CAMHS insist I must see a psychiatrist - please help

(48 Posts)
plshelpnamechange Sat 16-Apr-11 03:50:15

Please can anyone help me as you can see I cant sleep and am feeling quite desperate. For the first time in my life I just have no idea what to do next and whom to trust.

I have had a meeting with my childs psychiatrist today, she is part of the CAMHS multi disciplinary team that were helping us. My husband and I have attended 6 months of meetings with CAMHS to try to establish a reason for my DS?s problems. I was asked to come alone today and discovered that this psychiatrist insists that I see a psychiatrist myself. She stated that I am the only person who sees anything different with my 6 year old DS, apparently everyone else states he is normal even school, despite their reporting issues to me and my DS having endured an undiagnosed medical condition for at least 2 years. My husband has attended every meeting and we are in total agreement and others actually suggested the differences years before we would ever consider it. I accept that I have been too forceful in seeking help for my DS but I just want all their happiness and health and will do anything in my power to provide it. I admit that I have found the NHS slow and frustrating and at times incompetent and very different to my professional life pre children and in hindsight I may not have hidden these feelings.

The multi disciplinary team state that they find my child charming and delightful (which is true with adults, I find it the same, his interest in everything is infectious). I think the psychiatrist is suggesting munchausens, this was discussed and certainly not denied in the meeting today. I have read up about this tonight and it is absolutely frightening as it is clearly stated as child abuse. The psychiatrist stated that every professional involved with us (not just those in the CAMHS team) reports that I have failed to bond with any of my children and do not connect with them, this appears to include my health visitor. I thought I had the most wonderful experience of motherhood, absolutely loving it and having 2 other children with no issues.

I actually thought I was a natural mother, it seemed to come so easily and I was so relaxed that I initially welcomed home visits from CAMHS thinking they would be helpful and supportive and non judgemental. I never dreamt the outcome would include possible neglect and a suggestion that I do not feed my eldest. I was told that I had no idea how to comfort my youngest when seen to cry on the CAMHS home visit whom I thought/still think is the happiest toddler ever with an absolute love of life and constant interaction. I was told that I had/still have PND. Having supported several friends through PND I cant believe anyone would ever think I had/have it as my hormones certainly had the reverse effect. I had always appreciated how lucky I was and just thought this was genetic as my mother was the same and in part due to successful sole breastfeeding and use of sling etc.

CAMHS plan to have a professionals meeting to discuss all this and will then feedback to us. Unfortunately I have made several complaints about misdiagnosis and mistakes in particular where a major medical condition took 2 years to be diagnosed in my child and if NICE protocol had been followed it should have been found on the very first appointment. This could potentially have saved my child 2 years of very serious distress. Aside from the school all the medical personnel invited to the meeting are the ones I have made complaints about! The paediatrician whom we have seen regularly for 4 years and I think I may still trust is not invited, nor is my GP. Aside from anything else I obviously dont want the school to be told these things about me as my younger two have still to start there and my eldest has years more there. I had asked CAMHS to speak to some people outside the medical professions ie playgroups, clubs, friends, family just anyone who sees me regularly with my children but they have refused. Does anyone know if it is standard procedure that parents cannot attend the professionals meeting and if so can we send a representative and whom would you recommend?

My husband is also in absolute shock at this news and just cannot believe they can think I am the problem and that he had trusted them. Luckily he is still totally supportive to me and I have always believed and still believe that he thinks I am doing a great job and marvels at my patience. I am not a saint and I was sure there were parenting techniques we could improve and I thought that I welcomed any recommendations CAMHS had to offer, until now! I expected the advice to focus on my eldest as the second responds brilliantly to all praise and has great behaviour as is naturally compliant and the youngest is just a very happy one year old.

Unfortunately my mother knew Sally Clark and was severely affected by her case and other situations and she has absolutely no trust in the system here and is telling me to emigrate which is certainly not helping me to sleep! Surely a whole team cannot get it so wrong? How can I survive the next month until the meeting?

****Has any one experienced any accusations, maybe munchausens or an instruction for psychiatric help or lack of bonding when they have just been seeking help for their child? Does anyone have any advice or know how the CAMHS system works in this respect? How can you ever cope with this? My hands are still shaking after 12 hours. Please help me.*****

Many thanks.

Apologies for the length of post and any errors as I am very emotional. Should I post this somewhere else as we have no special needs diagnosis but where as I need support?

OP’s posts: |
justaboutWILLfinishherthesis Sat 16-Apr-11 06:44:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

justaboutWILLfinishherthesis Sat 16-Apr-11 06:46:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Peaceflower Sat 16-Apr-11 07:44:23

I'm shock and don't know what to say sad. however I agree you need to seek independent/legal help.

I know it's nowhere near the same, but when my dd reacted badly to professionals trying ways to engage with her, using tactics I had warned weren't helpful, I was accused of "setting things up to fail" and "sabotaging every attempt". I had also made a complaint against a professional.

I only found this out when I made a Subject Access Request for dd's files. No one had actually come out and said this to me.

Luckily with patience and politely (gritted) playing their game, they have come round.

justaboutWILLfinishherthesis Sat 16-Apr-11 07:52:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

justaboutWILLfinishherthesis Sat 16-Apr-11 07:52:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TotalChaos Sat 16-Apr-11 08:05:19

Sorry, not got any relevant experience/knowledge so can't really offer more than my most sincere sympathy for the way you are being treated. Agree with seeking legal advice. Would have thought as well as playgroup leaders etc, HV and GP could also be good people to vouch for you. May also be worth talking to your local NAS branch and/or the national NAS helpline (assuming it's some sort of spectrummy condition that's been considered) to see if others have had problems with CAMHS in you area.

TotalChaos Sat 16-Apr-11 08:06:26

am sure noone will have any issues with you posting on SN, for a wider audience the only other place I would suggest for a hopefully sympathetic audience would be the feminist board.

lisad123isasnuttyasaboxoffrogs Sat 16-Apr-11 08:38:10

Ok, parents are not allowed at professionals meeting but you are allowed minutes afterwards.
Get yourself some legal advice now. Ask for written evidence of all they have said, who said it, dates and observations of this behaviour they say you s
Go and talk to GP and ask him to request to be part of the meeting and ask in writing while they haven't invited pead and make it clear you want a written reply.
Has your son got a dx yet? What was the reason for Camh being involved in first place?
Now this is going to go against the grain BUT do what they request of you, sit in hands about complaints until this blows over. Htt

justaboutWILLfinishherthesis Sat 16-Apr-11 08:56:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bochead Sat 16-Apr-11 10:35:20

1. Get a family law solicitor NOW
2. Do a FOI request to find out what's in the files.
3. If you can afford it get an independent specalist report (shrink or pysch) stating you are in totally sound mind ; )
4. Go and talk to your GP to see where the land lies there - some are wonderful and others chocolat teapots.

Picking on the Mum when the pros fook up seems to be standard protocol.

StarlightMcKenzie Sat 16-Apr-11 10:36:31

What Lisa said.

Collect evidence. Demand evidence. Write to them. Get the details.

And then, do whatever they ask, making sure though that you get records of everything they ask you to do, what you do, what they do and what they say.

Whilst you must attend every meeting/phonecall/observation etc. you don't actually have to say a lot, and you don't have to defend yourself.

You can answer each question with 'hmm, I'll need to think about that and get back to you', or 'Oh, is that what you think? WHy is that?' In short, you can say very little and give away very little face-to-face. However, you must then go home and consider the answers and submit them in writing where you can. You don't want it going down on record that 'X couldn't remember whether she punished her children for bad behaviour', even if you are too flustered or frightened to talk about it at the meeting.

StarlightMcKenzie Sat 16-Apr-11 10:39:29

'Picking on the Mum when the pros fook up seems to be standard protocol'

Yes this does happen, unfortunately. I have a record that states that all my complaints are all about MY needs rather than my ds'.

I have had a social services investigation for 'arguing with professionals'.

I'm not sure that it is standard protocol though, but certainly not unheard of.

OP, not at all doubting your story, but sometimes through our frustration we can turn things into a bigger drama than might strictly be necessary. Has this happened in any of your battles? You said you fight 'too' hard (although I'm not sure that anyone can fight too hard to be honest).

mariamagdalena Sat 16-Apr-11 11:59:55

General adult psychiatry services are quite busy enough dealing with severe psychiatric disorders, and will have no desire to label a healthy parent as unwell. They're usually allocated on a postcode basis. Go and ask your GP his/her experiences of your local shrink on Monday; if they are reputed to be sensible, then ask for an urgent referral straight away. An NHS opinion that you are sane will reinforce any more detailed private opinions.

Take some control of the process and you'll find it much less threatening... so you'll find it easier to demonstrate that you are either a somewhat over-anxious parent with insufficient tolerance for less-than-top standard services, or completely right all along and deserving of recognition. And it goes without saying that you should follow all the other good advice above.

plshelpnamechange Sat 16-Apr-11 12:49:43

Thank you so much for all the support and great advice, I really do appreciate it.

Justaboutwill - Regarding the suggestion of letters of support from other people like clubs this is exactly what I want to do but am concerned that it may be portrayed as a negative suggesting that I am manipulating people to support me rather than just facing my perceived problems. My instinct is to build up a folder of letters of support myself and then decide whether to use it.

lisad123 – i know this is sensible advice and is something I am going to find difficult as my concern is that if the professionals time is diverted to me it will be at the expense of focus on my son but I will try.

bochead- Great idea, I will certainly look at a private psychiatrist as I dont have anything to hide. Does anyone have any recommendations on how to find a very well respected one whose opinion would not be discounted.

I understand that we cannot attend the professionals meeting but can we send a representative?

Starlight – Thank you for sharing your experiences. Yes it has all turned into a much bigger drama than the situation requires. It need not have been a drama if I had not been faced with so many delays and conflicting medical advice. I accept I have not helped the situation by complaining about every mistake and chasing each delay and that I have been very frustrated as I had never encountered any situations like this until my dealings with the NHS. I totally admit this but I had only one interest at heart that of my DS and the impact it was having on the rest of the family. I had been told that there was no medical reason for his illness after 2 years of investigation so we went down the CAMHS route to rule out ASD etc. Just last week, presumably after the professionals had formed their opinions of me, we found out that there was a medical condition that no one had been able to diagnose. I am obviously very upset that if NICE protocol had been followed this would have been diagnosed at the outset and he would never have suffered and we would never have been referred to CAMHS. Obviously I am blaming myself for how my fighting has been perceived.

Maria – I cant imagine I could get an NHS referral quickly enough. Do you not think the findings of a well respected private psychiatrist would be accepted?

Is there anyone who has encountered any other similar situations?

Thank you all so much.

OP’s posts: |
StarlightMcKenzie Sat 16-Apr-11 13:18:20

I don't think it is intentional, or deliberate, but when faced with a trouble-maker parent who is complaining, it is more comfortable to perceive it as their problem than explore the idea that you are delivering a shite service and don't know your arse from your elbow in this particular case.

A parent who is nit-picky can be seen as having neurotic tendencies or being over-anxious, and then that can be extrapolated as them puting their anxieties onto their child.

I haven't been there exactly, but I escaped by the skin of my teeth. When it started to look like we were going there I gathered a number of supportive people around me who supported what I was doing and were prepared to give a character reference if required. You will find these people if you need them.

justaboutWILLfinishherthesis Sat 16-Apr-11 13:19:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

timsays Sat 16-Apr-11 13:46:06

I have come quite close to this situation (namechanger) although not as serious as this. It definitely seems to be an approach that CAMHS services use with some parents - you are not alone.

I agree with the advice given above, especially getting a private referral, using the FOI act to gain access to information and seeking legal help.

You might have to make use of the FOI act several times - through your GP, CAMHS, your child's school.

I'd also recommend researching carefully if you want to go private - it will inevitably trigger accusations of 'buying' a report so you need someone with a strong reputation in the area you need. Perhaps look up some literature on the leading experts in MSBP and see if they'll take private patients? The Priory have some excellent psychiatrists (I used one for my case) but I don't know if they have expertise in this area.

There might be an advocacy service in your area which could help - search Action for Advocacy. I have to be honest though and say that if you can afford it, legal help might be more efficient as my experience of voluntary advocacy is that they're too overstretched to be thorough and also prefer to prioritise clients who wouldn't be able to pay.

working9while5 Sat 16-Apr-11 13:53:45

I don't normally comment on posts in this forum that are not directly related to SLT but I had to respond to you.

The practical advice re: a solicitor/FOI request is good.

This sounds like CAMHs seeing things through a very particular lens. I do know of a case where this happened where a mother was accused of fabricating her son having "fits". Thankfully medical investigations proved the team wrong.

I am deeply sorry for anyone having to go through this. You do need legal advice though, and fast.

purplerabbitofinle Sat 16-Apr-11 14:38:13

Lots of good advice. I have nothing to add except that if you're in the south pm me if you fancy coffee and a listening ear

purplerabbitofinle Sat 16-Apr-11 14:38:25

Lots of good advice. I have nothing to add except that if you're in the south pm me if you fancy coffee and a listening ear

Bigpants1 Sat 16-Apr-11 17:52:27

Are you in Glasgow?! I know a child &adolescent psychiatrist there that could "share " her unfounded views like you describe.
Even if youre not, pm me and I can share my experience with you-not same, but has some similarities.

plshelpnamechange Sat 16-Apr-11 22:27:34

Thank you all again for the support and great advice, I really do appreciate it.

Luckily we are in a situation where we can access any help privately if required.

I understand that we cannot attend the professionals meeting but can we send a representative?

Is there anyone who has encountered any other similar situations with psychiatrists etc?

I am concerned about my husband too as I dont think he has the support around him. I have this fantastic forum and some amazing friends whom I can confide in. His father had a stroke and was bedridden until his death at a similar age to my husband now. I had always said that he wouldnt inherit these health issues as his father had stress but this situation must be unbelievably stressful for him now. We had been so lucky to have no real stress other than the concern with our sons health.

Thank you all so much.

OP’s posts: |
Frustrated2003 Sun 17-Apr-11 03:01:03


I know a good clinical psychiatrist she has just done a fantastic report on my son and highlighted how education, social care and NHS have failed to support my son and have increased his difficulties.

Let me know and will PM you her details

Frustrated2003 Sun 17-Apr-11 03:35:02

If its a professionals only meeting I dont beleive you will be able to send a representative, I would check if Children Services are going to be there as it might be a strategy meeting if thats the case and they may decide to take to child protection case conference if they are looking at you for a mental health condition and are indicating you are the root cause of issues for your son.

I work in the system and its pants hwo they treat parents, really worries me as some cant defend themselves, and how these people sleep at night I never know.

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