I did my internship at a state mental hospital, about 11 years ago, there was a guy there who spoke mostly Spanish and was known for exposing himself to various women throughout the campus. He wasn't on my caseload, but he came to plenty of my groups and was polite to me and well-behaved. My last day at the hospital he walks up to me and hands me a crumpled brown paper bag and says he got something for me in his broken English. I was terrified to look inside, knowing his reputation and his violent history, but I peeked in and was shocked to see a small pink teddy bear. I still have it:)
We had two elderly women in the same room, both suffering from dementia. At one point they came out of their room wildly arguing: "These are my pants, give me my pants back!!!" ..."No, they are mine, go get your own pants!" ..."I said, give me my pants or I will take them from you!" (I can't remember the whole fight, but this kind of describes it). A colleague and I separated the two and walked a little with them, trying to calm them down. I went left, she went right. So the place where I work is shaped like a triangle and after two minutes of walking, we all ran into each other. And both of the two ladies were like: "Oh my god, it's you, what are you doing here?"..."Heyyy, it's a long time I haven't seen you, how are you doing?" "This is soo awesome, I missed you!!!". They sat down on the couch and began to talk. Five minutes later, they were arguing again: "I'm not in the hospital, YOU are in the hospital" ..."NO!!! YOU are in the hospital!!!" ..."NO, I'm fine, You are in the hospital!!!" ...
I work with mentally challenged adults and every day I have two older men, in their late 50s, who argue all day long. Every afternoon before it's time to go home they share a nutter butter bar and each has a Coke and sits and talk with old friends. It blows my mind every day but it's oddly touching.
my sister is the director of a psychiatric hospital. there was recently a lady there who would cut her arms, legs, torso open and place photographs of her family under her skin.
Only slightly off-topic:
I used to volunteer at an elderly care facility. We had this one guy with dementia who would complain to me every Sunday morning that his son was a deadbeat and would never show up to visit him.
Every Sunday afternoon, the son would come visit. So sad to see the brain go like that.