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Upset after CAMHS assessment - is this usually how it goes?

(13 Posts)
crisplovingworriedmum Thu 28-Jan-16 14:51:14

So DD has recently turned 17. In November I suggested she see the GP as she appeared very up and down emotionally, socially extremely anxious and apathetic. She can be quite difficult to live with, and I was worried she might be depressed, she agreed and we went to the GP. I went with her but waited outside at her request. The GP referred her to CAMHS - DD said he wanted to make sure she wasn't bipolar but didn't prescribe anything, preferring to wait and see what CAMHS said (which I totally understand and agree with). I don't know how much of her 'up and down-ness' is normal teenage stuff or how much is something serious.

We had the CAMHS assessment today, the MH practitioner was lovely but apart from taking a brief family history and medical history of basic stuff eg birth details, development etc as well as a family tree she didn't ask me anything about what I thought was going on with DD. She then asked me to wait outside whilst she spoke to DD alone (of course) - I waited 40 minutes, then was called back in and told they would do some sessions together every couple of weeks, thank you and goodbye.

I was surprised, I know the priority is DD and how she feels and what she wants in terms of support - it's not about me. However I feel like I've had no input into her assessment, how she is to live with, my concerns or my take on our family dynamics. I totally understand she's heading for adulthood and is absolutely entitled to privacy and confidentiality, but I find it strange that I have no input at all.

I suppose I just have to step back, wait and see how the sessions evolve and whether DD becomes more talkative but I do feel very detached from the process.

Sorry for the long essay, just wondered if this was normal or am I just silly.

PS name changed as DD knows my regular username on MN!

AndNowItsSeven Thu 28-Jan-16 14:55:57

No it's not normal my dd is 17 and will only see dd alone ( dd always declines) after she has spoke to dd with myself present. Under the camhs model there should be a mixture of parental involvement and individual time with the dc if they agree.

AndNowItsSeven Thu 28-Jan-16 14:56:48

Sorry I meant my dd's psychiatrist and psychologists will only see dd alone after see us together .....

mummytime Thu 28-Jan-16 15:10:02

My DD is very reluctant to have me involved in her sessions, after a few her MH nurse does call me in for a bit, but they have discussed the limits of what they can discuss in front of me (there is still something she doesn't want me to know, but I now know its not "that bad"). At 17 they are pretty much an adult, and I know my DD is both terrified I would reject her if I knew everything and embarrassed. I'm hoping eventually with the treatment she will be able to share with me.

And I certainly would expect them to ask me my assessment, unless she was really having difficulties opening up or expressing herself.

Tomboyinatutu Thu 28-Jan-16 15:17:25

I went through CAMHS when I was a teenager. It was up to me if I wanted my mum or anyone else involved and they were only allowed to tell her what I wanted them to. I was 15. They need to make the young person feel safe to open up to them.

crisplovingworriedmum Thu 28-Jan-16 15:20:35

Thank you for your replies.

I knew DD would be reluctant for me to be there but I suppose I thought I'd have more input, especially at the initial assessment. I know technically she's nearly an adult but she lives at home, so surely can't be assessed "in isolation" if you know what I mean.

mummytime Thu 28-Jan-16 17:03:55

If they do think it is a "family" issue they can request to run "family therapy" sessions, but these are usually in addition to the main ones. You can phone (our ones number is in the phone book) and DDs therapist is often willing/keen to speak to me then if she is free. It is better than you speaking in front of your DD, or her being excluded from a meeting where you talk about her.

Woodenmouse Thu 28-Jan-16 17:09:09

I went through camhs when in was a teenager. I was 16/17 at the time apart from an initial meeting with my parents my psychiatrist never had any thing to consort them although a couple of times she did ask if i would like to discuss certain things with them in the room (I always said no). But this was over 10 years ago so I guess things will have changed!!

Clare1971 Thu 28-Jan-16 18:37:34

It sounds as if your DD has opened up to them enough for them to feel they can work with her which is great. They have offered her more sessions which means that a) they do think there are mental health issues which she needs help with and b) that she is willing and able to work on them with them. All of this is good news. Also, at 17, it will be so much better for her emotionally if she feels she is leading the treatment and you are in the background for support - it will give her confidence to feel she can take steps herself to get better. As frustrating as it is, it actually sounds pretty positive to me. In our case I drag DD along to CAMHS, she doesn't speak, I talk far too much and nothing changes - not good at all. If they had a real concern about your DD's safety they would tell you.

simbobs Fri 12-Feb-16 19:44:56

There seem to be several threads with similar issues at the moment. I sympathise with the OP as , too, have been uninvolved in my DD's consultations, and feel that there are a couple of things that I should be able to make them aware of so that they can better understandd her. I am pretty sure from the few things that she has said that they do not really get her. This may be partly why she is getting less out of the sessions.

simbobs Fri 12-Feb-16 19:47:26

By the way, I have no confidence that they would tell me if she was at risk of harm. I have read in her notes (surreptitiously) about self harm and suicidal ideation, none of which has been shared with me by either my child or her therapist.

Clare1971 Sat 13-Feb-16 12:26:05

simbobs if she hasn't shared those thoughts with them then I guess they might not be aware of them. Also, if a young person says they are having suicidal thoughts the therapist will assess how at risk they think they are and only share with you if they feel there is a reasonable risk that they will actually act on the thoughts. They judge it by asking if they have any plans for how they would carry it out, also, if they talk about things they are looking forward to in the future (eg: parties, holidays etc) that tends to be seen as lessening the chances of a suicide attempt. I suppose if they told you everything the young person would stop telling them things so they have to judge when they think there is a real risk. It must be very hard and I wouldn't want to be in their position to be honest. Therapists don't seem to worry over much about self harm (eg: cutting) on it's own. In fact they often talk about this being a 'coping mechanism'. I'd second the suggestion that you ring the therapist though. I've done this and I don't know if they take any notice but I figure it can't do much harm. I do find CAHMS pretty crap but then maybe there aren't any solutions and I'm expecting too much.

plantlady Wed 17-Feb-16 15:18:58

DS is 16.8 and has had a different experience with CAMHS. He's recently been diagnosed Aspergers with anxiety and last month severe depression and is now on medication. I've been involved every step of the way as he has asked that I stay with him for every meeting. The last one yesterday I even had to speak for him at times as he couldn't cope. The psychologists we've met have been great. there have been a couple of meetings when he was first assessed for Aspergers when he was met on his own but that's all. however I will say that the meetings can be pretty traumatic (how do the staff cope hearing stuff like that all the time?) as DS thinks about suicide quite a lot but thankfully at the moment isn't showing signs of acting on those thoughts. DS also likes me in the meetings then I know what they know which helps with lines of communication. Perhaps our experience is unusual.

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