A frequent Redditor known as Bear Silber recently has Reddit to thank for helping him diagnose a severe health problem that even his doctor couldn’t figure out. The story begins 5 years ago, when Silber first got ill. He couldn’t find a doctor to understand why he was getting sicker, and his condition started to seriously deteriorate in 2010. That is, until he stumbled upon a Reddit post which was joking about a man’s physical condition — but Silber recognized the physical abnormality and searched the thread to find out that the particular condition was called Cushing’s Syndrome.
He took the information about the syndrome to his doctor, who proceeded to laugh at him and lament “self-diagnosis” by ignorant patients. Sounds more like an ignorant doctor. Silber persevered and took the information to another, more empathetic doctor who helped him analyze his condition and found that it actually was Cushing’s Syndrome.
The story reflects a truth about Reddit — while it is a no-holds barred forum of jest and irreverence, it is also patronized by intelligent people with smart analysis. In fact, the average personality of Reddit would probably be that of an intelligent and compassionate reader who loves to be as irreverent as possible. This is reflected well by the fact that the original image that Silber saw was making fun of a man who had this disease. Reddit seems to be that kind of place that walks that line that we all walk in modern society, where we want to laugh and get things out in the open and prod at each other’s weaknesses and help each other develop a thick skin, but we also know to respond with true compassion to issues that are real and require our help. This is a bit of a departure from taking everything very seriously, as if small jests prohibit a person from being truly compassionate and supporting.
Watch the video, it may make your day.
For another inspiring story, check out how Reddit helped a terminal cancer patient’s dream come true.