Draft Comment on Article 12 CRPD

The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has published its Draft General Comment on Article 12 – the right to equal protection before the law.

This is a really important document for people with mental disorders. You should go and read it and ideally respond to it. Continue reading

Is the phrase ‘chemical cosh’ a problem?

‘…there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. To me it is a prison.’ (Hamlet Act II, Scene II)

I taught a 2hr seminar today under the influence of a benzodiazepine. This was a good thing. I have epilepsy which is usually under control but recently I have suffered breakthrough seizures which are unpleasant and subsequently disrupt my memory, mood, behaviour and energy levels. This term I have had to rearrange classes at short notice when recovering from seizures, but thanks to an incredibly good service from my GP and consultant after suffering a minor seizure last night, I popped a new type of pill and was well enough to work this morning.

Ironically, at the moment I am writing a paper on the good of medication, or the challenging problem of defining whether it is the effectiveness of medication or the circumstances in which it is administered which make it a good intervention in some cases. But a conversation I had at the weekend where the phrase ‘chemical cosh’ was used made me realise how uncomfortable I feel about coming out about how I use medication to control my brain and psychological ‘mis’behaviour. Continue reading