More assessment


I had the idea back in the spring that I would try and get into a social anxiety group run at a local mental health centre. The wheels grind pretty slowly, so today finally I had the last assessment to get onto the waiting list for the group.

It didn’t go quite as expected, but that’s OK. I had filled out an extremely long boring questionnaire, and now was being interviewed by a young psychologist with the palest skin and blue-green eyes. I quite liked her, luckily. She wasn’t condescending and was calm and to the point. She also seemed still interested in patients, rather unlike the middle-aged psychs I’d had contact with previously.

In among the questions about anxiety she asked if the social anxiety was my main problem, and, as I don’t try to hide it, I said no, the PTSD is likely the main problem. But I had started working with a therapist on that, so likely, I could also do the group for the other.

She started asking me more about the PTSD, and I told her I wasn’t comfortable discussing it, as this was just an assessment, and I didn’t want to be triggered.

Well, she ended up deciding I’d be better off in a trauma program at another hospital. Apparently they specialize in trauma. It was cool that she knew all about the program there and how to access it, unlike the psychiatrist I saw for the previous assessment.

But to refer me she had to find out more about the PTSD symptoms. So I told her just the bare bones, but that was enough to trigger me, and I ended up panicked in her office and then in tears. Kind of embarrassing. But I’d told her I didn’t want to discuss it. She was nice about it, tried to get me grounded, backed right off the subject.

So I’ve been kind of shaken up the rest of today. I’m going to go to bed early and finish up my novel, The Help. Great book set in the American south during the civil rights years. I’ve also done my body scan meditation for a half hour to make sure I’m in my body. Must be in there somewhere….

So I’ll probably get on a new waiting list for this trauma program that is covered by our health insurance. Who knows when they’ll have a space, or if it’s any good. Luckily I now have my private therapy in place, so I’m not going to be on pins and needles, hoping they’ll call me.

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3 comments
  1. alice said:

    hi ellenhope the waiting list isnt too long. you seem to have things sorted with your own therapy. i think we have to push forward and find solutions. and they maybe in the most unlikely of places.x

  2. Susan said:

    I'm glad that you are being directed to a trauma program (finally?). I'm sorry it seems to be taking forever to find resources. Seems that psychology is beginning to catch up with the fact that trauma is a large issue contributing to mental "health". Also seems that it takes forever to have access to the resources…I'm sorry you are in a "holding pattern" but glad you are making some progress.

  3. Ellen said:

    @ alice – the WL is six months it seems. Oh well. Yeah, I almost cancelled the assessment appointment, then it turned out to be worthwhile – you never know. Thanks Alice@ Susan – Yes, I guess the programs do exist, they're just not easy to find. I'm surprised that psychiatrists don't know about them, because as you say, a lot of people have trauma issues. Thanks for the comment.

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