Invasive questions

This is a bit of a random post, and not that serious.

I’m currently reading a book about a couple adopting a child from China, and the mother is describing the adoption process and rigorous questioning by their social worker.

The part that made me laugh were her examples of their invasive questions:

As someone who has mental health problems, I find this funny.

I see new professionals regularly, and upon first meeting me I get asked incredibly tough questions to answer- imagine having to open up to a complete stranger, especially when you’re unwell!

Are you having thoughts of killing yourself?

(If yes) Do you have a plan?

(If yes) What is it?

When was the last time you self-harmed?

(once, when I said I hadn’t for almost a year): Can I see your scars? (What, why?! No!)

(This was asked at a GP appt made because I was depressed) Are you sexually active? Are you using contraception? Why aren’t you on the contraceptive pill?

Have you thought about having children? Do you want children? (nothing to do with my mental health, I was talking about how I was scared of physical examinations and she just asked me that out the blue, not knowing it’s a sensitive topic for me)

(just after we’d moved house – maybe not invasive, just weird!) Have you made any new friends where you live now?

Do you take recreational drugs? When was the last time you took drugs? (they’ve had the same answer the past 7 years, why are they still asking me this??)

When did you last work?

Are you able to wash yourself? 

Have you put on any weight lately?

Tell me about your history with mental health.

Tell me about your life growing up

Of course some of these questions have to be asked, but some of them are inappropriate, and for others they need to make them easier to answer or explain.

Seeing several different people I’ve never met in a row (and believe me it easily happens; two GP’s, SPOA, one SW etc) and having to tell each of them my life story is stressful and exhausting.

On top of that a lot of social workers in particular ask these questions , blatantly bored, and give no thought to how they affect the patient…even something as easy as “have you gained weight” for me is an awful question. I hate the way I look and previously had an eating disorder, any admission about gaining weight makes me feel like a failure and dredges up ED thoughts.

And then every time they ask my partner if he wants me sectioned…that feels like a bit of an invasion on my rights and privacy 😀