Tag: drug-induced akathisia
How do I want to live with what happened? I can't change the past, but I can choose how to move forward, focusing on progress, not perfection.
I needed to teach my nervous system, via different types of neuromuscular reeducation, that it was safe to move again. Before I could walk, I had to crawl, literally.
I stopped thinking of akathisia in terms of the disease model and instead began thinking of it as an injury. Akathisia is not the car crash; it is a result of the car crash.
I had a chemical brain injury from medications. The only help doctors could offer was more medications: treating the failed treatment with other dangerous treatments.
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.
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.
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.
A recent RCT showed that vitamin B6 is as effective as propranolol for the treatment of akathisia.
After long-term use, most people are going to have serious symptoms when stopping SSRIs. Many people are going to have transient, mild to moderate difficulty and some are going to end up falling down the akathisia rabbit hole. That is a long, difficult drop.
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.
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.
I lived through forced ECT from 2005-2006 at the Institute of Living in Hartford, Connecticut. My experience with ECT was the impetus for me to become involved in the antipsychiatry and Mad Pride movements, although I am not entirely opposed to voluntary mental health treatment. The following is the comment I submitted to the FDA on its proposal to down-classify the ECT shock device.