Sitting in a blue room, shaking with tears rolling down my face. A strange woman tries to ask me for the fifth time if I know the cause of my depression. For those who want to know what went on in my first CAMHS counselling session those sentences will sum it. I was expecting a lot of horrible things to happen during the session, and I’m glad to say most of them did not occur.
So at your CAMHS appointment you will sit down in the waiting room (actually… that’s like most appointments). I remember the waiting room to be mostly blue and white, and in fact the other rooms I looked in where also very blue. After telling the woman at the desk I had arrived for my appointment I sat down. There were magazines for teenagers and toys for younger children but I chose to just sit and wait. After about 10 minutes another woman came into the room. They shook hands with me and my mum, then led me to the other side of the building. This was my counsellor.
We were the only two in the room she took me to, however there were six or seven chairs in a circle as you would expect for a group meeting. I chose a seat and she sat down next to me. The first five minutes of our conversation were mostly introductions and her telling me she would try to help as much as she can while taking down notes. Then it begin! “So, what do you think is wrong with you?”, “When did your depression begin?”, “Do you always feel sad?”. Question after question, at first I thought I was on a quiz show, with the grand prize being the eradication of my depression.
What CAMHS Will Question You About:
– What you think is wrong with you, and how it began
– Your home, school and social life
– Who you are close to, and relationship with family
– Symptoms of mental illness (do you? how long?)
– Whether you use drugs and alcohol
– Anything which might help them find the cause of your problems
You can refuse to answer any question, if you stay silent they will move on and possibly come back to it later.
Yes, everything I have mentioned above they asked me about. As the conversation went on I became more anxious. I was shaking within about 10 minutes, and my counsellor kept asking me about it. We eventually got onto the things I did not want to talk about such as my suicidal thoughts and self-harming. I do not mind talking to my counsellor about them when I know them better, but I had only known them for half an hour. I was shaking a lot, looking down and the other way, tears were rolling down my faces and my breathing was starting to become heavy. A panic attack you might say.
Throughout the whole conversation, the counsellor remained calm and did not make me answer anything I did not want to answer. When they realised I was not going to answer any more questions (I responded to the last ten with “I don’t know”) they booked me another session for next Wednesday. This session lasted about 50 minutes, and then we went back to the waiting room. The counsellor collected my mum and they talked privately for another 30 minutes, I presume it was about my home life but it could be anything. Then we left…
I wrote this for those who worry about their first CAMHS appointment (or any appointment). I know I was worrying about it, and I have talked to many other people who worry about it. My message is simple, don’t worry. Okay, so I had a panic attack but nothing bad really happened. Do you have any memorable counselling sessions? Share your stories below.