The CAMHS Crisis: My Counsellor Killed Me

Well, it’s me again, and I’ve just got back from my CAMHS counsellor who I am now certain is trying to kill me. When you say you have a plan to kill yourself shortly after attempting an overdose, you should expect some help. Well… not if you have my counsellor. I’ve heard countless stories about this before but I thought maybe CAMHS could help me, at least they have now shown me their true colours.

You will notice that as I write this the drugs from my overdose have probably left my system since I am pumped with adrenaline, ready to complain about how CAMHS, run by the NHS who is owned by the government, doesn’t want to help me and is essentially leaving me to die.

Prior to my meeting today they had been informed by my college counsellor that I had taken an overdose on Saturday night. I’m still alive if you are wondering (seriously, you should have guessed) and I was starting to feel a little bit better until I saw CAMHS. They also know that I actively self-harm, and that I am currently receiving very little help. I get help from my GP who I see once a week but they are only their to listen to me. I get help from the college counsellor, who is someone who will actually listen to me. CAMHS also know that I am not very happy with them, since they told me that they could not help me with my depression that they haven’t diagnosed yet (the GP believes I have it though).

The meeting started off with talking about my overdose. I wasn’t exactly sure what they wanted me to tell them. They already know what I took, when I took it and what happened afterwards regarding college and the NHS. The only information I could give them was that I told my friend after the overdose happened, and that they told me to go to see a doctor. I didn’t see a doctor, CAMHS did not really care why. CAMHS were not that interested in why I overdosed but I believe they asked me once, possibly twice. They were very concerned about why I told that particular friend. Do they believe I am a bad person for not telling my other friends? Do I have a secret illegal drug deal with this friend and I must tell them I might die, which means they don’t get their regular fix? I wouldn’t be surprised if that is what CAMHS believed. Anyway, I gave them some information added onto what they already know. You can’t say I’m not communicating.

Next they gave me a questionnaire to complete, their were over 100 questions on it. For each question I had to answer with “Never”, “Sometimes”, “Often” or “Always”. Only a few questions were yes or no. Pretty simple, and it should be obvious in some cases whether the person answering will need help. I’ll show you some of my answers to the questions.

Do you self-harm?
Yes
I wish I were dead.
Often
I feel no one loves me.
Often
Do you have a plan to kill yourself?
Yes

Now if someone came up to me and said they regularly cut themselves, they have no one that loves them, that they wish they were dead and had a plan to do it I would be extremely concerned about them, and would try to give them all the help I could get. If I also knew about their recent attempt to overdose I would be in tears. Apparently CAMHS don’t care though, as you’ll see through the rest of the post. I also want to note that I don’t actually have another plan yet but I’m thinking, I do still have my rope from ages ago.

So after this questionnaire they decided they were going to pass me onto their supervisor. I’m guessing they didn’t know what to do with me (I think they are in training still). I small part of my mind makes me think they can’t be bothered to deal with me, but while I’m thinking straight I’ll say that probably isn’t the case. I wouldn’t be surprised though it they couldn’t be bothered. They sent me back to the waiting area with my mum while the counsellor and supervisor talked.

A short while of waiting and I’m being led into a room with both the counsellor and supervisor. The supervisor is now pretending they know everything about my life, claiming that I am embarrassed to talk about whatever I wont talk about. They were certain I was embarrassed, after only a few minutes of knowing me (or not really knowing me). They found out a few things about my personal life such as what relatives lived with me and what I study at college. They are so quick to judge, if I were to judge them I would say they haven’t had a proper education. In fact I have convinced myself that when I get my A-Level maths qualification in the summer I will be a better qualified psychologist than them. Yes, I’m convinced. The whole way they act, they believe they know my life story without talking to me, they think they know everything I am thinking. They told me what they “know” I am thinking, and it wasn’t. They don’t seem to want to discuss it very much, so I don’t really have much of a chance to tell them. I wouldn’t want to talk to someone as rude as them anyway.

So they were stuck, their detective skills were unable to figure out everything so they brought my mum in the room. They then talked to my mum as if I weren’t in the room. How was he growing up? Was he dropped on the head is what they were getting at. How is his relationship with his family? What he abused by anyone in the family is what they were getting at. What does he do with his friends? Is he a drug abuser or a prostitute is what they were getting at. How rude, I was wondering if I was invisible at this point. I was beginning to think I was Harry Potter was the invisibility cloak, and Hagrid was about to come at take me to Hogwarts, which would explain why I don’t fit in around here.

The talking went on and on. I can’t remember everything they said as they just talked, didn’t care about me being involved in the conversation, only about making me feel bad. They dropped a lot of hints to make me force them to tell them everything, but they wouldn’t ask me. They hinted at me getting kicked out of college if I don’t tell them, but I’ll talk to my college tomorrow and confirm this isn’t true. They were saying I will be stuck like this forever if I don’t tell them, but I never knew the cure for depression was talking to rude, inconsiderate people. Eventually they allowed me and my mum to leave. Yes, the guy with a plan on killing himself was allowed to walk out of the government organisation designed to keep him safe.

So in the end you can see I am very angry. I was expecting more. One of the questions on the questionnaire was talking about if I wanted help, and I said yes to it so they can’t say I didn’t ask. Even if I didn’t, you would expect them to try and help me. I’m sure a lot of the people who get put on mental wards do not ask for help. I’m not even saying they had to put me in hospital, I received no help for keeping safe or anything. They didn’t tell me to stay with other people to keep safe. They are threatening me saying I must tell them more information during the next meeting or else I won’t be able to work with them. The threat isn’t very good because I don’t really want to talk to anyone like them. I’ll be glad to get them out of my life.

Now comes the honest part. I hope they get fired. I will complain to my local MP, I will complain to CAMHS, and I will complain to the government. They need to review these people who are meant to be helping me, and if this is a CAMHS-wide problem the whole organisation should be reviewed. If they don’t want to help me, I hope they get fired. After all, their job is to help me.

So what help will I receive now? I still have my college counsellor to talk to, who is far more helpful. I am going to see my GP tomorrow as well, and I’ll tell them what disgusting people I had to put up with today. Yes, I’m angry. But at least I have my readers to comfort me, how is everyone else doing?

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21 thoughts on “The CAMHS Crisis: My Counsellor Killed Me

  1. So you don’t worry I’ll let you know that the title of this post is metaphorical (it might be foreshadowing, who knows?) but I am very angry with them. How do you let a suicidal person walk away?

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    • electricbohemian says:

      Oh so your from UK how interesting – I love people like you – so observant and intelligent. A warrior! That was not good speaking to your mum while you were in the room.. the blinking NHS! I really do wish you well in the difficulties you face and I’m really impressed by your writing skills and the way you think.. You’ll see light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes I think we have difficult childhoods in order to help others in the future – because if you decide you want to help someone you’ll know for example not to speak as though someone isn’t there and they will trust you because you have been through what they have so you have real authentic empathy. Good luck.. I’ll look forward to hearing more about your journey πŸ™‚

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    • They mentioned putting me in a hospital once and I said I wasn’t sure (which is true if you read my posts, I don’t like the idea). They didn’t revisit the idea after that. What I’m most shocked about is not getting any advice, they didn’t tell me how to stay safe or anything.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Very very strange that they didn’t advise you r/t your safety, etc. … yes I did read your posts but I didn’t catch that they offered the hospital, either that or I thought to myself, why didn’t they just put you in, based on the assessment? Well anyway… hope you are having a better day today and hope you are keeping yourself safe πŸ™‚ You do have a lot to offer in experience, advice, even your sense of humor in the midst of all this turmoil!

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  2. Was your mum in the interview and didn’t she ask questions? this all very shocking to me, that they were so unconcerned, of course thy need to be sure, but when listening to you and reading the questionaire some flags surely should have been raised.

    Question: do you have another adult who you can take with you, someone who will speak up, no way should you be dealing with this alone.

    http://www.mind.org.uk/
    http://www.time-to-change.org.uk/

    Take care

    Liked by 1 person

    • They were talking to my mum while I was in the room (it’s later on in the post, somewhere near the bottom) so my mum knows quite a lot now.

      The person I trust the most is my college counsellor (but they can’t give a lot of help really), I’ll tell them about all of this though and hopefully they can back me up a bit.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Your counsellor hopefully has written reports about what you have told her, so their would be a chronicle of events, seriously i read your post open mouthed.

        Try and contact those two links i gave you, in fact contact anybody that can help.

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  3. Wow, this really is miserable-sounding “care.” Okay, so you haven’t found someone at CAMHS that is helpful and empathetic (yet). But you do have your college counselor. And your GP. Go to them as often as possible. Another thing you could look into, I know things are a bit different there on the church scene than here in the States, but our church offers lay counseling, which I’m going to right now. They listen and care. Maybe there is something like that around you. And if you think it’s worth a try, go to the hospital and ask about admitting yourself. See if you can find someone who expresses some compassion and understand. Geez, I am sorry you are feeling so abandoned. I have been praying for you, that you’ll find a window or someone to open one for you.
    You aren’t truly alone, your readers care and they are real people.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. depressioonless,

    that sucks that you’ve cries for help go unheard. i can see how the whole process would make you feel small.

    I concur with therabbitholez, that you need an advocate. they will advocate for well being in your time of weakness.

    your mum looks to be your best choice. tell her where you are at what you need. Tell her not to back down until that happens. tell her to be a complete and utter bulldog. Take her to the next appointment and let her go.

    i really want you to get the help you want and need.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m sorry for your experience. If you think hospitalization will help, is it possible for you to admit yourself, or for a friend or parent to do it for you?
    You deserve to feel better, and I believe you can do it. I’m here for you if you need it.

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  6. I am kind of incredulous. This is not help. Then, what is help. Perhaps, the help you are getting is writing and reading. If that is the case, that is good enough for now. I am truly fed up by people presenting themselves as professionals who think they are helping. Sometimes, they make matters worse. Really, all one wants is for someone to listen, to empathize, and reassure. Everything passes. The world goes around and the feelings come and go. Hang in there.

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  7. Hi Depressionless. I’ve been thinking about you. And praying for you. I’ve also been doing my own thinking about things in my own life and things that I’m learning. I’ll probably do a post on what is swirling around in my head. But I wanted to share a little bit with you if you don’t mind. First, I UNDERSTAND depression. I’ve lived with it a LONG time. (I also know that when I left my abusive husband it mostly vanished.) And I also have an 18-yr-old son who spends a lot of time in his room. He comes out to go to school, work, and eat. I’ve asked him if he’s depressed. I’ve told him I’m concerned. I invite him to talk. I know he is self-medicating with alcohol and pot. He is a great kid and I love him to death! I’ve tried for several years to just give him time to get okay. But you know what? I give him a lot and do a lot for him and it feels a lot like he doesn’t notice and isn’t very grateful. It would be so awesome if he would come out of his room and talk. Be a person with me. Help with the chores. Ask me about my life. Give a rat’s ass about someone besides himself. So, I’m not saying any of this is true about you, but maybe take a look inside and see if your world revolves all around you. Maybe your family doesn’t love you, but do they have anyone to love? Are you giving them anything to care about or are you just a shadow in your room? Maybe come out and help or participate a little. I know they make you a bit crazy, but that’s what people do. Maybe you are stronger than you think and if you relax your expectations and laugh at them you’ll find you can tolerate them and love them for the messes they are. And maybe they’ll find someone to love back. My thought for the day. Submarine hugs always.

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  8. N says:

    I’m sorry you’ve had such a bad experience with CAMHS, but I don’t think this is a CAMHS-wide problem. Like every NHS service – it’s not perfect, but I can honestly say I had a very good experience with CAMHS overall. I hope once you get a diagnosis and a specific treatment plan is made things will get better. Being a) underage and b) mentally ill, it can be difficult to get people to take you seriously. That’s not how it should be, but it might help to get a non-mentally ill adult who you trust – like you’re parents or your college counsellor – on their case.

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  9. Thank you for your honesty. I assume this is a free service through your college? I saw free counsellors several times in my life (re: depression, anxiety, disordered eating), and I never felt like it benefitted me. I either found that they didn’t listen or seem to care (like your experience) or the “advice” they game me was so off-base but they didn’t ask if I thought it was a good idea. I quote advice because I don’t think any health professional should give “advice”, they should work with the person to suggest options and resources and education and the person is part of the decision. They are not the expert on your illness, you are. (I am training in a health care field at the moment, hence the strong feelings about this).

    So after these sometimes terrible, sometimes simply useless and underwhelming, sessions I saw a private counsellor/psychologist that a friend recommended. I had to pay, which was hard since I was very low-income at the time (just out of school, working at a non-profit) but in the end I am thankful for the opportunity and made progress with him. Of course, you need to find the right fit for you, so I’m not saying private counselling is the way to go, and of course every psychologist is different. I just wanted to tell you about my experience.

    It makes an infinite difference to talk to someone who makes you feel genuinely cared about. Like you said – “I never knew the cure for depression was talking to rude, inconsiderate people” – haha no kidding!!

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    • I live in the UK (not sure where you are from), CAMHS is provided through the NHS so it is free, but I would have thought they would have known what they were doing since it’s owned by the government. Then again, politicians don’t know what they are doing either…

      Yeah, talking to people that care does make so much of a difference, but I’m not sure whether it is because of my depression or me, those people seem to be hard to find.

      Liked by 1 person

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