Tag: akathisia and suicide
My friend Kathleen Fliller ended her life last month. She had written a chronicle of her struggles with psychiatric drug withdrawal and akathisia, which she asked me to share with Mad In America to be published in hopes that it might help others not feel so alone.
This week on the Mad in America podcast we turn our attention to prescription-drug-induced akathisia and joining me to discuss this is Jill Nickens. Jill is the president and founder of the Akathisia Alliance for Education and Research, a nonprofit organization formed by people who have personal experience of akathisia.
A friend said to me recently, "Oh, he suffered such a lot. That’s over for him." I know their words were intended to comfort me over my son’s suicide. Our fine, excellent son, Abraham, had committed suicide a month before Christmas 2019. Nevertheless, I bridled inwardly at the suggestion, not wanting to remember Abraham as merely the sum of his sufferings—he was so much more than that.
An interview with Wendy Dolin who talks about the work of MISSD, the Medication-Induced Suicide Prevention and Education Foundation in Memory of Stewart Dolin, a non-profit founded to raise awareness of the tragic consequences of drug-induced akathisia.
Researcher Zel Dolinsky once taught at medical school and worked as a medical writer in the pharmaceutical industry. In his last emails, he told of how the adverse effects of psychiatric drugs led him to choose to end his life.
Take every horrific feeling you’ve ever had in your life, all at once. Now, times them by 200, right in your gut. That is how akathisia pain feels. When I tell doctors I have drug-induced akathisia, and that it's incredibly painful, they do not believe me. They say my pain is a mental health issue, and they have all methodically undermined my credibility in my permanent record.
During the past twenty years, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and American psychiatry have adopted a "medicalized" approach to preventing suicide, claiming that antidepressants are protective against suicide. Yet, the suicide rate in the United States has increased 30% since 2000, a time of rising usage of antidepressants. A review of studies of the effects of mental health treatment and antidepressants on suicide reveals why this medicalized approach has not only failed, but pushed suicide rates higher.
Together, we can hold individuals who are plumbing the depths of their pain and help them to transform it. We can show them that there is another, med-free way to accept themselves and that there is precedent for what it looks like to break free from psychiatry, its labels, and consciousness-warping chemicals.
I am still trying to reconcile what these chemicals are capable of, how the urge can morph into an action, how we maybe just don’t understand suicide all that well. For me, the suffering was so intense it was too painful to stay alive. I understand how my friends felt in their last moments.
Although the drug industry, our drug regulators and leading psychiatrists have done what they could to obscure these facts, it can no longer be doubted that antidepressants are dangerous and can cause suicide and homicide at any age.
Suddenly I had an insight into why my dad decided to end his life in 1976. I learned that, like me, he was on antidepressant medication. It seems highly likely that his illness could have been entirely caused by side effects of medication, just like it was with me.
When the CDC released data revealing an increasing suicide rate in the US, some experts, speaking to major media outlets, speculated that the increase...