual identity as the same thing, and many other definitions related to our sexuality as if they were simple and similar experiences to all of us.
I heard men thinking that they were gay because they had one thought about having sex with a guy and deducing that the "doubt" regarding whether or not they'd do anything about it, is a clear sign of homosexuality and that it's a bad thing to be in this "wall". When in fact, it's very unlikely that any person in this planet is in absolutely knowledge of their own sexual preferences, both of gender and activities. Just like any other kind of pleasant activity, sex is about discovery. You don't know much of makes you feel good before you try it. The stigma of thinking about trying something - that comes from ages of a very unreasonable education regarding sexuality and physical intimacy as being the exact same thing. - still prevents people from exploring their concepts of the world when it comes to sexual pleasure, and results in frustration and even self-loathing, since the brain requires positive stimulation in a regular basis, including - sometimes specially - the ones we are told "not to want".
Couples face the same issue in a more complex manner. The idea that emotional connection and sexual connection have always to go hand in hand is, for starters, a mathematical anomaly - if you find someone that makes you feel happy emotionally and sexually, that's awesome, but that doesn't mean that they are the only ones who can do it - and also impractical for a committed relationship. That's because our sexual and emotional "selfs" are not all that there is about us. They are an important part of our experiences, but they are not who we are as a person. They have their place in specific experiences, while in others - that may affect sexual and emotional interaction - they play a minor role, if any. Couples tend to think that this relationship between sex, emotions and social interactions should always be well balanced, when they are not within themselves the things that should be balanced, but rather, the person who is responsible to act on those desires, feelings and social perspectives. The emotions and desires only follow you, what you take from them and act upon them, they do not drive your every decision, even when it comes to sex.
Unfortunately, the problem here is the same: misinformation. There is very little understanding and honest conversation about sexuality, which is as important for us as humans as food and shelter are. They are part of our biological disposition, and if led by unhealthy complexes and ideologies, might be enjoyed in a very poorly, unhealthy manner, which may cause much more harm than any other psychological discrepancy.
12/24 Intense anger towards, and even hatred for, people they are "supposed" to love (and do love much of the time).
13/24 The moment of disclosure, so to speak. "When will the others realize that I cant figure sh*t out" "when will they realize that I am utterly incompetent" etc. This is actually really common :-)
14/24 Common grief reactions. Most people think they are crazy when they can't concentrate and have memory problems months into grief. This is very normal for a significant loss. Also feelings of guilt and relief in the case of long illnesses. Most people feel they could have/should have done more despite doing everything well and many feel guilt at the relief they feel at having a caregiver role come to an end. Also many people experiencing a loss continue to speak aloud or in their heads to the deceased person.
15/24 That they don't belong in the world (ie. this world is not their home). It can make people feel really alien to this world but is a recurring theme in a lot of psychopathology. A lot of patients have a hard time opening up about this, often because they see it as a more "serious" symptom of mental illness.
16/24 I think most people when asked "Do you think your alone in this?" they would answer "no". But it is stunning that amount of people who think other people notice what they are doing. No one is as aware of what you are doing than you, seems to be the cause of large amounts of social anxiety.
17/24 Anyone can become an addict. Just like there's no one-size-fits-all face for what a murderer looks like, addicts come in all shapes, sizes, socioeconomic statuses, education levels, etc. Gambling addiction is REAL, too. I hold three licenses (mental health counselling, substance abuse counselling, gambling counselling), and am blown away when I hear other professionals talk about a client 'just' having a gambling addiction. It ruins lives, too.
18/24 That they are more intelligent than the majority.
19/24 The absolute worst mindset a patient can have is believing that they are alone in feeling the way they do. Understanding that other people have the same feelings and problems (or worse) may not solve their issues, but contextualizing it takes away the belief that they're insurmountable.
20/24 Seeing shadows, figures, or other things or hearing murmurs, voices, or similar, during the half-asleep-half-awake state are not schizophrenic hallucinations. It's an in-between dream state and does not mean you have schizophrenia. It's normal.
21/24 Social anxiety. Not wanting to talk on the phone, avoiding big groups, not wanting to go to a bar, the list goes on and on. Most people experience this to varying degrees at varying points of their lives. The best way to overcome social anxiety is to do the things that make you nervous on a regular basis. Anxiety won't kill you.
22/24 Feelings of envy; where one convinces their conscience that they simply do not have the facilities to perform as well as another, regardless other associated merits.
23/24 Being a 'psychopath' especially as an 13-25 year old. It's relatively normal to feel disconnected and numb regarding others. Even if these feelings are to an unhealthy level it's almost never psychopathy. Depression, anxiety and more common disorders all can lead to feeling profoundly disconnected from society to such an extent where you are numb to potential harm being caused. It's not necessarily healthy but it's not psychopathy.
24/24 Intrusive thoughts. Bizarre, disgusting, sexual, violent thoughts. Almost everyone seems to get them but they don't mean that you really think that way or will behave that way.
Quitting a job can be a liberating feeling, but it can also be scary as hell... especially if you don't have another job waiting for you on the horizon.
Thanks to Redditor BurningDruid13, we have some answers to the following question: "Have you ever quit a job, without another lined up, for your mental health? How did it turn out?"