Accepting the Word 'Antipsychotic'

September 6, 2012 Natalie Jeanne Champagne

OK. First, I should probably take a deep breath and think about this topic before I start throwing out adjectives. I hate the word Antipsychotic (oops!). I hate it as much as I would hate being deprived of chocolate and coffee - A heck of a lot. I have not used my 10,000 page thesaurus to define a word in a while now so, I cannot lie, I am looking forward to what defines this word.

The Definition of “Antipsychotic”

Let me preface this lest I get some less than desirable comments: Antipsychotic is not just a word but, yes I know, a class of drugs. Antipsychotic medications are a class of medications that can be useful for the treatment of mental Illness. And I take one. Grudgingly. So I speak from sort-of-jaded-but-still-informed experience. I just want to define the word in a broad sense. I want to see what words are connected to it. Er, I sort of love words. Some people love reality TV. I like words. I guess this makes me sort of odd. Moving on and away from talking about myself (narcissism is not really an attractive trait).

So, here we go (pulling out 30 lb. thesaurus)…Oh, the word is not even in the damn book! How is this possible? But “psychotic” is. For the sole purpose of defining psychotic in relation to the word antipsychotic I will carry on.

Psychotic is defined as:

>Psycho (the book loses a lot of creativity and credibility suddenly)

>Mental; mental case (I will get to this shortly)

>Certifiable case (considering throwing the book)

>Catatonic: schizophrenic; manic-depressive

OK. I think we have learned a couple of things here: The definition on psychotic is defined, in the context of this ridiculous over-priced book, full of stigma. Full of crap. It actually makes me a little mad, “manic-depressive”, is not even the proper word for the illness—Bipolar disorder is. Certifiable? Maybe after reading this bollocks!

Lesson learned? It will be a long time before, if ever, I reference this book again. Until I do, I suppose it’s more important to understand the word on a personal basis.

Why is the Word ‘Antipsychotic’ Difficult to Apply to Ourselves?

I am certainly not lumping everyone who lives with a mental illness into one category. Many of us have no issue with the word, but what about the connotations of it? I don’t like taking a drug that ends with psychotic. I have argued (nicely, sort of) with my psychiatrist.

The conversation went something like this:

Her: “Natalllieeee, I think a small dose of (insert drug name here) will help you sleep.”


Her: “Natalllllllie, (insert drug name here), this drug is used for insomnia as well. You need to ignore the name and think of the positive benefits!”

ME: “UM, YEAH BUT IM NOT PSYCHOTIC.” This is when she really irritates me. When she is right. When I am not psychotic but cannot sleep. It is almost as irritating as when she draws out my name.

Her: “But you’re having trouble sleeping, right?”

ME: “Yes, but give me a sleeping pill. I AM NOT PSYCHOTIC.”

I walk out with prescription for a drug that ends in psychotic. Damnit! Why does it bother me so much? I just don’t like to believe I need an antipsychotic. Certainly, before I was well, I did need them to slow me down. But there is something about the word psychotic—antipsychotic. I’m not sure if other people really feel the way I do about this, but let me know if you do, it would be nice to know I have some company with my bad assumptions.

I take the small dose of (insert drug name here) and I can sleep. The next time I see her, I tell her this, grudgingly, and she smiles. This also irritates me. But a regular sleep pattern is one of the most important parts of self-care. And if it involves taking a drug that ends with psychotic, well, fine, I’ll do it.

Psychiatric medications exist to help those with mental illness recover. Often, it’s important to throw away the labels, the silly words and connotations that can define them and just trust our mental health team--trust ourselves. Trust medication that ends with psychotic.

APA Reference
Jeanne, N. (2012, September 6). Accepting the Word 'Antipsychotic', HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, May 29 from

Author: Natalie Jeanne Champagne

October, 21 2012 at 2:57 pm

I don't like antipsychotic either, because I don't like to think myself as a psychotic person. I don't like to think about myself as a sick person, so I think I do a terrible spiderweb in my mind to justify what happens to me. Specially, I hate the side effects of them
But, reality check, with them I sleep, and I don't have rare ideas (delusions, but as I said I have trouble accepting things as they are). So, I just take them and try not to think to much about the name or about the illness. I'm a master ignoring what I don't like.

September, 6 2012 at 10:56 am

Technically the name of the class is neuroleptics. Maybe it will help if you think of it that way?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Natalie Jeanne Champagne
September, 7 2012 at 10:30 am

Hi, Mary
Good idea! I shall give it a shot.
Thanks for the comment,

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