08-15-2017 05:23 PM
I re-read what you wrote that disappeared...can't see where you broke the rules? Anyway, hope your last few days of quiet is not stressful. Hoping you get the support you need. Have you tried CAMHS? The local team where I live, I heard that the initial interview they rip you to shreds...child and parents. But after that, you possibly get a good support person. Unfortunately, my son wouldn't tolerate that, so not sure if that's a possibility. What do you plan on setting up for your son @Orbit64 psychologist/mental health wise, when he gets home? We have no local psychiatrist, so would have to travel for a private one...and be on their wait list for 4-6 months. The paeds here change each visit, and offer conflicting information...and I don't want to put my son on the wrong medication...it can be an up and down experience as it is I have heard. But not wanting to wait up to 6 months before medicating. What are the services like there? Has the school psychologist mentioned any referrals/psychiatrist? If you have any amazing thought on this, I would appreciate it. The system is not set up to help kids...all the professionals, police, child safety services say the same. Really sad. Guess I am about to spend some decent time researching medication pros & cons for personality disorders so can be packing for appointments. Have you considered medication for your son @Orbit64? Done any research? Anyone else on here have their child on medication for any personality disorders? Pros & cons?
08-15-2017 05:45 PM
I've worked with CAMHS on NSW and can promise you their assessment process is very gentle.
As anyone who works with young people will tell you, you get one chance to make a decent impression. One!
If you blow that, you can say goodbye to the young person nodding in your direction let alone engaging with you therapeutically so the CAMHS assessment is always delivered as gently as possible.
What may have been conveyed is that it's long. And full of questions, which lots of kids hate, but they're used to that and will have some strategies to make it easier for your son to get through.
They want an accurate assessment as much as you do.
In terms of after that, they usually continue working with the young person for some time. Did you get the impression you would be moved off to another psych?
08-15-2017 05:57 PM
It's great to hear you are "quietly optimistic" that the program has had a positive impact on your son.
The letter from Wil sounded like he has responded to the program.
Do they do any kind of follow-up or post-trip program?
Two weeks can have a profound impact on anyone but I'm guessing it would be really helpful to you and your wife if you could then continue the work when he returns. Does this program support you like that?
When I've worked with families in the past who are experiencing similar things, especially if the young person has gone away for a period of time for treatment or a program, I always recommend they write down exactly what they need to see to feel like things have changed. So much damage is done when things are at their worst, it's only natural for everyone to be very raw when they come into contact with each other. It can really help to set out an idea of what you need to see to feel like things are on the upturn.
Which can then lead to parents setting out what they can do to help the young person transition back into the family. As you have said previously, it's not about "bad children", have you guys thought about how you might be able to support your son to recover?
08-15-2017 06:24 PM
We have had further contact today with a letter from Will to us and a letter from my son to his mum. All very positive. The best I have seen in a long time.
The Wilderness therapy includes 3 follow up sessions.
They have a variety of post trip options to maintain other types of engagement too.
Probably easier to access if you lived in SA. Flight costs out of WA will always be substantial. Though East coast cities to Adelaide are not so bad.
From what I can see we will encourage weekly or fortnightly Skype / FaceTime counseling for my son and us too. They know him so well by now and him them. So with that link we will have the best chance to address any potholes and bumps on the road back to Living Life.
Drug treatment / Psychiatrist:
I know they have their place in mental health scenarios. I do not believe they have a place in his treatment at this stage. I think we have intervened with the Wilderness Therapy at an early enough stage.
08-15-2017 06:48 PM - edited 08-15-2017 08:43 PM
Hi @Designed I have had experience with CYPMH in NSW for my daughter (which I think is a similar service to CAMHS) and they were wonderful and supportive, and I can not speak highly enough of them. My daughter was very fortunate to be assigned a fantastic case manager, who we both feel did an excellent job. They certainly did not rip us to shreds at any stage over the 8 months we were under their care.
Everyone has a different story and experience to tell, but I don’t want other parents to read your comment regarding CAMHS and be discouraged about seeking their help. As @Ngaio-RO mentioned they were very gentle with their assessment process and ongoing support. I could not fault them at all
We have been advised by a psychiatrist that my 17 year old daughter has many of the same traits as Personality Disorder, however health professionals do not normally diagnose this condition for anyone under 18 years, as the brain is still developing. Medications are not usually used to treat Personality Disorders, however they may be used to treat other difficulties being experienced.
Hope this helps.
08-15-2017 10:11 PM
@Designed, My daughter has been under the care of a CAMHS team in NSW for almost a year and they have possibly contributed to saving her life. I don't say that lightly. The initial interview was very caring even though they had to ask a lot of questions. Since then my daughter has seen her case worker weekly and more recently, fortnightly. I don't know what I would have done without them.
@Orbit64, I am so happy to read your latest news and wish you the very best when your son returns. It sounds like there is some wonderful follow up contact planned.
08-23-2017 07:26 AM
08-25-2017 08:59 PM - edited 08-27-2017 01:33 PM
Hi @Designed I agree - seeing a professional who will "click" or connect with your child in the first session is so important and critical to encouraging them to continue with long term support. We were very fortunate with our case manager, who my daughter adored. Although, there were still many tears in our sessions (through no fault of the counselor) It is such an emotional, stressful and overwhelming time trying to navigate through challenges I could never imagine. I hope your son is able to find a professional that he feels comfortable with real soon.
02-28-2018 04:42 PM
Hi Orbit64 - I was reading through this thread as we also have a 14 yo son who is going off the rails. I was wondering how your son came out of the True North wilderness camp experience and whether you would recommend it?
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