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Mental health assessment

(7 Posts)
Littleknownmumto1 Sat 27-Aug-16 21:29:25

I previously posted here and got some helpful responses about suffering from intrusive thoughtso since my daughter was born. I finally plucked up the courage to go to see my gp. He has given memail some antidepressants and referred me for a mental health assessment. Has anyone here had one of these? What can I expect? Do they get the health visitors or social services involved? I'm petrified that they're going to question my ability to look after my daughter. Thanks in advance x

dangermouseisace Sat 27-Aug-16 21:41:59

hiya I've had quite a few….

most of the time it's just MH services. MH services/GP will refer to social services if they have concerns or think you might benefit from support with your parenting. In the past when I've had a young baby the health visitor has known about the MH assessment. Basically you'll get someone visit you, usually a psychiatric nurse or a doctor and they will ask you lots of questions about your history, thoughts, any self harm, family history etc. Changes in appetite, sleep etc etc.

Don't worry- they don't automatically question your ability to look after your daughter. I've got social services involvement at present due to some of my thoughts. I've actually said that I am not capable of looking after my children and the social worker thinks I'm just unwell rather than incapable…it's pretty hard to convince them you can't look after a child!

So, the essence is, you have nothing to worry about.

YouOKHun Mon 29-Aug-16 18:22:15

It might be that your GP has referred you to IAPT (the bit of the NHS that provides CBT and other talking therapies). Is it a telephone assessment OP or face to face?

Littleknownmumto1 Mon 29-Aug-16 18:36:46

He has refered me for 'psychotherapy' apparently. It's a face to face assessment. Although it's the most ridiculous way, you turn up on a Tuesday or Thursday, take a ticket and sit and wait until you're called. (Which I think sounds super degrading) I am really dreading it.

YouOKHun Mon 29-Aug-16 18:54:34

The ticket thing is a new one to me confused. I'm a psychotherapist in the NHS and in private practice. On my NHS days I sometimes do telephone or face to face assessments. The purpose is not to catch you out or make you feel bad but rather to get a better idea of your problem to check if the service is going to meet your needs or if you need a referral to a different type of help. IAPT deals with depression and anxiety cases and problems like OCD, GAD, trauma. If someone has a diagnosis such as bi polar or personality disorder they are referred on to more specialised help. Assessments start off by finding out about any previous MH support and about general habits and history. We give questionnaires like the PHQ (measuring depression and the GAD7 which measures anxiety. They are simplified but give a bit of a measure. Then I discuss the problem, what you'd like to be different what various therapies help with and what you'd prefer. We want to help you and don't forget many of us have struggled ourselves because we are human too. I had PND and really struggled with intrusive thoughts myself. Please don't dread it, see it as a chance to get some support with a problem that is very common. The assessment should end with a mutual decision on what would be best next steps. You might be referred for CBT which is really helpful with anxiety and intrusive thoughts. As a PP said, it's not about questioning your abilities as a mother - we know it's a tough job and we want to help you with it. Best of luck OP flowers

Littleknownmumto1 Mon 29-Aug-16 19:36:05

Thank you, so much. I really appreciate it and I think I was in desperate need of someone to just reassure me that this isn't about judging me as a mum or a person.

YouOKHun Mon 29-Aug-16 20:57:29

I'm so glad you're reassured about judgement - non judgemental regard for a client is central to our training. Don't let the ticket thing throw you either; services are so busy that they can feel initially like a bit of a conveyor belt but stick with it. I can't diagnose you over the airwaves and wouldn't dream of doing so but you might want to look at some of the literature re OCD, intrusive thoughts tend to come under the heading of this very common anxiety disorder. Most people think OCD is about obsessive washing or checking both of which start with thoughts but intrusive thoughts are a very common version of it. I found this thread from a young lad who has recently finished CBT for his OTs and I think he describes well how he felt and how he has managed this OTs and changed his responses to them. (Note: a couple of the thoughts he briefly describes are possibly triggering for some)
You could also look at this very good book by a leading expert, if it's too much to buy then you should be able to borrow it through the 'books on prescription' scheme at your local library: I'll stop droning on now - good luck OP!

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