Antipsychotics and Identity: The Adverse Effect No One is Talking About

M. Conneely, D. Roe, I. Hasson-Ohayon, G. H.M. Pijnenborg, L. van der Meer, H. Speyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


People who take antipsychotics, and people who are prescribed antipsychotics without taking them, experience effects which are not frequently discussed: effects on their identity and sense of self. Qualitative research indicates the relationship between taking APs and identity is multilayered, and changeable. Taking APs can restore people to their earlier, pre-symptom sense of self. Being prescribed and taking APs can also, on the other hand, be experienced as damaging, erasing and dulling people’s sense of who they are. This complexity deserves exploration in clinical practice, which we believe is currently not done routinely. More work is needed to understand whether, and how, the relationship between identity and APs is being addressed. We outline the importance of having discussions in a clinical space around identity, and a sense of agency, on the grounds that true recovery-oriented care, which enacts shared decision-making principles, demands it. Further, we argue that it will allow for better therapeutic alliance and trust to be forged between clinician and client, ultimately leading to better care.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCommunity Mental Health Journal
Early online date1 Mar 2024
StateE-pub ahead of print - 1 Mar 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2024.


  • Antipsychotics
  • Identity
  • Medication
  • Neuroleptic Medication
  • Psychosis
  • Schizophrenia
  • Self-stigma


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