The pandemic has taken a toll on our mental health and has forced us to face the fact that therapy is the best way to move forward. Even, if your’re not suffering from mental health issues, therapy teaches you so many things you won’t realise until you try it. It’s the need of the hour. On this Reddit thread, therapists reveal some of the things that people are ashamed of admitting, but is completely normal in reality. 

Trigger warning- Sexual abuse, suicide

1. “Intrusive thoughts. People often say that they have really unpleasant and sometimes violent intrusive thoughts. This is actually a lot more common than people think. It does not mean that you are violent, or disturbed.”

2. “Mixed or even positive feelings when a loved one dies after a protracted illness. Especially someone who hung on for a long time, very sick and suffering, or an older relative with dementia. There’s often a feeling of relief, of ‘at least that’s over’. It’s perfectly normal and it doesn’t mean you didn’t love the person.”

3. “Running away from home. It’s a common fantasy to have as a teenager.”

 – Sorre13258

4Their trauma histories. Being conflicted about certain aspects of their abuse, like loving their abuser or not hating all aspects of the abuse. Suicidal thoughts. Feeling worthless or just not loved. I’ve also had many clients who hate/refuse to talk about their strengths or what they like about themselves”

5. ” Feeling conflicted when a caregiver who abused them is exposed/faces consequences. Many express feeling bad for them because this person abused them but they also took care of them, provided for them, etc. I always try to tell them that what they’re feeling is normal and understandable but that the abuser needs to face consequences for what they have done.”

6. “They regret having kids or weren’t instantly attached to their child when they were born. It’s a lot more common than people think, but the subject is extremely taboo and is not often is discussed due to the shame and guilt that comes with it.”

7. “When you’re recovering from an addiction, it’s nothing to be ashamed of if you lapse or relapse. It’s a part of quitting. It doesn’t mean you’ve failed, and it doesn’t mean it’s hopeless to try.”

8. “Improving their life when people around them are still not doing well. It’s easy for people to feel ashamed or guilty when they start making positive changes but see their friends and family not doing the same.”

9. I’ve gotten a lot of clients complaining about how their friends and acquaintances have “passed them by” in terms of career, romantic relationships, etc. The reality is a lot of people feel that way but also can become successful at any point.

10. “How much debt they have and the anxiety that it creates it for them.”

11. “Being angry at loved ones. This is largely bound in the social idea that somehow anger is an unnecessary, bad emotion. Anger, like any emotion, is adaptive when applied appropriately (i.e., assertiveness). I get A LOT of people who feel like they’re a bad person for being angry with friends or family so they just try to hide it. Pro tip: that doesn’t work. Use it, explain why you were angry in a responsible adult manner, and the relationship will be better off in the long run. And if you’re thought is that the other person will explode, then you should either reevaluate how you’re handling the discussion or whether that person is really worth keeping in your life.”

12. “Most of my experience is with married couples. Almost everyone is ashamed of fighting, but everyone fights. In fact, conflict can be very healthy for a relationship provided that both people know how to process emotions and work towards resolutions. Dealing with conflict, particularly in a relationship, is a skill that can be learned. Nobody is just born knowing how to deal with this stuff. Take the time to learn these skills and your life and relationships will be much healthier.”

13. “Selfish moments or impulses that bring a lot of shame and guilt. They usually come from repression so it’s like a liberating moment of self indulgence. Everyone is hiding almost the same kind of things from everyone else. In the end you wonder why it’s all that “social masking” for. There’s plenty of ‘dark’ things that could be normalised without making them cool or justified either, just understood and worked on when they happen.”

14. “In the last year or so I’ve noticed a lot of people “admitting” that they’re not “productive” with their free time. They say things like, I should be cleaning, exercising, taking a second job or doing some kind of income producing hobby during their free time. They’re ashamed that they watch Netflix or take naps. I blame all the hustle culture lately. IT’S OK TO WATCH NETFLIX WITH YOUR FREE TIME. I emphasize that free time is for activities that fill your cup. Work and exercise are great, but that’s not free time. If you’ve done everything you need to do to take care of business, your body, and your relationships today then watch some Netflix.”

15. “That they hate their parents (both teens and young adults). Not relating to physical abuse but emotional abuse, manipulation, dismissing and minimizing feelings all while their parents preach this idea that they did everything for their kids and they need to be grateful about it.”

16. “Feeling lonely and having only a few friends. Social media gives us this skewed perception that a lot of people have tons of friends and are always doing stuff. That’s not real life though, and everyone feels lonely sometimes, everyone goes through phases where they feel like they have no one, or goes through friend breakups.”

17. “When people feel guilty just thinking about moving on after a loved one dies. It’s true, in some sense the only way they live on is through your memory. There is no way out of that feeling of guilt… so when you’ve had enough, get going. You will never feel whole again until you do.”

18. “That being a caregiver/parent is very challenging and that it’s normal to feel overwhelmed sometimes and seek respite if needed. People will often express guilt about feeling this way about their loved one, but the reality is that caregivers need to care for themselves too due to the high risk of burnout.”

19. “Not maintaining personal hygiene when you’re depressed… I try to stress as much as I can that this is a common side effect of many mental health problems but people have a really hard time internalizing that, there’s a TON of shame and guilt tied to not being able to take care of yourself.”

20. “Still loving someone who hurt them”

21. “Sexual abuse victims still having loving/positive feelings for their abuser. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard the shame as people cry out to me, ‘I know I am supposed to be angry!'”

22. “Not sleeping in the same bed with their partner. So many couples (especially older ones) think they’re doing their relationship a huge dissatisfaction by having separate sleeping spaces. I frequently have to tell couples that while this isn’t a “normal” thing in the traditional sense of “majority of people,” it is a very common thing, and one that continues to become more common. Have a specific bed for intimacy (can be one of the two beds a partner already sleeps in). Make an event out of the nights you do decide to share the bed. It’s great for increasing bonds and providing a happy relationship… Sleeping in your own bed is fine. Plus it also gives a each partner their own personal space.”

23. “Imposter syndrome is a big one. Also I’ve encountered grown adults who have so much shame around sex they have difficulty verbalising words like penis, vagina, orgasm, or masturbation.”

24. “As a therapist, nothing. There is nothing my clients say in session they should be ashamed of. It’s how they are feeling/thinking/experiencing the world and there is nothing shameful about that. Our thoughts/feelings/experiences are all neutral. We as individuals and society assign meaning to them.”

Please note that while these answers seem helpful, this is no substitute for therapy. If you’re suffering from any mental health issues, do not be afraid to seek help and please contact a therapist for your own well-being.