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Crossroadsgrl's avatar

How can I prepare to take a forensic psychiatric exam?

Asked by Crossroadsgrl (919 points ) September 30th, 2012

I am being sued for child support ( and my children ) by my ex. Mostly child support. His claim is that I am “mentally ill”. The odd part is that my own Mother agreed that I may be “bipolar”. No need to ramble on about the ridiculousness of it all, the courts are having me take the tests.
If you are a Licensed Professional Counselor, or have taken any kind of psychiatric exam, what should be my approach as the questions are asked of me.
My intent is NOT to beat the system, rather to understand the system enough to show I am indeed sane. thanks

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6 Answers

Shippy's avatar

You would answer them honestly then? If you were sane?

Sunny2's avatar

Insane, in the legal sense, means you don’t know what is going on in court. I suspect you can find out on Google the kinds of questions they will ask you. They involve your awareness of what goes on in court, (the roles of the judge, etc) and your sense of reality. Questions may be about what date it is, who is the primary government head where you live and things like that. Bipolar is a condition that can be controlled by medication. You might see your primary physician and see what he/she thinks and then be evaluated on your own. That evaluator may testify for you in court, if it would help.

Nullo's avatar

Whatever motives your ex may have, the court is acting in the interest of the children. Honesty on your part is a good thing.

Judi's avatar

I do know that there are validity scales. They will know if you’re lying to beat the test. Be honest. I used to administer them when I worked in a psych hospital in th 80’s.

wundayatta's avatar

Your ex has made an accusation that you are not safe for the kids to be around. The psychiatrist has to make a determination as to whether this is the case or not. What he or she will do is ask you a series of questions and try to estimate whether the things you say fit with stories your ex has told him, and whether your stories hang together and are consistent. He will also be looking at your demeanor, looking for defensiveness and lying and your mood.

You will be asked about a series of events your ex has told them. These may be times when you got angry or perhaps were violent. Or times when you were manic and paranoid. Perhaps you thought someone was out to get you. Or maybe you maxed out a credit card in one day. Maybe it was a time when you couldn’t keep the house clean for weeks. Or possibly it was a depressed time when you didn’t get out of bed for weeks. No. I haven’t been keeping your house under surveillance. If you are bipolar, then you have certainly done at least one of these things.

The most important thing you can do in your defense, I think, is to get your own psychiatrist and get a diagnosis. If you get treated, and your stabilize, they don’t have an argument to take your kids from you. You will be treating them as any responsible parent would.

You may want to delay the hearing so you can get treatment. This is something to ask your own lawyer about.

But you will be asked about your own health issues. Have you been sleeping. How much sleep do you get? Do you ever feel suicidal? Have you ever planned a suicide? (Of course not. You have you kids to think about. You have thought about it. Who hasn’t. But you would never do that to the kids. That’s the response that is most believable).

The problem is that forensic psychiatrists, like most psychiatrists, are not always good for you. Some might be and some might not be. You don’t want to be evaluated by one psychiatrist only. Psychiatrists can have bad days, and they can get it wrong because they don’t understand what it’s like.

It’s better to have your own psychiatrist who is on your side and who can testify that if they take the kids away, you may be a danger to yourself, or something like that. Well, that wouldn’t be a good argument. It could backfire and give them a reason to take the kids away. But I think you probably want someone to testify that you are perfectly capable of taking care of the kids and your mental illness is under control and you are committed to keeping it under control, so you will comply with your treatment. At least, that’s what I would want. But I have just five years left, and I’m pretty stable.

Crossroadsgrl's avatar

Hmm..I’ve NEVER felt suicidal. Not once. My home is spotless, everyday, I have daily routines, and I exercise 1–2 hours per day.
I DO absolutely feel my Ex is out to destroy me because a. I am happy b. I am dating c. I’m keeping up with everything d. I don’t NEED him like he thought e. he’s a narcissitic personality disorder type who demands ANY kind of attention.
I have ADHD and take 20 milligrams a day for this. The end.
Thanks for these answers. I got word from the lawyer I just discharged that I can pick up the orders for the testing to start tomorrow .
Thanks a lot everyone I feel MUCH better :)

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