Reassembling the Self is a touring exhibition curated and devised by Susan Aldworth featuring work by herself and two other artists, Camille Ormston and Kevin Mitchinson. The exhibition’s theme is how psychotic disorders, especially schizophrenia, affect perception, emotion and identity. The exhibition, originally funded by Newcastle University, was previously shown to great acclaim at the Hatton Gallery and Vane Gallery, both in Newcastle (2012), and the GV Art gallery, London (2014).
BAP Past President Prof Guy Goodwin, and Guardian journalist David Adams addressed a full house at Cheltenham Science Festival on Tuesday 2nd June, as part of the BAP-sponsored session entitled “Treating Mental Illness”.
Cannabis has been used for thousands of years, for a variety of medical, religious and recreational purposes. Today it is used by 178 million people each year, or 3.8% of the global population. Despite its long history and abundance, it is difficult to think of many psychoactive substances that polarise opinion more than cannabis. Preparations of the plant Cannabis Sativa L. and the 100+ chemicals it produces (called ‘cannabinoids’, such as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or ‘THC’) show potential in a wide range of applications in modern medicine. These include multiple sclerosis, chronic neuropathic pain, intractable nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite and weight in the context of cancer or AIDS, psychosis, epilepsy, addiction, and metabolic disorders. Furthermore, when considering non-medical use, cannabis is often considered a ‘soft drug’; it is the only substance to have ever been reclassified to less harmful category in the UK Misuse of Drugs Act (this came into effect in 2004 but was reversed 5 years later). Nevertheless, strong concerns have been raised about the negative consequences of cannabis use. For example, it has been linked to an increased risk of psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia. However, it is not clear whether cannabis actually increases this risk, or if it simply coincides with other factors that do, as explained elsewhere on the BAP website.