Imagine you’re in a coffee shop, itching away at what you think is a mild skin irritation that formed on your ear, when you’re stopped by a concerned stranger who says that they’re a dermatologist, and they think you should really get it checked out. They give you a card to their office and go about their merry day, leaving you to think that you’ve got some potentially serious health problems that must be addressed.
That’s pretty much what happened to TikTok user @mrsnaydeen while she was out to dinner with her friend and engaging in the type of conversations that friends regularly have with one another over a meal.
What they didn’t know, however, is that there was a mental health therapist sitting right next to them, who must’ve heard some things that should be addressed by a professional, because they handed @mrsnaydeen and her friend their business card.
The TikToker wrote about their experience in a viral clip that’s garnered more than 1.2 million views on the popular social media platform.
@mrsnaydeen It honestly was very humbling. #fyp #foryoupage #storytime #funny ♬ walshy bae owns this sound – RECXRDDEAL
“Never forgetting the time my best friend and I went out to dinner to talk about our lives and a therapist who sat at the table next to us, gave us her business card,” @mrsnaydeen writes in the video’s text overlay.
Apparently, strangers regularly offer unsolicited medical or mental health advice. That is according to the number of folks in the comments who shared their own anecdotes with @mrsnaydeen in response to her video.
“I’m a nurse & was talking at the desk next to a doc I didn’t know. He leaned to me and said ‘I can discretely prescribe you antidepressants’,” one person wrote.
Another user wrote, “I was crying (silently) on a plane once and the man behind me handed me his card and said ‘I do teletherapy!!’”
It could just be, however, that when you’re out in public places and talking to folks about your personal issues, there are inevitably going to be some eavesdroppers who are interested in what you’re saying. And some of them won’t be shy about sticking their noses into your conversation.
That’s something that another TikToker discovered while out and about with their friend. “I have ‘therapy debrief’ dinners with a friend quarterly and one time a table next to us went silent so they could hear everything,” the user wrote.
Others said they’ve received mere sympathy as a result of sharing in public. “Once had brunch with friends & catching up with each other when a group of older ladies hugged us as they left & tearfully told us things get better,” a user wrote.
The prevalence of mental health care in the U.S. has been growing steadily over the past 20 years. In fact, according to the Hill, there are almost double as many Americans seeing therapists as they were two decades ago. Even between 2020 and 2021, USA Today reported, there was a big jump in mental health treatment: 19.2% to 21.6%.
Despite more U.S. citizens seeking therapy for their psychic well-being, Time magazine says that all of this treatment is doing enough to solve the nation’s “mental health crisis.” The outlet blatantly questions why Americans’ mental health is seemingly “getting worse” and postulates that some folks are “over medicated” and possibly “over-therapized.”
The Daily Dot reached out to @mrsnaydeen via TikTok for comment.