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Finally have a Camhs appointment for my teenager. Can you give me your best advice so we don’t get fobbed off?

(25 Posts)
ihatethecold Mon 12-Feb-18 16:10:09

My dd14 has awful anxiety. She is on a reduced and flexible timetable with school because she has such bad panic attacks whilst there and severe anxiety before she goes.
She isn’t self harming and we are not in crisis but we’ve waited ages to get her an assessment.
I suspect she has PTSD caused by the hideous bullying by her so called “friend”
So bad the police were involved!
This was over a year ago and she hasn’t improved.
It’s been so stressful and my dd desperately wants to be rid of the anxiety.
I have a feeling she won’t be taken on because she isn’t bad enough so I need advice from you experienced parents please, so they have to do something.

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ihatethecold Mon 12-Feb-18 17:35:25


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yawning801 Mon 12-Feb-18 17:37:12

Your poor DD. I have no advice I'm afraid, but good luck and here's a bump.

imip Mon 12-Feb-18 17:40:59

Be absolutely clear on what you want. Really emphasise that dd is on a reduced timetable.

I have a dc with ASD and e do get cahms help, but not the right help. We are put onto whatever is going at the time. After 2.5 years, we are trying to get the help I’ve asked for, and it came after I specified (very politely) that we’ve done all we can with cahms, but it’s not the help we are after. For reference, my dd self harms and runs away and I have other dc witnessing this regularly. Over the weekend, she started punching me while I was driving.

Cahms differ in their help in differ not boroughs, others may be al9ng with better advice.

TheSecondOfHerName Mon 12-Feb-18 17:47:02

Take a list of the ways in which her illness is affecting her, and the things it stops her from doing (preferably in more than one area of her life, e.g. home and school).

If you don't hear back within the time frame you're expecting, phone the secretary and follow it up. While acutely unwell, my child fell off the case list when the registrar finished the 6 month rotation and was replaced by another and the file wasn't handed over properly. So you need to stay proactive and on top of things.

My child received more support when quite unwell after I asked both the school and the GP to contact CAMHS.

At one point I was advised by CAMHS to take my child to A&E when acutely ill, which triggered a referral to the crisis team, which enabled CAMHS to step up the level of support.

School would only agree to modify the timetable once we had a letter from a consultant psychiatrist.

TheSecondOfHerName Mon 12-Feb-18 17:52:18

For your daughter's anxiety, CBT might be helpful, plus possibly counselling / psychotherapy to help her work through the bullying experience. If that doesn't help, fluoxetine probably will.

ihatethecold Mon 12-Feb-18 18:15:05

Thanks. The gp helped me get the reduced timetable agreed because we have been waiting for so long.
The school are well aware of my dd’s Lasting anxiety since they dealt with the bullying initially before the police took over.
I don’t know what I want from camhs. Which may sound silly but we’ve become experts in patching my dd up every time she has an episode.
She desperately wants to stay at her school but says she physically can’t some days.

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Iluvthe80s Mon 12-Feb-18 19:14:50

First of all, I'm glad she is on a reduced timetable. She has her whole life ahead of her to play catch up on her exams etc. Until her mental health is sorted, she wont be able to thrive.

I hope the police and parents of the child involved in the bullying dealt with it properly

Our son (ADHD, most proably ASD, Anxiety) has an appt with CAMHS net week after being rejected for treatment twice. His paediatrician witnessed him having an anxiety meltdown (becomes very aggressive) and wrote to CAMHs on our behalf, asking them to support him. So we shall see

He is not tutored at home and we have just had an EHCP confirmed, which will support him further as he moves onto college. I hope you get the right support for your girl

Iluvthe80s Mon 12-Feb-18 19:15:30

"now" tutored at home

Bombardier25966 Mon 12-Feb-18 19:20:13

Can you afford private therapy? Honestly, as your daughter isn't in crisis it's unlikely she'll get much help if anything.

Thank Jeremy *unt and every Tory voter for that.

ihatethecold Mon 12-Feb-18 20:31:33

In all honesty Bombadier. I have a long thread that’s been running about seeking private therapy.
All the private therapists near me have long waiting lists.
We’ve seen a psychologist for an assessment about 3 weeks ago and she will try a few sessions of cbt with her starting next week.
I need camhs to see if she may need meds. The GP here won’t prescribe. Say camhs have to deal with it.
It also helps with school if camhs are on my side.

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Iluvthe80s Mon 12-Feb-18 21:28:42

A psychiatrist will have to prescribe meds from CAMHs. Would your daughter agree to taking medication?

TheSecondOfHerName Mon 12-Feb-18 21:33:04

As far as I remember, GPs don't start under 16s on medication for mental illness. So it would have to be prescribed by a doctor from CAMHS in the first instance, but then could be prescribed by the GP each month, so long as she is still being regularly reviewed by CAMHS.

Snowonsnow Mon 12-Feb-18 22:00:24

In my area a young person would have to be in very significant distress before medication would be prescribed. With no self harming I am unsure you would meet the threshold. Also in our area self harm and in fact attempted suicides are not enough to ensure continued CAMHS involvement. There may be something like a group for young people who experience anxiety. They may also be prepared to write a letter for reduced timetable at a specialised PRU if one exists where you are. They are a chronically over stretched and underfunded service, if you are lucky you might get six weeks CBT or similar.

Zebrasmummy Mon 12-Feb-18 22:30:26

Haven't read everything else that's been written, so sorry if I'm repeating things, but I'd go with talking about all the ways the anxiety is effecting and limiting her daily functioning. What doesn't she do because of it? What might she not achieve because of it? What has she given up because of it ? Think what's age appropriate and not possible because of anxiety Etc etc. Anxiety is a mental health condition - CAMHS may just need to know that it's anxiety to a point that hits the eligibility criteria for thier service specifications in your locality. Hope this helps and good luck.

ihatethecold Mon 12-Feb-18 22:35:57

Thanks zebra. That’s very useful.

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Elle8989 Tue 13-Feb-18 00:38:04

I only have experience with my teenage sister with anxiety and the mental health team but it wasn't helpful. I'm only saying this so if your dd doesn't suddenly feel better, not to appear to be disappointed in her. I know you wouldnt mean it to look like this though. I think it's pot luck with where you are/who you see.

Also with any mental health team it can be a very stressful time: waiting lists; pressure to say the right thing; pressure to explain/defend yourself; relive trauma; seeking validation that you are sick enough; mistakes in the sytem; unsympathetic staff.

I'm honestly not trying to put you off seeking help rather suggesting you understand it can feel unstable and to have clear expectations and not to have the mental health appointments a further anxiety for dd. Even if things afterwards don't go well you (hopefully they do though) you could say well that was interesting and I remain hopeful that you will get better. I'm always here to talk anyway no matter what. The last thing you want is her to feel like she's not worth help or needs to self harm before she's taken seriously.

I would ask for talking therapy for post traumatic stress. Bullying should be taken very seriously with mental health so push this point of trauma. It is nothing short of abuse and anxiety goes hand in hand with depression and isolation.

It sounds like you've been through a horrendous time so hats off to you. I hope I wasn't overstepping with my comments.

ihatethecold Tue 13-Feb-18 07:31:59

Thank you Ella

Also with any mental health team it can be a very stressful time: waiting lists; pressure to say the right thing; pressure to explain/defend yourself; relive trauma; seeking validation that you are sick enough; mistakes in the sytem; unsympathetic staff.

This is so true and very well said.

We went through the system with camhs in Dec 2016 with my dd. They said it wasn’t mental health issues at the time and sent us on our way. She didn’t meet the threshold.

We have learnt so much about the system private and nhs since then.

It’s been a very long slog trying to get her better but we have an unwavering commitment to get her there eventually.

She knows we don’t judge her or get exasperated with her when she can’t get out to school.

We have told the school that her mh comes before her education and we won’t budge with that opinion. We are very much guided by my dd. She doesn’t try to bunk off school and really wants to be there full time.

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Elle8989 Tue 13-Feb-18 18:01:11

God if only all mums were like you. I can see you are going in with eyes wide open and so nice to read how supportive and loving you are to your dd. I'm sure your commitment will pay off and she will get the help she needs this time. Best of luck

chocolateworshipper Tue 13-Feb-18 19:43:27

My DD took an OD at 14. Got referred to CAMHS. I made sure that we told them everything, including that I had a history of MH problems and felt very unsure of my own ability to support her. They decided it wasn't serious enough and they didn't need to do anything. She took another OD.

I truly wish you all the luck in the world and I hope CAMHS in your area are better than here

ihatethecold Tue 13-Feb-18 21:11:23

Unfortunately chocolate camhs in my area are the worst performing in the country which is reassuring. 🙄

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ihatethecold Tue 13-Feb-18 21:12:28

How is your dd now chocolate? I’m so sorry to read she was so unwell.

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chocolateworshipper Tue 13-Feb-18 21:26:52

It's been almost 3 years now since the second OD. We went private after CAMHS failed us - luckily DH's medical insurance paid for the psychiatrist but we paid for the therapist. She hasn't self-harmed in over 2 years. It was an unbelievably hard journey, but she's mainly OK now. She did OK in GCSEs - enough to get to college (nowhere near as well as she could have done if she hadn't had the MH problems). She's nearly at the end of college, and I will breathe such a huge sigh of relief when she does finish as she will have enough qualifications to have lots of options available to her. I still panic when I see she is phoning me, but not quite as much as I used to.

ihatethecold Thu 15-Feb-18 07:17:11

It’s so hard isn’t it chocolate?
I’ve gone through the forms wth my dd last night. She was very honest answering the tons of questions.

The anxiety has become so bad that she is having a full on attack at the thought of visiting family members that she is very close to.
It took us over 2 hours to get out of the door and her in a fit state to get in the car.
I keep telling her that the anxiety plays tricks on her brain making her believe she can’t do something she knows she can.
Such a cruel illness.

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chocolateworshipper Thu 15-Feb-18 15:02:54

It’s so hard isn’t it chocolate?

Incredibly so. Wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

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