Having a good sense of humor can be helpful both for those who work with people with mental disorders and for those who struggle with these disorders personally. This is not to say that mental illness should be taken lightly, nor that I think people should be made fun of for struggling with a mental disorder. Rather, the intent of this post is to help people learn to not take themselves too seriously and to model the TWLOHA concept of “heavy and light” (which involves mixing discussion of serious topics with lighter, less serious moments) within my blog.
Part 1-humor related to working as a mental health professional:
1. I will never forget the time that I was still an intern and I had a patient tell me that he wanted to take me to Walmart and buy me red underwear. Shocked, I let him know that his comment was inappropriate and I quickly excused myself!
2. Typically, on the online display of patients in the ER, the complaint is fairly general such as psych eval, abdominal pain, etc. One day, I saw the patient’s presenting compliant listed as “Seeing Leprechauns”! At first,I burst out laughing at how bizarre this was. Unfortunately, it was all too true. This patient was quite in need of treatment indeed.
3. When working as an in home therapist around Christmas time, I saw a child who had a tree with presents under it in his house. When he went outside to let his family know I was there, the dog decided to pee near the tree and ended up peeing on a present!
4. While doing in home therapy, I had a client who couldn’t focus during a session because she had lost her cat. In an attempt to put her at ease, we walked outside and attempted to locate the cat. Unfortunately, in the process, I accidentally stepped in dog poop to the point that my boots were covered and smeared in poop! I had to put the shoes in a bag and go back into her house barefoot. The day before that, my brother used marker on my foot and so there I was in my client’s house barefoot with marker on my foot! The good news is that the cat returned to her the next day. The bad news was that those shoes could not be salvaged! I ended up after that session going into a store barefoot and bought a pair of shoes prior to going to my next client’s house!
5. Recently, shortly after getting to work, I looked at a couple patients’charts prior to taking one of them to the psych holding area. One chart indicated a patient was 97kg which is about 215-220lbs. I thought ok, I should be able to push this patient in a wheelchair to the holding area. Once I saw the patient and started pushing, I had great difficulty moving him. I thought I was either being a whimped, the weight was wrong, or the wheelchair wheels were locked. Eventually, I did get the patient to that area. However, whenever I came back, I looked at his chart and realized I had looked at another patients chart. The patient I pushed was 140kg which is about 310lbs! To put it in perspective, I don’t weigh even half of that! At least I realized I wasn’t a whimp.
Part 2-humor related to personally struggling with anxiety and depression:
1. One day, a few years ago, I go to my own counseling session and when I go to open the door, I find it’s locked. I panic. What if he forgot about the session? What if I have the wrong date or time? What if they are there, don’t realize I am there, I miss the session as a result and get charged? What do I do? I don’t have the counselor’s number saved in my phone. A few mins later, I try the door and this time it is unlocked. When I see the counselor, I tell him about the incident and he tells me the phone number was right on the door! I was so anxious and panicked that I didn’t even realize that I could have gotten the phone number from off the door!
2. I had an appointment with a neuropsychiatrist to be tested for dispraxia-which is a disorder that affects multiple things and can cause one to have a very bad sense of direction. Ironically, on my way their, I can’t find the office and I started panicking! Eventually, I found it. The test results revealed that I don’t have dispraxia but rather directions are just a weakness and my anxiety contributes to me getting panicked and lost!
3. I am so distracted by my own thoughts when I get showered and dressed that I have to set alarms and/or listen to YouTube to make sure I get out the door on time! Then, sometimes, I get overly distracted by what’s on YouTube!
Hope you enjoyed this post!