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knownaslonerknownasloner United KingdomPosts: 48 Boards Initiate
edited March 2020 in Health & Wellbeing

It’s taken me years to take the step to see my gp about my [still increasing] list of struggles, and when about a month ago I finally did, I was referred to CAMHS. 

My appointment isn’t for another month yet [and could be delayed due to COVID-19] but I’m worried about what will happen when I talk with them and what I’m allowed to say. Also, as I haven’t been diagnosed with a mental illness, would CAMHS be able to diagnose me if they thought it was necessary? At the moment I’m just self-diagnosing as I’ve done a lot of research into anxiety disorders and personality disorders and I feel I fit practically all of the criteria for one or two disorders. If anyone here has experienced CAMHS, I’d appreciate it if you could share your experience [i don’t mean what you talked about because that’s confidential] and what it was like. But only if you’re comfortable opening up about it. 

I struggle to talk about my feelings with others, even professionals, as it makes me extremely uncomfortable and I worry about being laughed at or belittled as it’s happened in the past with teachers, “friends” and my parents. I’ve written down the feelings, thoughts and intense emotions/mood swings I experience but I don’t know if a CAMHS worker would be able to read it instead of me having to struggle to explain everything.


  • ZenZen Living the Zen life 🧘🏼‍♀️ Posts: 1,993 Extreme Poster

    I was referred to CAMHS a while ago and I'd be happy to share my experience as I know how nerve wracking it can be!

    When I got there, they asked my to fill in a form which had questions about what I had been experiencing e.g. Rank how often I've been feeling low on a scale of 1-5, they also asked for a few contact details. 

    Once I had done this a woman introduced herself (psychologist) and we went into a private room where she asked me some more questions and she wrote some notes down. She also asked if I wanted a copy of the notes. She then asked what I wanted to get from the referral in terms of treatment etc. I'm not sure if they would give you a formal diagnosis until you've spoken to someone higher up than the person at your initial referral. It's just their job to get you set up and in the system I think.

    I sounds like a good idea to take in what you wrote down and I'm sure they'd be more than happy to read it.

    At the end we discussed what would happen next and then I just went home. 

    Eleanor <3
    Alis propriis volat 
  • knownaslonerknownasloner United KingdomPosts: 48 Boards Initiate

    Thank you, that’s helped me get a better idea of what I should expect. I was told by my gp that sometimes people don’t get accepted by CAMHS, do you know why they might not help someone after the initial meeting? It’s okay if you don’t.

    When you went into a private room, did someone else [parent, guardian etc] go in with you or were you allowed to speak to them on your own? My mum is quite pushy at times [she wouldn’t let me speak to my gp alone], especially about this kind of thing, but I would rather some of the things would be private between me and whoever at CAMHS I speak to. I wouldn’t be able to speak freely with my mum there.
  • ZenZen Living the Zen life 🧘🏼‍♀️ Posts: 1,993 Extreme Poster

    I didn't get any help after my initial meeting but that was because I needed a referral to the psychiatrist for a new medication. I wasn't allowed to take this medication until I was 18 unless the psychiatrist would prescribe it. However the waiting list to see the psychiatrist was 6 months long but I was 18 in 3 months so I was quicker to wait until my GP could give it to me.

    I went by myself to the place it was but you can either go in by yourself or with someone else, it's your choice I believe. 
    Alis propriis volat 
  • ThePigeonsThePigeons Posts: 199 Trailblazer
    You could always ask about diagnoses and explain that it might make you feel more at ease if that's the case. Professionals respond really different than friends and family in my experience. Even when I said some shocking things they responded calm and just asked me more about it, or talked about how it was normal during the circumstances. Just be open if you're not comfortable talking about it. Maybe they can read it. It could be that they ask you to read it out loud. But tell them you're not ready if you're not.

    Know it's okay to show emotions, cry, they are used to it. It was uncomfortable to me at first but it's helpful, and they've seen a lot.
    ᴛʜᴇ ᴍɪɴᴅ ɪs ᴛʜᴇ ᴋᴇʏ ᴛʜᴀᴛ sᴇᴛs ʏᴏᴜ ғʀᴇᴇ
  • ZenZen Living the Zen life 🧘🏼‍♀️ Posts: 1,993 Extreme Poster
    @mistermind They didn't explain anything, they just asked it as an open ended question and waited for my reply. When they found out that it would be quicker for me to turn 18 than to go on the waiting list she just told me to go home. She gave me a leaflet for a talking therapy near me but I didn't go to get therapy because I already had that, I went in terms of medication. 
    Alis propriis volat 
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