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This is a kinda weird place for this topic, however I felt that perhaps those of you who have adopted older children may know of the types of help available.

I grew up with my mother who had mental health problems, principally depression and paranoia. She didn't trust anyone and made sure that we did not trust anyone either. She didn't allow friendships and moved us on whenever we got close to people. We weren't allowed to go to parties or similar events and were told that we must avoid working with other children at school. As a consequence I have grown into an adult without picking up these basic skills. I actually took a notes from my husband of possible ways to start a conversation with workmates!! I just don't know what to do when someone talks about the weather, cos when I don't know them I don't understand why they are talking to me. I wondered if anyone had adopted or fostered children with a similar social difficulty and knew of any help that was available? I have tried general counselling, but they seem totally stuck on whether I felt neglected as a child because my mum was ill, and I never ever did - they just keep going on at this as if I must have done and one day I will realise/admit they are right. GRRRR.

I wish there was a "social skills 101 - week 1, Talking About the Weather" at the local college - book me in!!!
 

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Clarabel

This must be really frustrating for you.  I would say general counsellors are not best placed to deal with such specific issues and that you may be better off seeing someone like a behavioural psychologist who is more expertly trained in the areas you talk about.

Have you considered exploring the non-psychological side and attending development workshops such as assertiveness courses.  Perhaps if you took a dual approach looking at the psychological side and doing the practical workshops it may help to identify the issues for you.

I hope you can find someone who can help.

Good luck
Karen x
 

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Clarabel,

It may help you to visit your GP and get them to refer you to a mental health team (yes it carries a stigma), where a cpn (community physchiatric nurse) can speak with you and find out a bit about who you are and also involve you in workshops.

I was refered by my GP for depression and anxiety related, I have had mild depression since I was 16, (now 27) have always been on a v low dose of medication and this helped me to move on to another level.

At first i was intimidated by the stigma, thought they would want to section me etc, but the lady i saw said no no we see all sorts of people celebs, Gps, politicians, it put me at reast that it wasnt just everyday people that sometimes had troubles.

Mental health is a very delciate issue for whom it involves and theses people will treat you in the best way as they are trained to.

If you ever want to talk you can mail me.

Take care for now, and hope this makes sense, as i can rattle at times.

amy aka mavis
 

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Clarabel,
I too would speak to my Gp who could refer you to either the psychological dept or mental health team at your local hospital. however, there is usualy a long waiting list for Psychological Services. your other option would b to go private but this could be expensive.

I would also check out books on social anxiety or social phobia, this may not be strictly for you but could contain helpful tips. Another option is hypnotism or NLP.

My mum didn't like friends and i never brought friends home or had parties etc. Like you i wasn't neglected except in an emotional sense. My answer was to make myself smile and say hello, if in doubt stay neutral and in work offer to do practical tasks eg buy birthday cards or offer to make tea. This wil give you something to talk about rather than trying to think of neutral topics.l
Unfortunately for children in foster care, this may not be noticed and they may not have the vocabulary or understanding to talk about it.
Good luck
Casey
 

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Clarabel.
hope my advice did not seem patronising,but I do know how it feels to grow up with a parent with mental health problems. Remember people are talking to you because they think/know you are a nice person. One more thing i've learnt is that people love to talk about themselves - just let them rattle on and show an interest
Good luck again
Casey.
 

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Hi Clarabel

Ive suffered from depression/anxiety and have done cbt (cognitive behaviour therapy) and continue too and it really helps- its deals with here and now and you say what your problems are and what you want to work on etc....and your therapist and you work on goals -

My therapist has actually written a book called Assertiveness Step by Step - Windy Dryden and Daniel Constantinou - Daniel is my therapist and he is excellent. He is based in London though not sure where you are based.

There is a cbt website that lists therapists in different areas....it may be of help.
http://www.babcp.com

I pay for my treatment privately - in clinical studies cbt has a very good success rate - my therapist sets me homework to do etc.... I wouldnt be able to get this type of help on NHS plus with waiting lists I would be considered a low priority.

Anyway wishing you the best of luck - if you need any more info please let me know, Deborah
 
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