Post-Diagnostic Support Group Minutes – September 2017

Meeting-minutes-pictureMinutes of the Twenty Fourth
Post-Diagnostic Support Group
27th September 2017

Minutes prepared by Linda Saint for the Monthly Post diagnostic support group, held at the Lifestyle Centre, Crewe.
There were 41 attendees.
Introduction given by Dr Linda Buchan (consultant psychologist) who outlined the program and format for the meeting and introduced the guest speaker Dr Peter Mason (consultant psychiatrist). Dr Buchan also introduced the other members of the Axia team and their individual roles.
Presentation on ADHD given by Dr Mason
The presentation and participation from the group was excellent. Dr Mason was able to get the group to provide the common traits of ADHD being: hyperactivity, inability to concentrate, impulsivity and an inability to learn from mistakes, recklessness.
ADHD was considered to be an extreme variant of normal behaviour.

The general discussion that arose from the presentation discussed the use of medication to help with the symptoms of the condition, as no “Cure” is available. However, general living and what those that are normal expect of others creates stress and great anxiety. The use of dopamine and serotonin was discussed as was the prescription and use of Ritalin in children and also whether Cocaine has a use within approved medicines.

Also discussed was whether ADHD is hereditary, it is thought so and that 15% of North Americans carry the gene. The gene is thought to of existed within the Native American Indian population but not in their original origin being Asia. From this we could consider the affect of a differing environment.

There was also discussion on the diagnosis of ADHD and the present use of the Qb test as an objective measure along family history, birth, development and any environmental/family issues.

There was also discussion as to whether diet and coeliac disease, lack of Omega 3 could affect the condition. It was noted that certain foods can make the condition worse, fizzy drinks etc.

It was discussed at what treatment and support can be provided to ADHD suffers being again medications to help reduce the symptoms and psychological support being CBT, mindfulness/meditation classes, EEG Neuro feedback, Life coaching.

Other areas of discussion were a general lack of understanding and social problems that suffers face. Lack of employment and people having problems that have led to them being detained by the police. Dr Mason was able to advise one delegate that Merseyside Police now have specific training in the area of ADHD

It was also highlighted from Dr Mason and the audience that the characteristics of the condition of ADHD can be used for success and people such as Richard Branson, Jim Carey and the U.S. Air force top flight pilots display some of these characteristics.

  • The delegates asked whether ADHD and Autism suffers should inform the DVLA of their diagnosis. The answer is slightly different for both groups as follows: ADHD suffers must inform the DVLA if their condition affects their “ability to drive safely”? ASD suffers – should only inform the DVLA if again the condition affects your ability to drive? Dr’s Mason & Buchan stressed that they are not driving instructors and cannot advise on competency to drive. A delegate advised of a special test centre in Chester can provide an independent assessment of driving capability for a disabled person.
  • The question was whether any medication existed to treat autism. However, again the symptoms of anxiety and depression could be treated by conventional drugs, nothing exists for the differences of autistic people. This is wonderful as autistic people can be the most inventive and creative of all humans.
  • It was asked as to whether you could have a referral for a diagnosis for ADHD if you already had a ASD diagnosis. It was advised that this is the case but there is significant overlap of characteristics which led on to question 4
  • It was asked given the overlap of autism and ADHD as at times the characteristics appear similar how do you separate. Both doctors explained it was an autistic persons ability to absorb empathy/emotion and how they communicate their response.
  • The final question would make most of us feel guilty. The question or statement was the overuse of diagnosis as conversation: being the use of the terms OCD, anxiety and depression when the person using the term is minimally affected for a very limited period of time.
Dr Buchan closed the meeting. The delegates were advised of the monthly interactive round up of news from AXIA and advised to sign up. The details are available here. Next years annual conference at Chester Racecourse is due to take place on 21 September 2018 at £50 per ticket.

Our next monthly post-diagnostic support group will take place on:
Wednesday November 8th between 11.30am and 1.30pm at the Lifestyle Centre, Crewe.

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One comment on “Post-Diagnostic Support Group Minutes – September 2017
  1. Ronnie says:

    A good speaker but for me,there were a lot of slides which I found heavy going but enjoyed the one with the Woly Mammoths maybe it’s because I remember when Woly Mammoths were around.
    There has been Empathy shown to me Since my Cancer from a minority of people with Aspergers syndrome at the post diagnostic group meeting.
    When I am meant to be giving a Talk next year at the Chester Conference I shouldn’t be expected to pay. Other speakers surely are not going to be Charged.

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