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Therapists Disclose Their Patients’ Most Disturbing Confessions

Paddy Clarke 13 Nov 2019

Therapy can be a fantastic way for people to overcome trauma from their past, and to disclose things that they otherwise wouldn't have the courage to. However, we don't often think about the therapists themselves, and what they go through while listening to these truly heartbreaking stories day in day out.

One person took to Reddit to find out what were some things that patients had disclosed to therapists, that therapists simply couldn't shake from their mind, by asking: "Therapists of Reddit, what's the most disturbing thing a patient has disclosed to you?"

The answers were, as you may expect, disturbing, shocking, and gut-wrenching, and here are some of the most tragic of all.

(Please be aware that some of these stories contain instances of violence and abuse.)

1. Mental Torture

Unsplash | Anthony Tran

"A young woman telling me of her childhood sexual abuse. Her abuser convinced her that if she ever told anyone that her toys would wake up in the middle of the night and kill her family.

"This is the kind of personal story that I need to sit and process in deep meditation and/or call my therapist just to vent and download. To see the emotional pain on a real human's face after years of emotional torture is really powerful. Abusers are such trash." — PsychOnTheBike

It is far from uncommon for therapists to also attend therapy sessions with another therapist. This can help people maintain level headed and allow the therapist a time to vent.

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2. Treating Their Children As Though They Were Dogs

Instagram | wood.woof

"My father is a therapist [...] worked with foster kids, and sometimes we'd take them in for a period of time. We had 2 kids in our house for a while who were brothers. They were about 4 or 5. One wore glasses and had some cognitive disabilities. I asked my dad one time why they would walk around on all fours sometimes.

"He told me that their parents had kept them in a closet, and would throw hot dogs/water on the floor of the closet, then go out drinking. One day the parents came home and the kids had gotten out, so the father in a drunken rage took a hammer and hit one in the back of the head. He blinded him in one eye (thus the glasses), and gave the kid brain damage". — flippantantant

How someone could be so cruel to a child is incomprehensible to me. Hopefully, these children are in a safer place now.

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3. An Accidental Accomplice To Murder

Instagram | xxkawaii_kandi_neko

"I had a teenager disclose that when they were a young child, their step-parent would tell them they were bad, confiscate all of their toys and made them engage in sexual favors in order to get them back.

"I also had another child that was in the car when their parent ran over and killed another person while high on drugs." — dirtyberti

Both of these are truly horrific. How on Earth therapists have the mental ability to listen to these tragic stories every day without it impacting their own health is unbelievable.

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4. No Remorse

Unsplash | Max Langelott

"That they thought the children they raped were weak for being upset about it years later." — bittertiltheend

Perhaps the most unsettling on the list, I can't imagine how you would go about trying to treat someone like this. This person who wrote this went on to say that people like this can be experiencing a large disconnect between behaviors and emotions which skews the way they view the world.

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5. Pedophilia

Unsplash | Nik Shuliahin

"Probably the first time I heard of POCD and it's subsets. I had listened to him describe how he would see kids and have these horrible violent and sexual thoughts. He couldn't control them at all, but he had lived with them since childhood. The part that made me really want to cry with him was when he described how he had a son and another on the way, but he was so afraid of it being a girl for fear he would do something terrible. More sad than disturbing, but the pain and frustration in his eyes... I will never forget..." — Kittie_Brat_Kat

POCD is apparently a subset of OCD in which the sufferer has unwanted intrusive violent sexual thoughts about children. It is hard to imagine that this person will have been allowed near children for much longer.

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6. Complete Lack Of Empathy

Instagram | pluto.in.rage

"There was a guy I had in the psychiatric intensive care unit that was utterly terrifying. I've dealt with a fair few violent people in my time, including a handful of people who had murdered someone. But this guy was the scariest by a long shot. He was absolutely huge, had schizophrenia and probably some form of pervasive developmental disorder [...]

"One time I was taking him outside for a cigarette, and he started talking about the prostitutes he uses. I've never heard someone objectify another human the way he did. He didn't mention any violence specifically, but I simply couldn't believe that he hadn't murdered at least one. I said, in what I hoped was an assertively compassionate voice. 'I think you should remember that those girls have feelings, too.' Not even a flicker." — Kjaamor

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7. Physical & Sexual Abuse

Unsplash | Philipp Wüthrich

"I once had a client disclose to me that she only got into Beastiality because her boyfriend of six years had been raping her for over two years. She tried to leave him more than once but each time he'd beat the daylights out of her..."

"She finally got the courage to go to a local precinct and file charges. She was forced to drop those charges because not only did the precinct humiliate her and told her they didn’t believe her (even with all the bruises and signs of abuse) they contacted the boyfriend and told him it would be wise for him to file for a restraining order." — ask_yo_dad_about_me

This is one of the most horrific on the list. The therapist claims that the girl's dog was the only thing that she felt loved her, hence why the shift in sexual proclivities.

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8. Disturbing Dreams

Instagram | lucakevinrose

"A patient told me of some nightmares she was having: which all involved her boyfriend. In one of these nightmares, they're in a car and her bf is driving, and then he drives over a live baby in the road. She told me this while laughing and looked at me expectantly; almost like waiting for me to laugh too." — YoonLolina

Apparently this therapist ultimately couldn't do much for the girl, mainly due to the fact that the therapist believed that the young girl was keeping a lot of information from her.

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9. Rape

Unsplash | Aliyah Jamous

"A female patient was raped by her ex-boyfriend on her 18th birthday. The boyfriend told her not to tell anyone, so she kept the incident a secret for 1 1/2 years. In the meantime, the trauma caused her to develop severe anorexia and depression.

"She was so emotionally confused and broken that she convinced herself she had had a miscarriage after a heavy period despite getting negative results on a pregnancy test. Her attacker didn't use protection. It's scary sometimes how heavily trauma can affect us... She couldn't allow herself to believe she was raped so instead she grieved the loss of a fetus that was never there." — kunst024

If you are in a relationship with an abusive partner, there are helplines that you can call available online, and there are even some shelters that can offer protection and sanctuary.

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10. Murdering A Baby

Instagram | babygagaluxe

"When my 26-year-old client was a little girl, her mother, a white prostitute, became pregnant by a black john. When the baby was a few weeks old, the mother's boyfriend shot it and threw it in the canal in the back of the home. My client and her siblings witnessed it. Authorities were never involved." — Eleo4756

How anyone could kill anyone, let alone a baby, is truly appalling.

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11. Planning A Murder

Instagram | mr.j.powell

"[A patient told me] the exact place where he intended to bury his wife after he kills her." — tylenna

The therapist went on to say that they reported the patient, and he was investigated. It turned out that he was a diagnosed psychopath; however, he was ultimately discharged as there was nothing that they felt they could do.

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12. Strangulation

Instagram | authordeborahwhite

"I am a therapist. One of the girls I was talking to, let's call her 'GG'. She confessed to trying to convince her teacher to [strangle] the most beloved student because she reminded the teacher that they had homework. Fun times (not really)" — JustThatLonelyGirl

Wow. I mean, everyone hates that kid that reminds the teacher you have homework, but this is a little off the deep end I think!

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13. Describing How To Dismember Bodies

Instagram | michelev_ph

"One told me they met someone either on a dating site or social media that wanted them to have sex with a dog (I think they offered to pay too). The other was a delusional client that think they work for the government. During the intake and second session, they would tell me how you can basically dismember someone from the inside (remove collar bones, different punches, bust eardrums, etc)." — MsUnoriginal7531

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14. Intrusive Thoughts

Unsplash | Thought Catalog

"[My Dad] was working with a guy for a long time who was a heavy drinker. The guy told every person that worked with him that he'd never quit drinking. After a few months working with my pops, he quit. So my dad always picks him up and takes him to breakfast. One day the guy tells me, dad, 'I wasn't taking my meds the past couple of months, and when we'd drive around I'd think about killing you.' My dad is pretty used to dealing with people who have intrusive thoughts, etc, but I think that one shook him up a little." — flippantantant

A lot of people pointed out that it would be very inappropriate for a therapist to be taking a client out for food, let alone be driving with them.

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15. Childhood Trauma

Unsplash | Annie Spratt

"I had a client disclosed childhood sexual abuse by their bio dad that went on for years. When they confronted him later in life about the abuse he denied it all and has severed all communication with them. Seeing the pain and hearing their voice as they described this gave me two insights:

"1: A whole new understanding of what trauma can do to someone not only psychologically but physically too.

"2: That in order to do this heavy work I needed to build my own support system to lean on when I’m mentally drained." — Sunshine-please

The long terms mental effects of childhood trauma can lead to a multitude of physical changes to a person's body.

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16. Murdering Someone For Drugs

Instagram | fifth_dynasty_of_love

"[One] client chopped up someone for a bundle of coke

"I had to work with a family who just lost their 4 children to a fire, describing the sounds they heard of their children's last moments." — MissKayisaTherapist

Dying in a fire is one of the most common fears that people have in regards to the manner of their death.

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17. Abandoning A Child

Unsplash | Victor Chaidez

"Foster parent here. Not a therapist, but I get kids who have been through hell and when they trust you, they tell you all about it.

"One 5 year old was raised by grandma since birth. Her bio dad (grandma's son) died, and she went to the funeral. She was sad and crying, and her bio mom yelled at her, 'He wasn't your real dad anyway.' Well, grandma decided that since this little girl wasn't her 'real' granddaughter, she was done raising her. She called CPS and signed off her rights. The girl came to us and hardly spoke.

"But the little girl went on to be adopted by a great family and is doing amazing, so grandma's decision gave her a second chance." — CircusMasterKlaus

Thankfully there was one story with a glimmer of hope in amongst the tragedy. Hopefully, this child is enjoying life more in their loving home.

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18. Murderous Thoughts At 9 Years Of Age

NeONBRAND | Unsplash (yellow)

"The one that always stuck out to me was a nine year old who threatened to kill his family. I had to interview him first and the anger in his eyes was INTENSE. He told me how his whole life, someone would leave him, no one took care of him, his family would abuse him and despite having DCFS called, nothing happened.

"The part that I can still see is when he talked about how his grandmother set his dog on fire IN FRONT OF HIM when she was high and mad. I didn’t even know kids could feel that angry and rageful. I still think about him (it’s been like 8 years?) I hope he’s okay" — Wino67

It is hard to imagine how, at that young an age, someone could be capable of such intense hatred and violent thoughts.

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19. Arson

Instagram | about_mannu

"I had a kid who was always very charming and nice, he was maybe 15 or so. He seemed fine and his parents only said that he was troubled, and this was like our 5th session so I asked him why they sent him to a counselor. He said 'They don't like that I'm gay.' I was like oh.. so I emailed the parents to confirm this [...] They said that he had set a fire in the school, assaulted a teacher and essentially tortured a kindergartener (k-12 school). [...]

"When I question him about this, his face just when deadpan. He squared his shoulder and said, 'The little btch deserved it anyways. And just to let you know, it felt good. Really good. My mom told that? I'll off her tonight. I'll take off her fingernails and put sowing needles in her eyes. Then ill fcking gut her. I'll find you and do the same.'

"He then stood up very calmly and left the building." — throwawayBigYikes4Re

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20. Animal Torture

Bich Ngoc | Unsplash (blue dress)

"A client's abusive boyfriend once poured boiling water all over her cat, just to demonstrate what he was about to do to her. The client was pregnant at the time."

"I still feel nauseous thinking about this." — vorpal8

National Domestic Violence Hotline

Hotline: 1 (800) 799 –7233

Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via phone and online chat.

Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) – National Sexual Assault Hotline

Hotline: 1 (800) 656-4673

Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via phone and online chat

ChildHelp National Child Abuse Hotline

Hotline: 1 (800) 422 – 4453

Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via phone and text.

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