Steps Into Therapy Part 3
Nerves are fried and I'm very anxious. After a three hour "nap" the night before, I've spent hours redesigning the blog instead of sleeping (tell me what you think!). I get dressed in a outfit that makes me feel confident, pack my bag, and head out the door. The plan? Drop off rent, hop in car, buy smoothie, head to the appointment. My inner voice is still screaming "cancel the appointment", but I can't, I'm out of time. I know I gotta go.
Our car is parked on the street (you can read about the reasons behind that here). It's covered in bird poop and the wipers smear it across the windshield as I try to clean it enough to see. I shift into drive and pull into the street.
THUMP, THUMP, THUMP, WTF.
I pull over thirty feet from where I started and hop out to check the tires. Maybe I have a flat?? Nope, tires look great and besides the excessive bird poop the car looks fine. Turn it on again, start driving, around the block I go and
THUMP, THUMP, THUMP.
Can't reach Kevin on his cell so I head back in to ask the builder manager to see what I am missing. I drive the car around with him listening from the outside and he hears nothing. He checks the tires and confirms they are fine. After he leaves, I have a full freak out while talking to Kevin on the phone. I have ten minutes to get to my appointment, but I CAN'T DRIVE THE CAR.
Call a taxi, call my appointment, and wait.
Taxi arrives and I make it five minutes late. I'm handed a stack of paperwork and sent into a very peaceful, albeit boring waiting room. The paper work starts off with the basic info - name, age, sex, birthday, race, religion. I've never written atheist on any official documents before, but there it is. It asks your relationship status, number of marriages, and length of current relationship. Then the questions begin:
- Describe in your own words the major problem(s) or difficulties causing you distress at this time.
- What specific event led you to seek mental health services now?
- What are your specific needs for treatment at this time? What help are you hoping to receive?
- List your personal strengths and resources that help you cope with stress.
- List any difficulties with being able to regularly attend scheduled treatment appointments.
- Medical Status - primary care doctor/clinic, list of medications/allergies.
- How was your health during childhood and adolescence.
- In the last six months, would you say your health is.
- List any serious illnesses, accidents, injuries or surgeries in the past and your age at the time.
- List current significant illnesses.
- Family history.
- List individuals who are quite important to you.
- Indicate major separations from direct family.
- Have you been neglected, physically or sexually abused?
- How often do you use the following substances; alcohol, marijuana, other drugs?
- Have you been concerned that you use any of these substances too much?
- Has anyone close to you expressed concern about your use?
- How often do you use caffeine?
- Do you smoke?
- Have any of your relatives ever had any alcohol or drug problems?
- Have you ever seen a counselor or any healthcare professional for an emotional problem?
- Have you ever been suicidal?
- Have any of your relatives had any psychiatric problems?
- Has any family member ever been suicidal?
- Have you ever been arrested or involved in any legal difficulties?
- Do you have any concerns about managing your anger?
I fill it all out and now I wait. My inner voice is still screaming "run away, run away." but I'm here and I try to squash it by repeatedly typing into my phone;
I don't know if it's helping, but before I know it, my name is called and I walk through the door.
NOTE: This is part three of a five part series, posting every Friday in September.