“Repeating Words In My Head”: 32 Weird Quirks That Turned Out To Be Symptoms
The CDC reports that more than one-fifth of adults in the United States are affected by chronic pain. Despite attempts to ignore it to avoid medical consultations or to come to terms with the fact that it is a permanent condition, it is perhaps prudent to pay attention to our body’s signals.
Recently, Redditors have been sharing their peculiar experiences that turned out to be related to mental or physical health problems. Ranging from persistent headaches to having premonitions, you can check out the responses below.
Nearly every period, I would get a terrible pain in my backside, like a stabbing pain which would make me stop wherever I was. I also had a twisting back pain on the left side of my back. The doctors dismissed it as “periods are painful” and “there’s a wide range of normal”. Finally had an MRI in my 30s and I have Stage IV endometriosis with deep infiltrating lesions. Adhesions had stuck my bowel to my uterus and also strangled my left ureter so that my kidney couldn’t drain properly and was swollen. On the mental health side, I got so used to feeling like I was a hypochondriac with a low pain threshold that, to this day, I automatically assumed I’m being melodramatic when I’m ill.
Growing up, when I got my first period at 15/16 they were extremely painful to the point I would pass out and couldn’t walk properly. My dad refused to talk about periods and my mum and sister said I was exaggerating and that I was making it up so I figured it must just be me. Fast forward to today and five GPs later who didn’t take it seriously, turns out I have endometriosis.
#3 Repeating words in my head since I was a child. Then one day I went to the ER and I was extremely anxious and the doctor gave me an anti-anxiety pill and I noticed that ended the repetitive thought and words.
#4 Sometimes if I was really tired or jetlagged I’d wake up and for a few seconds the room would look larger than it actually was or I wouldn’t recognise things that were totally familiar even know I knew they were things I’d seen before (jamais-vu, reverse Deja vu). Turns out I had epilepsy without realising for years. I later developed other types of seizures.
#5 My parents thought I ignored them a lot because I often didn’t listen as a young child. Turns out I had severe chronic ear infections that caused a surge of ear wax to clog up my ears and put pressure on my eardrums so bad that I was practically deaf. I had to have surgery to fix it.
#6 I used to make sure that any sentences I said were a multiple of 3 . It then evolved to 6, 12, 24, 48 and 96. I would say words to myself to round them to those numbers.
OCD gang, lol. Just diagnosed and put on meds last week. My special number is 10. Steps have to be in multiples of 10, can’t cross from carpet to tile, etc. without having taken a number of steps that’s a multiple of 10. Gotta tap my fingers on stuff 10 times.
#7 I could hear my eyeballs move in my head, it sounded like light sand paper. I could also hear other body noises, such as digestion and my heart bea. I was medicated for decades due to my ” hallucinations.” Turns out I had a little hole in my skull between my inner ear and my brain. It caused a “third window” that amplified my internal body noises. After surgery, I no longer hear my eyes move, and I’m no longer on medication.
#8 I thought I had just a bunch of bad habits—I could never stop rolling my eyes or making weird throat noises no matter how much I tried. Tourette’s, ladies and gentlemen. It got a lot worse once I got to college and was under more stress.
#9 I thought I could see the future. In fact have bipolar 1 with psychosis.
#10 I had headaches for several years. I was basically told it was nothing. Nope, baseball sized brain tumor.
#11 My whole life, I have dealt with becoming “obsessive” over new things – like when I hear a new song I like, I will listen to it hundreds of times on repeat and not get tired of it. New hobby? It consumes my being.
I have also had a running “daydream story” since about middle school. It’s an ongoing story with characters I made up (and a self insert of course), and I used to listen to music and imagine fight scenes and things like that.
It turns out, both of those things are symptoms of ADHD, especially in women. I never got tested as a kid because my mom believed that “none of her kids have a mental illness.” ??♀️
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My friends and I thought my basement was haunted but I was the only one who really believed it, because I had seen figures there. Yeahhhhhh… house wasn’t haunted, lol. Somehow it took me years of mental illness before I made that connection.
I apologize for disappearing; honestly I never expected anyone to see this silly little story and the interest freaked me (and my anxiety) out for a sec. I mentioned this further downthread but wanted to answer your question directly as well.
I have been “diagnosed” with schizophrenia, depression, GAD, etc. etc. I have had a long history of evolving signs and symptoms of mental illness and don’t feel connected tied to a particular diagnosis. At a certain point, when you’re sick enough to have basically a treatment team of therapist/psychiatrist/GP, etc., they tend to address things symptom-by-symptom instead of giving one med for one diagnosis (which is not sufficient for some people), so it’s not something that’s specifically on my mind much. I do have a diagnosis for insurance and record-keeping purposes that is kind of their best-guess categorization and as someone downthread guessed, it’s Bipolar 2.
#13 Constantly got yelled at by teachers for not listening and got spanked at home for it. Everyone thought I just didn’t care or that I was stupid. One day, a doctor decides I need a hearing test, and it turns out there is a bunch of fluid built up in my ears, and without tubes, I’d be completely deaf. The only person who apologized to me was my mom, and that took 15 years.
#14 Growing up my mom’s side of the family always claimed the women were special and like witches. We could see ghosts, hear their voices, etc. I have so many stories of seeing ghosts, or watching things move that shouldn’t have. I hear a lot of random voices, once someone whispered in my ear “can you hear me?” When I was alone. Turns out we’re all either bipolar (me, with added depression for fun!) Or schizophrenic. The ghosts are more fun though.
#15 Rehearsing conversations and their potential branches before speaking to someone, being obsessed with textures and touch, *needing* to shave every hair from the neck down. Otherwise, I could feel them being moved and compressed by my clothes.. oh, and using quotes and references in 90% of my conversations. Turns out they’re not ‘quirks’, and coupled with my ‘issues,’ they make me rather autistic. I wish I knew 20 years ago!
#16 When I was about 13/14 I used to complain about stomach aches and sore throats A LOT. My parents thought I was faking it to stay home from school and the doctors blamed everything on anxiety/periods. Turns out I have a hiatal hernia. My stomach acid was leaking into my throat when I was lying down at night and was starting to damage my oesophagus.
#17 My ability to exercise was suffering. Even a couple of warm up sets would make me so queasy I’d feel like I could puke. I thought it was poor sleep and diet.
My urine was a little dark. I thought I wasn’t drinking enough water.
I’d wake up covered in sweat. Like, soaked to the point that it looked like I took a shower in my pyjamas and crawled back into bed. I thought I was just hot.
Eventually I briefly passed out while walking around at a Dave and Busters with my girlfriend. An ambulance was called. They didn’t see anything wrong but offered to take my to the hospital which I declined.
My girlfriend *demanded* I make a Dr appointment the next day. If not she threatened to call my mom and get her to berate me too. So to make her happy I made an appointment. Dr didn’t see anything out of the ordinary but ran some blood tests to be sure. The next morning, I was at work and the Dr called to tell me my RBC count was reading “3”, which he assumed must have been a mistake because I shouldn’t even be capable or walking with it testing that low but I should go the the ER to be sure. I told my boss what was up and he gave me the go ahead to leave and I drove myself to the ER. Told triage the result of the test, and they too said it sounded like the test was faulty and they ran their own. The test was right, and everyone was shocked that a person could be so anemic while still able to stand upright.
My spleen was “cleaning” my blood of my red blood cells as it apparently thought they were faulty. It was also over 3 lbs in size (a normal spleen is roughly a quarter lb). The sweating and dark urine was caused by my kidneys failing due to the extreme anemia. My inability to exercise was due to there not being enough red blood cells to carry oxygen through my body under the increased load. The doctors I saw in the hospital told me that had I continued to ignore the symptoms I’d have likely died of a heart attack within a week or so.
Image source: TheSmJ
#18 Food cravings that went beyond just silly little hankerings and became extreme to the point of damaging my teeth, causing rapid weight gain or giving me kidney stones. Turns out food hyperfixation is a symptom of ADHD. Once a food hit just right at the right time, it was all I could think about and wanted eat for weeks or months.
#19 As a kid I wanted to be carried everywhere (like piggyback rides, etc) for way too long. Like I was an almost 5’ tall 8 year old asking to be carried on vacation. My feet hurt after walking more than like, two blocks. My mom took me to a podiatrist to prove there was nothing wrong with me and it turns out I had severe fallen arches and plantar fasciitis and needed corrective insoles to fix my gait. She took me for ice cream after that appointment.
#20 My inability to focus in school on subjects I didn’t care for, chronic lateness, poor impulse control… ADD, of course. Unfortunately, no one considered that possibility when I was young, because supposedly “only boys had that.” ?
#21 I didn’t like eating as a very young kid. I was underweight and anemic. Turns out my tonsils were huuuuuge and once they got removed, I could eat!
#22 Also I always felt like there was a TV on in my head. You know those old TV’s where you know it’s on because of the low-volume high pitched ring? I constantly had that. Turns out I have tinnitus.
Holy s**t I was just talking to my mom about this. I thought I was just bad at sports and very specifically any sort of sustained activity.Think track, soccer, basketball, etc. Just thought I got more tired faster than other people cause I was lazy or whatever.
Went running with my mom one time in my early twenties in the cold and she heard me wheezing afterwards
Asked if it was always like that to which I said yes. Took me to a doc and turns out I have exercise induced asthma.
I do indeed get winded faster than other people but it’s not a laziness thing. No idea what would’ve happened if I found out during like middle school or something.
#24 Bipolar here. I used to be able to stay awake without being tired and people always were amazed by that at work, turns out I was just manic.
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#25 My grades would drop every winter/late spring. I live way north and get severe vitamin D withdrawal.
#26 My small daughter always had breath that smelled of sweets. So yeah, I always thought- ah she’s sweet inside and out! Nope, she had type 1 diabetes. I’ll kick myself forever over that one.
#27 I would let all my friends feel “the ball in my boob” in high school. One day I told my mom – she immediately called the doctor. Fast forward the next month and I had surgery to remove a tumor. It ended up being benign.
#28 I was always annoyed at the other kids my age because they were so childish. And I always got praise from my teachers for my problem solving skills and they all used to say the same thing: that I was “thinking outside the box”. It was such a weird concept for me to receive praise for something that just seems like an obvious solution to a problem, and people reacted as if I was some kind of genius, I just couldn’t fathom that other people would miss the details that were obvious to me.
This, coupled with not picking up on social cues, hardly ever showing body language or facial expressions, monotone voice, staring a lot, more advanced vocabulary than my peers, not understanding sarcasm, analyzing jokes to death because sometimes jokes aren’t logical and people found me annoying for doing this, treating plushies as if they had actual feelings, preferring to play with pets rather than other kids, reading non-fiction during the morning readings when all the other kids read like mystery books, severely disliking certain fabrics and textures, being hypersensitive to noises and light….
I’m surprised that people don’t usually notice that I’m autistic.
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#29 My arms bent backwards and would freak other kids in my classes out sometimes. It was a silly party trick until I got diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and couldn’t walk after I became an adult.
#30 Needing constant naps. I was already on a stimulant for my ADHD but my body demanded that I nap for two hours just four hours after I woke up in the morning (after receiving a full ten hours). Turns out I’m narcoleptic!
#31 My handwriting was terrible, balance sucked and I would have tremors especially in my hands after vigorous exercise.
I thought I had Parkinson’s.
It was just mild cerebral palsy, which is non progressive, and I’ll have it for life. Definitely beats having Parkinson’s, especially as a teen.
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