Akathisia INFO

This blog entry is for people who are wondering what the cause is for their anxious suffering. I have put together this information to educate people who may be suffering from drug-induced Akathisia and the people who care for them. I believe strongly with as many prescriptions that are written these days for psychotropic medication (antidepressants, antipsychotics) that consumers, as well as those in the helping professions (such as doctors, nurses, EMT’s, psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors, and the like) need to be aware of the risk of Akathisia.

I am not a doctor. I’m just a consumer interested in helping educate other consumers.

The information I provide for you here is in no way exhaustive, nor is it meant to replace medical care. It is here as a support and to help guide you to figure out if this may be what you’re going through, so you can take the next appropriate steps.

I believe there is a lot of preventable suffering and even preventable suicides that have happened because people simply don’t realize what they are going through is an actual syndrome and that it will go away once they stop taking the offending medication and their brain gets back in balance. You see, when Akathisia hits most people have no clue that such a reaction even exists, so they think it’s just that they’re going crazy. In assuming that, they believe it’s only going to get worse and in steps hopelessness and a compounding of the terror they are already feeling.

Akathisia is almost always a physiological and psychological response to a medication. It can either be due to the introduction of a medication or come about in response to withdrawal from medication. It can last anywhere from a few hours to several months, depending on the drug, how long the drug was taken and the person’s pre-existing condition.

What are some of the main symptoms of Akathisia?

  • Extreme agitation/restlessness
  • Inability to sleep/insomnia
  • Profound anxiety/terror/panic
  • Feeling like you’re jumping out of your skin or want to rip your skin off and escape
  • Feeling a need to run away
  • Agoraphobia/claustrophobia
  • Dark, scary thoughts
  • Psychotic-type behaviors
  • Anger/aggression
  • Self-harm or thoughts of self harm
  • Inability to sit still or lie down
  • Feeling like it will never end
  • Muscular tension/strain/weakness/ticks
  • Blurred vision
  • Loss of appetite
  • Confusion
  • Memory loss/amnesia
  • Nausea/retching/vomiting
  • Flushing/hot flashes
  • Erratic heart beat
  • Erratic blood pressure
  • Extreme, chronic thirst

Medications that may cause Akathisia*:

  • Anti-emetic (anti-nausea) medications, such as;  Compazine (prochlorperazine), Reglan (metoclopramide).
  • Antibiotics (Various)
  • SSRI anti-depressants, SNRI anti-depressants and hypnotic anti-depressants, such as;  Prozac, Rapiflux or Sarafem (fluoxetine) and Paxil or Seroxat (paroxetine), Desyrel, Beneficat, Deprax, Desirel, Molipaxin, Thombran, Trazorel, Trialodine or Trittico (trazodone), Effexor, Efexor or Trevilor (venlafaxine) and Zoloft or Lustral (sertraline hydrochloride)..
  • Opioid withdrawal.
  • dexamethasone, prednisone, hrdrocortisone , betamethasone, triamcilone.
  • ALSO – Many natural substances may cause reactions as severe as Akathisia as well. The ones noted for helping with anxiety and depression seem to be the biggest offenders. Vitamins, herbs and supplements such as: Vitamin D, 5HTP, SAMe, Fish Oil, St. John’s Wart, Gingko Biloba, etc. Be cautious and thoughtful even when taking naturally derived supplements. Add only one at a time to your diet and watch closely for any reactions. If you feel you may be reacting poorly, STOP taking the offending supplement. Period.

And as a further note, some drugs and some natural supplements may feel great while you’re taking them then only once you try to stop taking them will you react badly or encounter Akathisia. The brain is a very complex structure, and I’m not a doctor, so I cannot explain the hows and whys, I only know that all of these things are possible and we (as consumers) must be proactive, careful and methodical when endeavoring to take or titrate off ANY substance. The doctors will not admit their precious drugs are a problem, drugs are their business. You have to look out for YOU.

*Please understand this list is not exhaustive, as people react differently to different types of medications. These are just the most well known for the potential to cause Akathisia. (If you can help me add to the list feel free to email me.)

Often times what happens is, a person is given one of these medications, they have a reaction (within minutes, days, weeks or even months, it totally varies per medication and individual) and they don’t correlate the reaction (Akathisia) to the medication. What they think is, “I was put on this medication because I’m mentally unstable and now I’m getting worse”. Then they end up getting the dosage upped, or other medications are added, and the Akathisia gets even worse! This is where many people lose hope and resign to a life of intolerable suffering or they decide they can’t handle it and sadly, end their lives.

The other common occurrence is, someone gets put on a medication for depression, anxiety or some other mental issue, eventually they decide to try life without the meds or are feeling much better and they decide to come off the medication. Then within days or months they have a withdrawal onset of Akathisia and because they aren’t aware of this possible reaction, they think the problem is organic and they assume they are not okay without the drug, so they go back on it and get caught up in an endless loop of Akathisia reactivity.

Sadly, many of the prescribing physicians aren’t fully aware of, or willing to admit, the prevalence of Akathisia so they unwittingly make things worse with misinformed advice and often times even more prescriptions being written, which compounds the problem.

For the lucky ones, such as myself, they are given a medication for something not related to mental health issues (for example, anti-nausea medication), so they quickly realize the connection between their distress and the medication.

Many anti-nausea medications are actually anti-psychotics and they mess with the functioning of important brain chemicals. Most people given such medications, like Compazine, are unaware of this. And most that do find out after the fact state if they had known they were being given something that could potentially mess with their brain they would have happily opted to keep the nausea and forgo the risk of Akathisia.

One of the most common situations where this happens is when someone is treated for nausea or migraines with one or more of these offending medications. Then, of course, people who are being treated for anxiety and/or depression or other mental/personality disorders with one or more of these medications.

So, if you have been treated with medication(s) for anxiety, depression, migraines, nausea, psychotic episodes, schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder or other mental/emotional disorders and you have found yourself suffering one or more of the symptoms listed above then please read on…

What can you do?

First and foremost, I have to say if you think you may be suffering an Akathisia reaction to a medication/medications please contact your doctor.  If they don’t seem to believe you, or understand what you’re talking about, just call around until you find a doctor that has their head on straight that understands what you’re going through. If they don’t understand or don’t react with integrity and empathy they won’t be of any help anyway. So find someone who KNOWS WHAT AKATHISIA IS.  Don’t waste your time trying to convince a closed-minded doctor that you’re having a drug reaction. It seems many doctors just don’t, or won’t, get it. (Neurologists seem to have the most experience with, and understanding of, Akathisia. You may want to find a psychopharmacologist as well, or a neuropsychiatrist.)

If Western Physicians are of no help, I highly recommend finding a naturopath/holistic doctor. They are much more willing to admit that pharmaceuticals are dangerous and to help you find good, clean ways to detox and get back in balance.

All medications and supplements should be used under the care of a physician.

Please understand I’m in no way affiliated with ANY pharmaceutical or natural supplement companies, I’m only listing this information I’ve learned to help you make informed decisions to help yourself navigate and overcome Akathisia.

The information I’m giving you here is simply things I learned that has worked for people or  worked for me. There aren’t any medications that I’m aware of that will alleviate Akathisia for everyone. It’s hit and miss to find something that works and many people find no relief with pharmaceuticals. Akathisia simply hasn’t been studied enough for them to know truly how and why it happens. It manifests differently for different people and the recovery is different for everyone. BUT, there are many similarities for a lot of folks and some basic things you can do to help your body detox and get back in to balance.

I’m going to give you info on medications that may help, if you want to try that route and also info on natural ways to help alleviate the symptoms of Akathisia and get your body moving back toward homeostasis. SOME SAY GETTING YOUR BODY AS CLEAN AS POSSIBLE IS REALLY THE QUICKEST WAY TO RESOLVE AKATHISIA, WHICH MEANS TAKING THE LEAST AMOUNT OF MEDS/SUPPLEMENTS POSSIBLE. I can’t give medical advice, but after all the research I’ve done and people I’ve talked with as they have gone through the healing process, I’ll just say, I pretty much agree.

Medications that may help alleviate some of the symptoms/shorten the duration of Akathisia*:

  • Anti-histamines, such as;  Benadryl (diphenhydramine), Periactin (cyproheptadine).
  • Cogentin (benztropine)
  • **Benziodiazepines, such as;   Xanax (alprazolam), Ativan (lorazepam), Valium (diazepam).
  • Beta-blockers, such as;  propranolol, metoprolol.
  • Artane (trihexyphenidyl)

*Since initially writing this section more than 5 years ago, I have learned these meds can actually cause or worsen akathisia for some. The ONLY ONE I’ve never heard of causing things to get worse is Propranolol.

**Benzodiazapines are VERY addictive to both body and mind, so use caution and wean off of them slowly with the help of a physician as your symptoms improve.

High doses of Benadryl is the first course of action for treatment of Akathisia almost anywhere you go. (It won’t really help if you’re still on the offending med though. It’s more for people who have discontinued the offending med.) It does help lessen or stop Akathisia for many people, so it’s definitely worth a try (UNLESS you know you are allergic to it, in that case other meds need to be tried. I’ve heard of a few people even having success with Claritin, which is also available over the counter and usually well tolerated, so it could be worth a try.) If you go to the ER they will likely give you a very large amount of Benadryl for the treatment of Akathisia, but if you’re doing it at home please treat yourself with a reasonable dosage. The ER nurse told me to take 50mg every 4-5 hours, for a few days. Even if you are feeling relief from the first dosage some say you need to carry on with treatment for a few days, to prevent relapse.

Supplements/Herbs  that may help alleviate the symptoms/shorten the duration of Akathisia and detox:

  • B-Complex (Pref a whole food vitamin), B-6
  • High doses of Vitamin C (I personally find Emergen-C to be well assimilated and tolerated)
  • Decaf green tea
  • Green drink (I personally like “Greens First” over all other brands)
  • Chamomile tea
  • Bach Rescue Remedy

Things you can do to help soothe and detoxify the body and boost your good brain chemistry:

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Stretching/mild exercise
  • Massage
  • Soak in bath/steam in shower
  • Sleep/rest
  • Soothing music (classical music has been proven to have a positive effect on brain chemistry!)
  • Only watch positive or funny shows/movies
  • Loving support from friends and family
  • Don’t drink alcohol or caffeine
  • *Nicotine may actually help (boosts “happy” brain chemicals that are low, which is the cause of Akathisia)
  • Fresh air
  • Sunshine
  • Laughter
  • Positive thinking/healing visualizations
  • Meditation
  • Eat healthy, fresh foods rather than prepackaged, processed, fast foods
  • Keep in mind it’s going to go away/ it’s only a transient condition
  • Progesterone (Yam) cream (For females) as recommended on box [Can get it at nutrition store]

*I would NEVER normally advocate smoking, but if you’re in total crisis with the anxiety/panic/terror part of Akathisia then I absolutely do advocate giving nicotine gum or smoking a try. Just be responsible and wean yourself slowly back off of it as you start feeling better. You will know right away if it’s helping or not.

Cyndi posted a request that I also include here the importance of letting others know about your allergies. I totally agree. I keep a sheet of paper in my purse at all times with the names of drugs I’ve had an allergic reaction to in the past, but I too think I’ll go make a laminated card for my wallet. It’s also a good idea to inform your family doctor and any other doctors you may see on a regular basis, as well as, the local hospital. Ask all of them to note your record for allergies. Especially the drug that induced Akathisia!

You may also want to make up a living will, which basically states what exactly you want done with your health care should you be unconscious. It’s important for each of us to be proactive in helping ourselves receive the best possible health care when needed, especially when you have special needs such as avoiding drug allergies.

Please take the time to read the comments that follow this blog, it can be very helpful to hear what other people have been through and how things are playing out for them. I want this to be a place where everyone can talk openly and share info, so feel free to share your current or past experiences.

I wish you a speedy recovery!

PS – I was talking with a doctor the other day about Akathisia and he recommended talking to a neuropsychiatrist. So, for any of you out there who are going through Akathisia, you may consider starting THERE instead of with folks who seem to be clueless to how it works, as so many doctors seem to be. From what I know, psychiatrists of all the physicians are most well-versed in how meds work and so a neuro – psychiatrist understands the neurological effects of meds. Interestingly, as I was looking up neuropsychiatrist I found that the man who coined the phrase Akathisia was indeed a neuropsychiatrist. Here’s the link to some good info, including that tidbit – http://www.answers.com/topic/akathisia

If you have any questions send a comment and I’ll get back to you.

Please read the following post! If you can’t easily locate it, here’s the URL to the same article –


A great trifecta?

Turmeric, magnesium and probiotics.

I’ve been doing a bit of research after talking with a few people lately who are really having a tough time with akathisia. What I’ve learned has lead me to believe that possibly taking these three very benign products just may give great results in speeding the recovery time.

While each of these on their own are some of the safest, mildest, most side-effect free products out there – I think combining them may just give a really powerful result.

Magnesium helps the body and mind balance. It’s well known for that, it doesn’t give harsh results, so I believe a really good choice for overcoming imbalance.

If there were only ONE supplement (mineral) I could take for overall health, it would definitely be magnesium. I take it daily in several forms and always will.

Turmeric, I use nearly daily as well, for overall health. It’s great for reducing overall inflammation in the body. It’s a very settling tonic for the system. From further research I’ve been doing though, I’m thinking it could be definitely helpful in this application as well.

Probiotics are a given when dealing with any mind/mood issues or imbalances. I’m not a doctor, not a scientist, so I won’t try to explain the hows and the whys… if you feel you may want to try any of these, by all means do your research and/or consult with a nutritionist or worthy doctor.

I cannot give medical or nutritional advice, again, I’m not a doctor or nutritionist. I’m only saying that maybe these things could be helpful in helping the body and mind to get back to homeostasis when things are out of balance.

Godspeed in your recovery!

Let thy food be thy medicine…

Now I know when you’re suffering akathisia it’s almost impossible to eat, as nausea is generally the norm and there’s just no appetite to be found. But you do need to continue eating, so using food as yet another healing modality is a great idea.

It seems a lot of people, when suffering akathisia, react poorly to sugar and many processed foods and drinks. It makes sense because these things aren’t good for us in the first place, but sensitivity to less than ideal substances seems to be commonly at an all time high when one is in the throws of akathisia.

  • Try to drink a lot of water, it’ll help cleanse, detox, balance the body and mind
  • Avoid sugar and sugary foods and drinks, starchy foods that turn right to sugar
  • Eat as much clean, organic produce as you can tolerate
  • Drink a green drink in any form you can tolerate it whenever you can

Check out the article below – (When I read this today it made me wonder…since akathisia and tardive dyskinesia are affected by the dopamine/serotonin balance and Parkinson’s is also an issue very influenced by the dopamine/serotonin balance, if things that help prevent Parkinson’s disease may also help one overcome akathisia and td more quickly?

It’s just a thought, but after reading this article I think it just may be worth adding peppers to your diet.

In my humble opinion Dr. Mercola is a leading authority on “alternative” health topics. I read his newsletter daily and have found a wealth of helpful information on many topics through the years.


Peppers to Help Prevent Parkinson’s

Written by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

  • January 10, 2019

Visit the Mercola Video Library

Story at-a-glance

  • Parkinson’s disease, characterized by inflammation, stiff muscles, tremors and progressively more difficulty walking, ranks second among the most common neurodegenerative disease in older people
  • Recent studies show that some foods can help reduce Parkinson’s symptoms, while other foods may change the factors that cause neurodegeneration and disease progression
  • Eating Solanaceae, aka nightshade vegetables, such as tomatoes, eggplant and especially peppers, has protective potential; one of the phytochemicals such vegetables contain is nicotine, which appears to be the agent imparting the neuroprotective effects
  • The amount of dietary nicotine you’d get from eating healthy vegetables is significantly less than what you’d ingest from smoking one cigarette but may be enough to offset your Parkinson’s risk
  • Eating Solanaceae vegetables, particularly peppers, two to four times per week is recommended for increased neuroprotection

One of the most compelling statements in a 2014 study published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience is that in regard to Parkinson’s disease, “[A] growing body of evidence suggests that nutrition may play an important role.”

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that usually develops in older people, with such symptoms as inflammation, stiff muscles and tremors, all signs of decreased mitochondrial function. The disease is called idiopathic, which refers to conditions that occur spontaneously and with no known cause. It currently has no cure,1 one reason why prevention is key.

In Parkinson’s disease, movements like walking or turning corners slowly become more like shuffling, an indicator known as bradykinesia that occurs when brain signaling to specific body parts slows down, even suppressing facial expression. A host of other symptoms emerge gradually over time, including loss of smell, difficulty swallowing or chewing and memory problems.2

The study3 describes aspects of Parkinson’s as suppression of the autosomal-lysomal autophagy system, which is systematic degradation of your body’s functional components due to cell destruction, characterized by the loss of dopamine-transmitting neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (a section of the midbrain).4

The Michael J. Fox Foundation5 describes Parkinson’s as a chronic, degenerative neurological disorder that impacts 1 percent of the population. These individuals usually average 60 years of age, but some have been diagnosed at 40 and even younger.

Parkinson’s ranks as the second-most common neurodegenerative disease in older people, so it’s crucial to grasp the role food plays, the study emphasizes. More specifically:

“Recent epidemiological studies have revealed the promise of some nutrients in reducing the risk of PD [Parkinson’s disease]. In contrast, other nutrients may be involved with the etiology of neurodegeneration or exacerbate disease progression.”6

What Do Nicotine and Peppers Have to Do With Parkinson’s?

Another study at the University of Washington’s department of environmental and occupational health sciences in Seattle reported interesting findings regarding the association between Parkinson’s disease and peppers: Eating Solanaceae, aka nightshade vegetables, especially peppers, had protective potential, especially if study subjects had never smoked, or smoked less than 10 years. Here’s why that’s significant:

“Nicotine is the addictive phytochemical in tobacco, which is derived from plants in the Nicotiana species of the Solanaceae family. Other species in this family include Capsicum and Solanum, whose edible fruits and tubers include peppers, tomatoes, potatoes and eggplants. All contain nicotine.”7

So nicotine is a compound found in the plant family that contains tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants and peppers. It’s important to note that the amount of nicotine in these foods is negligible compared to that in cigarettes, the study stresses; probably even less than the amount in secondhand tobacco smoke.8

Dr. Michael Greger writes in Nutrition Facts that the amount of nicotine you get in your diet is hundreds of times less than what you’d ingest from smoking a single cigarette. But it depends on the nightshade vegetable and how ripe they are.9 Greger says what can be ingested via dietary nicotine just from eating some healthy vegetables may be significant, and explains:

[The researchers] … found none in eggplant, only a little in potatoes, some in tomatoes, but the most in bell peppers. When that was taken into account, a much stronger picture emerged. The researchers found that more peppers meant more protection.

And, as we might expect, the effects of eating nicotine-containing foods were mainly evident in nonsmokers, as the nicotine from smoke would presumably blot out any dietary effect.”10

To thoroughly analyze what factors led to the neuroprotectivity of peppers, the researchers used around 500 newly diagnosed Parkinson’s patients along with another 650 individuals who didn’t have the disorder, in the Seattle area.

The scientists factored in the amounts of (or absence of) tobacco use (including pipes, cigars and chewing tobacco), a wide array of other foods (such as broccoli, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, peas, squash and onions), cooking methods and the amount consumed, as well as race/ethnicity, other diseases, sex and age.

At the conclusion of the study, the researchers wrote that eating lots of vegetables in the Solanaceae family was inversely related to Parkinson’s risk. No other foods had a higher positive relation, and peppers won the gold star for having the highest association. They could only suggest that eating these veggies two to four times per week could provide protective effects.

Are There any Other Factors or Foods That May Help?

An alkyloid known as anatabine, found in both nicotine and peppers, was identified in the featured study as another compound that may be neuroprotective because of its anti-inflammatory properties.11

Capsaisin, the active ingredient in hot chili peppers (which also puts the burn on when you bite into them), not only has been shown to play a potential role against Parkinson’s symptoms,12 but also has been shown to inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells.13 Capsinoids in peppers and capsaicinoids, the study notes, also activate, by a circuitous path, receptors in the substantia nigra and may affect the survival of brain neurons.14

Coffee lovers will also love the fact that caffeine consumption also has an association with a lower Parkinson’s risk, according to a trial published in Neurology. At least four cups per day (per measurement) was what scientists in the 2018 study recommended as the amount to help alleviate symptoms. Further:

“Decaffeinated coffee afforded no protection, pointing to caffeine rather than other substances in coffee or tea as the underlying pharmacologic agent … Thus, exploring the mechanisms by which caffeine may protect against PD is a worthwhile endeavor.”15

There’s also conjecture that your microbiome is a hotbed issue in the debate regarding Parkinson’s disease causes and potential ways to address it through improved gut health. Dr. George Tetz and his colleagues examined16 the bacteriophages (viruses that live in your gut) in Parkinson’s disease, as well as the role the microbiome may play in its pathogenesis, or the way it develops. According to Parkinson.org:

“This has sparked the idea that we might be able to improve the symptoms if we change the microbiome through diet or other ways … People with Parkinson’s have less of a specific type of bacteria that produces lactic acid.

These bacteria play a role in the processes that produce dopamine and affect the intestine’s ability to absorb. According to the study, people with PD did not have less bacteriophages than people without PD, but people with Parkinson’s were found to have an increased number of a specific kind of bacteriophage called the lytic-phase bacteriophage.”17

Is Dairy Consumption Linked to Parkinson’s Disease Risk?

Tetz and his associates hypothesize that dairy may impact bacteriophages, specifically Lactococcus, a type of bacteria in lactic acid. Additionally, another recent study18 reported that dairy consumption is linked to developing Parkinson’s later in life.

But interestingly, the featured study draws on the findings of a study from 199619 that asserts drinking milk is associated with increasing your Parkinson’s risk, especially in men. Further, dopaminergic neurotoxins, including pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in dairy products, may also increase the risk, according to a 2002 study at Harvard School of Public Health.20 In addition, the featured study cited several other studies in reporting:

“Numerous studies have reported a decrease in peroxidase, glutathion-peroxidase activities and glutathione in the SN [substantia nigra] (indicating the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta) of PD patients post-mortem; suggesting metabolic failure in antioxidant mechanisms and chemical processes can lead to lipid peroxidation and parkinsonian characteristics.”21

Another study showed that omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) seem to be protective against several neurodegenerative diseases,22 and in another trial, researchers found patients’ motor skills improved with supplementation of riboflavin for six months — and eliminating red meat from their diets.23

What Changes Can Be Made to Offset Your Parkinson’s Risk?

Kelly Changizi, codirector of the Center for Neuromodulation at Mount Sinai Parkinson and Movement Disorders Center in New York City, said she often has patients ask if what they eat has any role in their disease, and acknowledges both that “It’s very interesting that nicotine in vegetables such as peppers may be neuroprotective,” and the study “provides further evidence of how diet can influence our susceptibility to neurological disease, specifically Parkinson’s disease.”24

She wasn’t the only medical professional to find the study about peppers being a link to alleviate symptoms and lower the risk of developing Parkinson’s an “intriguing” concept (although some still deny a “cause-and-effect relationship”). With any luck, the study may open the door to initiate changes in what had once been an assumption that nothing on the patient’s part could change their diagnosis.

It’s clear that diet has much more to do in the prevention of disease than many, including members of both the medical community and the general public, realized. Whether it’s eating vegetables for the nutrients they provide or working toward improving your gut biome, Greger’s conclusion is pithy and on point:

“Researchers conclude that their findings will need to be reproduced to help establish cause and effect before considering dietary interventions to prevent Parkinson’s disease, but when the dietary intervention is to eat more delicious, healthy dishes like stuffed peppers with tomato sauce, I don’t see the reason we have to wait.”25




UPDATED Suggestions for Healing Akathisia

I want to share a few things that I believe may be very helpful for those working their way through Akathisia. I’m not sure how quickly or thoroughly healing can happen if one continues to take the offending meds. I’m also not sure how quickly or thoroughly healing can happen if one doesn’t first approach cleaning up their diet and environmental toxins, this includes negative or unsupportive people. I believe a peaceful environment with as much loving support is extremely important.

I also believe cutting sugar and caffeine and processed foods, MSG, fake sugars is also very important. I believe a GOOD probiotic is of ULTIMATE IMPORTANCE. And I believe soothing and tapping into your soul is very important. I believe working with your subconscious to facilitate a more speedy recovery can be very effective. The best I’ve found are VSL3 and Custom Probiotics brands.

I’m not sure which supplements and which vitamins are helpful honestly. I know B6 helped me, but when I read about the GABA/Glutamate balance system, maybe it’s not the best bet. I’m really not sure, and it may depend on a per case basis. You might want to look into that GABA/Glutamate system, or if you can’t sit still, have someone do it for you. I wish I had time to research, but I don’t have the time to devote to do proper research right now, but I want you to have the info anyway. So there’s that.

I know if you have JUST taken the offending med and you only had one, or a few doses, then high doses of vitamin C may be very helpful for detoxing that med out of your body. Long term high Vit C can cause anxiety, does for some, not at all for others. So I can only say for sure that it’s a really good option for short term detoxing and will be most effective if you hadn’t taken the offending med for an extended period of time.

Speaking of detox, I HAVE TO mention infrared. I have had AMAZING results from this infrared mat – http://lifematspro.com/product/small-lifemats-pro-amethyst-mat/ . I could go on and on about the health benefits I’ve experienced from regularly using this product for just a few months, but it doesn’t pertain specifically to Akathisia so I won’t bore you with the details. Suffice to say, I can absolutely 100% recommend this for detoxing the body. If there’s any chance that accumulated meds are one of the reasons Akathisia lasts so long for some people, then this mat is an absolute MUST for a speedy and thorough recovery! This company sells these mats for 1/4 of what they cost elsewhere, so please do take advantage of their pricing while it lasts. This is one product I would LOVE TO GET FEEDBACK on once you try it. I really do believe this along with my other few strong recommendations on this post could turn things around for you very quickly.

Balancing the minerals in the body is KEY too. I believe Magnesium is HUGELY IMPORTANT for most people, especially those who suffer anxiety and certainly anyone dealing with Akathisia. The one I have found most effective is the plain CALM powder. I’d suggest just taking like a 1/4 tsp every few days in warm water and do that for a week or two and see how you feel. If you are feeling improvement bump it up a bit. But the full teaspoon dosage can be a lot for someone who has never supplemented with Mag before so be sure to work your way up. And I don’t recommend taking anything every single day, that’s just my belief. So skip days here and there and even weeks here and there if you aren’t feeling the effectiveness as you once were. Then start up again when you are craving it. Use your intuition the best you can with all supplementation – Your body knows.

*UPDATE FOR MAGNESIUM – Due to a reader’s experience I want to highly recommend you try transdermal magnesium instead of oral, or maybe even along with it. The brand I have been using for years is called Ancient Minerals and it comes in gel, spray and lotion. I found the spray and cream aren’t as effective as the gel, but to each his own. Either way, I know it’s effective for many health issues, as well as keeping the body/mind balanced and definitely a must try for anyone suffering akathisia.

I’m honestly not sure why I didn’t think to recommend transdermal, as my experience with it has been very positive. The only issue is, when you are suffering akathisia you are already uncomfortable and dermal magnesium can cause prickly, burning sensations while you’re marinating in it. For this reason, I generally only apply it to my lower arms and lower legs and feet. I allow it to sit for up to an hour then wash it off. I know my uncle slaps it on all over and goes to bed with it, never rinses. Again, depends on how it affects you, you’ll figure out what works best. They say the burning/tingling is most profound when your body needs mag the most. Interesting.

Another way to balance minerals is by using something called Cell Food. Their ingredients are a mystery. I’ve spent lots of time researching the product, because it produces GREAT RESULTS for me whenever I’m feeling physically off or depleted, but I still don’t know exactly what it is other than a mixture of trace minerals. Also, when I use this regularly I feel much better on a whole than when I forget to use it. I would definitely recommend giving this a try and would love to hear your feedback of how it worked for you.

EFT/Tapping may be the MOST EFFECTIVE treatment for Akathisia after basic detoxing of course. This was the most effective proactive work I did toward really overcoming the residual anxiety I had after coming down from Akathisia. That residual anxiety lasted a year or so for me, but once I started doing tapping, I healed pretty rapidly. I have since learned that it calms the CNS and that is ultimately EXACTLY WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING TO DO. By far the best practitioner with the best method I have ever experienced is the process created by David Feinstein – http://www.innersource.net/ep/promise-of-ep.html . I am in no way affiliated with these people or their company, I just know from experience his method is powerful and healing. David is Donna Eden’s husband, she is a very knowledgeable energy worker and he works in the realm of energy psychology, which is tapping. I think you can find some of their stuff on YouTube, but honestly, I haven’t looked in a while. I’d highly suggest getting his book/DVD bundle, because the DVD takes you through the process so you can learn to memorize how to do it easily.

Also, there’s a couple audio books I think worthy of your time. They’re not magic, but helpful, inspiring and very positive. There are a couple others, but I simply don’t have access to my stuff since I’m in the process of moving and having to stay somewhere temporarily without all my beloved books. I will get back to you with those titles as soon as possible.

The ones I can very confidently recommend for now are:

The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy. This was written quite a long time ago, so it’s a bit dated in the way he speaks of things, but the message is powerful and reassuring. It shows us just how powerful we are when we work with our minds, rather than letting it work against us. Miracles can happen. Spontaneous healing can happen. It’s just a concept worth knowing.

Instant Healing by Serge Kahili King. He also explains how powerful the mind is in healing the body. Very positive dude. Interesting exercises. Worth a listen. I’ve listened to my copy countless times for a reason.

I also believe Patti Conklin is a very powerful and intelligent figure in the world of healing. I’ve had her Color Works CD for many years and it was one of the things that really helped me along on my way toward healing http://patticonklin.com/ . When I just went to grab the link for you, I saw she has a CD called Tone Works which sounds very interesting and may be worth looking into as well.

There is a CD called Awakening the Body by Will Johnson. I honestly don’t know anything about this guy, but the CD is great. I know it sounds counter-intuitive to want to awaken the body when you’re suffering Akathisia, but I really do think once you try this you’ll understand. It’s about RELEASING pent up energies, thoughts, traumas. This is definitely worth a try.

There are processes called EMDR and also Brainspotting which I know from personal experience are very effective as well. Both of these modalities really need to be done by a practitioner, so this isn’t really something for you to try on your own. They’re also geared more toward past psychological/emotional trauma and may be most helpful once you’re further along the healing process. But they’re both about releasing, and this is really what your body and mind need to do – DETOX – RELEASE – SOOTHE – HEAL – REBUILD

There is a process called the Sedona Method that is very well known and powerful for anxiety. Though the anxiety associated with Akathisia is 1000x scarier than regular anxiety and panic, I think this can definitely help even so. The basic technique is shown here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GzSkUhRLbg . But it goes further into visualizing opening up your chest or stomach area and letting all that intense emotion pour out. That part of the process was by far one of the most valuable things I did to completely overcome the anxiety from Akathisia. The process is basic and simple but there is more to it than just what you’ll see here in this video. If it resonates for you at all, it’s worth looking further in to.

There’s another process called Ho’Oponopono. I don’t know a lot about it but I do know it’s a REALLY SOOTHING process . The process is simple and I’m absolutely sure there’s plenty of people demonstrating it on You Tube. Check it out!

Lastly, there’s someone named Ki Kaz, who has videos on You Tube which I partake in whenever I need a healing boost. I have no idea how/why they work, but I always feel better afterward. For some, the sounds may be annoying, for some it will probably be soothing, some might not notice anything either way. In my experience, his basic healing and room clearing ones are the most powerful of his collection. I don’t generally watch the videos, but just listen to the audio. Here’s a link to one of his audios – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSpUhKN8IRk&index=16&list=PLoznZWG3YZquWLbkVDtGlGlUX-XPjH1W2

I know some of his stuff uses binaural beats, some I think are done in other ways, but again, I don’t understand the science behind his stuff, but I think you can learn more on his website. Just another tool you may want to explore.

Again, I have no affiliation whatsoever to any of these folks or their companies. These are simply things I have found through the years to be the best of the best in “alternative” healing.

I am not a doctor, not a health practitioner in any way. I am simply someone who has been there and these are things I believe in. Some will probably be wonderful for you and some may not resonate for you at all, pick and choose what feels best TO YOU!

Godspeed in your recovery journey! You WILL recover. XO

Update from Admin

While I am committed to continuing to offer this site for those who need the information, I will no longer be able to respond to readers personally. Between time constraints and liability, I find that it is no longer in my best interest to correspond with readers. I have put ALL I know about this subject in these posts and if I come upon any new information that may be helpful, I will surely post that information immediately and without hesitation.

Please know that in due time (whatever time frame your body/mind need to heal) you will indeed heal. In all the years I ran this site, every single person I’ve encountered (even very rough cases) has healed and resumed a normal, happy life.

Please take my suggestions seriously. Even simple things such as vitamins, sunlight and eating well can have a profound effect on the body and mind. Don’t underestimate the power of simple cures and the power of affirmations and prayer.

Godspeed in your healing journey and know you will come out the other side STRONGER than ever before!

A Classic Akathisia Case

I just wanted to share someone’s letter, as her case is very “classic” to akathisia. I figure it may help others know they are not alone…

I was given the generic form of compazine on Jan. 4, 2015 as part of a migraine cocktail (was also given toradol and benadryl). I never told the doctors that I was nauseous and was never given any information on the side effects of the drug. After the 10 mL IV push, I began feeling really restless and was shaking, but I assumed it was just nerves and that the shaking was due to how cold the hospital was. I kept feeling like I just had to get out of the hospital and when it was finally time to be discharged, I basically ran out. I do not remember them taking my vitals during the IV or before I was discharged. When I got home, I couldn’t sit still and began running all around the house. My heart felt like it was beating out of my chest and so we returned to the ER, which at that point in the night, was packed. They did a quick EKG, which was normal and then had me wait in the waiting room. I had taken an ativan on my way there and about 30 minutes later, my pulse was still elevated but I felt much calmer. One of the nurses saw me and said that I could just continue taking ativan for the next few days and that the doctors just thought it was a side effect. Over the next few days, I experienced extreme anxiety and periods where my heart felt like it was going to beat out of my chest.

Since then, I have experienced episodes of tachycardia (to the point where I have returned to the hospital with a resting heart rate of 160), chest pain, restlessness, feelings of impending doom, and the need to always have an escape from where I am. I have had to go part-time at work and worry about going to public places. Waiting in grocery store lines, going out to dinner, and even watching a movie and having to sit in one spot has become torture. Up until this past Saturday, I had no idea I was even given compazine, but I just knew that I had not been the same since the ER visit. I have since convinced myself that I have had every other condition wrong with me that has to do with restlessness, anxiety, and tachycardia. This has caused even greater stress. I am thankful that I finally figured out what happened to me and that there is an end in sight, even if it will take many months.

More Thoughts on Healing Akathisia

*Please note that everything written on this blog is written by a mere concerned citizen, who’s just looking to share what she knows and help link people together so they may help one another through a trying time. None of the material here should replace medical and/or psychiatric help, where it is needed. If you are in need, please contact a professional immediately. And remember, you are never alone, even when it may feel that way.

For whatever reason, I get many more emails during the last few months of the year, which tells me Akathisia really booms during this time. I have some ideas why, but that’s not the point here. The point is, I’m currently in contact with so many people who are deeply hurting and miserable, so I’ve decided to add even more info on healing. Everything listed here I have used in my own life; some for healing when in crisis and also some I still use for basic maintenance. It’s very personal for me to share all of this information. And to those who don’t have much experience with, or belief in, alternative and Eastern therapies,  I just hope that the “alternative” nature of the healing modalities I believe in doesn’t skew your respect for this website and the work that’s being done here to assist you all. I want you all to stay engaged here and gain whatever help it may give, as well as, continue to work with and support each other through your healing journeys.

Just please take what seems interesting to you and leave behind anything that doesn’t feel right to you. Period.

*I’m not a doctor, nor am I trying to prescribe anyone any medications. I’m simply throwing ideas out here as to which natural products may be helpful for a balanced body/mind. Please advise a health professional before using any new products.

I have great faith in each of these products/modalities —


I have recently found by far the most effective brainwave entrainment recordings (biolateral) I have ever listened to and they are by David Grand. You can almost feel it physically in your brain. It’s almost like a tickle, a wave, of relief that you can really feel and it’s immediate. I would recommend this and Vitamin C together immediately above all else and then go from there to other solutions below. I would consider these two things a good 911 for brain or CNS imbalance.

I would recommend just listening to a couple tracks per day at first, eventually you should be fine with listening straight through a whole CD. They always recommend you start slow and taper up to more later with any brainwave entrainment recordings.

What Dr. Grand does is a form of EMDR, which is highly helpful for post traumatic anxiety/depression/agitation, etc. So finding an EMDR or Brainspotting therapist could be very helpful to you. At the very least, I would definitely work with these recordings to soothe your brain and get it firing in a more balanced way.


*I am in no way affiliated with Dr. Grand, I simply enjoy his products and have a great deal of respect for the work he does.



*I’m not a doctor, nor am I trying to prescribe anyone any medications. I’m simply throwing ideas out here as to which natural products may be helpful for a balanced body/mind. Please advise a health professional before using any new products.

Vitamin C is a great detox. I have read that if a person has a poor reaction to the drugs that were given during anesthesia they should do a mega-dose of vitamin C to help flush the body of the toxic pharmaceuticals.

So I don’t see why this wouldn’t hold true for basically any drug reaction.

Knowing the amazing healing properties of vitamin C, I take large amounts daily. I find the powder which you mix in with water is most effective, I feel the most change in my overall health anyway. Sometimes I use the Emergen-C packs, sometimes Lypo-Spheric by LivOn. The LivOn brand is no joke, you feel that immediately, it really does get right in to your system. So if you can afford it, I’d recommend the LivOn brand above all others. I tend to take one every couple days and then Emergen-C on the days in between.

If you take too much vitamin C, the body excretes it naturally. You may get loose stools if you overdo it, but either way, your body will let you know and then you can adjust your dosage accordingly.

I’m not going to suggest dosages here, I’m not a doctor. There’s lots of info out there online about vitamin C being used for detox and healing and info on megadosing for different health issues. I’ll leave it at that.


*I’m not a doctor, nor am I trying to prescribe anyone any medications. I’m simply throwing ideas out here as to which natural products may be helpful for a balanced body/mind. Please advise a health professional before using any new products.

I have recently learned that there are more serotonin receptors in the gut than in the brain! This news astounded me! The best part of it, I think, is that what we eat absolutely will affect the brain/mind/emotions. So, if we put healthy stuff in the gut, it should easily regulate the way we feel since we clearly need balance in the gut, to be balanced mentally and emotionally.

This doesn’t mean we can eat crap and then throw in a couple probiotics and all will be well. It means we need to be much more aware of what we’re putting in our mouths and really take nutrition seriously if we want to be physically AND mentally well and certainly if we’re in a healing crisis.

The best probiotics I know of are Custom Probiotics and VSL#3. They each have their own websites and should be ordered directly from the company for proper shipping in order to maintain the integrity of the product.


*I’m not a doctor, nor am I trying to prescribe anyone any medications. I’m simply throwing ideas out here as to which natural products may be helpful for a balanced body/mind. Please advise a health professional before using any new products.

Wild yam cream may be one of the main things that tipped me over the edge toward healing when I was suffering with this. I started using it according to the label on the jar and soon after, began having blocks of time throughout the day where I started feeling improvement. I don’t know if it’s related, but I believe it is. I know a few people who have tried it while suffering akathisia and they found it helped them as well. It may be worth a try for those who are suffering akathisia. It’s a natural product that can be found at vitamin stores, Whole Foods, Amazon, etc. I don’t know what brand is better than another, I would just look for one that has received a lot of good online reviews.

I realize it’s a hormone support product for women, but since males and females share hormones (just at varying degrees) I believe it may be worth a try even for men who are suffering akathisia.

I would really like some feedback from those who are giving this a try, let us know how it worked for you and how quickly you saw improvement. Or even if it didn’t help..The info is most valuable for our readers.


I have read that color therapy can work wonders in soothing the brain and central nervous system.

The only issue is, I’ve read that pink is the right color, also aqua and sometimes blue and sometimes green, depending on the type of imbalance.

SO – I do think it’s a valuable modality, but I think it’s important to figure out what feels good and right for you in the moment. The body is always changing, so it would make sense that the best, most therapeutic color would depend on whatever state the body/mind are in at the time you decide to use color therapy.

That being said, I have found two good options for implementing it. One good for when you’re in bright, or daylight and one when it’s dark or you can close yourself up in a dark room to use it.

This is the Philips Living Colors line:


And here is a basic link for color therapy glasses:


I do not have any affiliation with either company. I had been looking for a color therapy light for a very long time when I finally found the Philips. It’s the only of its kind that I’m aware of, but that doesn’t mean others don’t exist.

As far as the glasses go, I think you can get them pretty cheap on Amazon. I don’t want to give a particular Amazon link though because I know many who read this blog are in other countries. So I’m sure you can easily find some within your area with a quick online search. I know the Philips lights are available on Ebay and Amazon as well, I purchased mine from Ebay, but I believe both places sell them for less than the actual Philips website.


BOOKS (This can be found at audible.com as well for those who can’t sit and read yet)

Hope & Help for Your Nerves by Claire Weekes – This is one of the best books ever written on anxiety. It was written quite a long time ago, but her take on how to get through it is really perfect. This is a great book for when you’re out of severe Akathisia and working your way through residual anxiety. Though I think the way she suggests letting the bad feelings flow through you, without judgment and resistance can be helpful even in the grips of Akathisia.



I have not read all of the contents on this website. I found it when searching for healing. I found one of the chants to be very helpful in calming the body/mind. I find I feel very calm and my whole being feels deeply soothed and more positive after chanting this in an upbeat melody for several minutes – Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya.

This a chart of ailments and then correlating chants applicable to whatever symptoms you’re suffering:

(It shows this chant I mentioned above useful for giddiness.)

Spiritual Healing Chants _Opt

Here’s the link to the chant instructions:



Shamanic Dream by Anaguma is a form of sound therapy that REALLY relaxes the body/mind. There are many other CDs, but this one is by far the most relaxing.

William (Bill) Farber puts out some interesting guided healing audios. He also does guided regressive hypnosis. I believe he’s one of the best at what he does and is worth looking into.

Patti Conklin offers a very quick guided color healing meditation CD called Color Works. It’s about 15 minutes, but it also can be very soothing and create some good changes inside.

Duncan McColl does some profound guided healing audios. He is no longer with us, but his work lives on! This is the one place I know to get his recordings still. The Self Healing with Hypnosis definitely helped me along the healing path from Akathisia.


Chakradance also puts out something interesting. You might feel a little silly the first couple times trying it, but it definitely has a cathartic/healing effect on the body and mind.

Rhythm For Your Soul (A Guided Dance Journey Through Your 7 Chakras)

Krishna Das has put out quite a bit of chant music, but Chants of a Lifetime is definitely the best, in my opinion. You can only understand how it will affect you once you sit down and immerse yourself in it. There’s nothing wacky about what he’s doing, it’s a very honest and straightforward American interpretation of an ancient healing modality and he’s simply the best at delivering a sound experience that truly heals the soul.

I don’t know much about Andy Dolph. I learned of him somewhere and then got his Journey of Relaxation and wow! Effective! That’s all I can say. Totally worth giving a try. I just checked online and found you can get this recording for FREE!



If you are in a desperate state, please consider adding yourself to this prayer list:



If you believe you are in need of detoxing and clearing out old substances from your cells, there aren’t many detoxes I’ve experienced that were more effective than sweating it out in a sauna a few times a week. If you’re recently off meds it’s a good idea to detox SLOWLY. But if you’re ready for really cleaning out your body once and for all, a sauna can really kick you over a new threshold.

Aside from detoxing, saunas have been proven to seriously boost the immune system and help prevent many illnesses and diseases on a whole.

Many health clubs and spas have saunas. But also there are saunas you can buy for your home that can be quite affordable if you catch them on a sale. I have done A LOT of research on far infra-red saunas and found Sunlighten offers saunas with very little EMF exposure and very little (wood) outgassing. Why? Because they use quality, clean woods and a proper heating system. Again, I’m not in the least bit associated with this company, I simply use their product. And I’m not a doctor or healer of any kind. I’m simply a concerned citizen who is trying to help others find their way to better days.


If there are any other practitioners, modalities, philosophies, supplements, vitamins, etc. and so forth that you believe help and haven’t been mentioned, please feel free to post a comment.

Are These Doctors REALLY Ignorant to These Drug Side Effects?

After receiving yet another email from a perfectly lovely, SANE person suffering Akathisia, who is not being heard or understood by their doctors, I just have to rant for a moment. This whole medical “care” model is so backward and damaging it doesn’t cease to amaze me. And this isn’t just here in the U.S. the same thing seems to be happening to people all around the world! The pharmaceutical companies have truly taken to ruling the world and there seems to be no end in sight. They have the doctors in their back pocket, because of $$$$, because they can. And those same doctors and medial “professionals” are very happy to marginalize, downplay, ignore patients who have any trouble with whatever pharmaceuticals they’re throwing their way and you can be sure if you have walked through the door of a doctor’s office, you WILL be prescribed pharmaceuticals of some sort.

I could go on and on about how messed up the whole healing model is with this form of “medicine/healing,” but that’s not even really my focus here. It’s simply a matter of doctors, and the like, feigning ignorant to all the tragedy their easy for them, damning for us, mode of “healing” is causing.

Here’s a copy of the last email (I highlighted the sections I see time and again) I received and this one is very mild compared to many I have received about the tragic suffering at the hands of downright malevolent doctors. It just reminded me, yet again, that the problem really lies in the hands of these physicians and psychiatrists who are supposed to be helping and serving people. —

Subject: Akathisia

I hope that I am not bothering you by corresponding too much.   Most of what you said in your first blog telling about your experience sounded so much like me. I want to come off everything but am scared because coming off clonazepam is I believe what started my akathesia.   My psychiatrist left last year and my new one whom I have never met decided to take me off my clonapin.  About a week after I had taken the last one I couldn’t sit still talking terribly fast.  I didn’t know what withdrawals were.  Had never heard of akathesia.   When I would talk to my counselor or nurse practitioner they would just say you’re going to be ok you’re medicine should be out of your system and this should end and started focusing on why I was anxious like it was just mental.  I have had issues with depression and anxiety but nothing like this.  I have been in the hospital 3 or4 times.  Not good experiences.  Finally happened to get my old dr  back.  He diagnosed me with akathesia. He put me on propanolol and ativan but he is 75 years old and stopped taking ins.  I can’t afford him and  feel kind of hopeless with the other psychiatrists I have dealt with.
This makes me so damn angry! I’ve seen this a million times, and I’ve LIVED IT. Psychiatrists and physicians need to know what a grave disservice they are doing by either unwittingly or intentionally staying ignorant to the prevalence of this type of drug reaction. The ones who are knowingly putting their head in the sand because the money is just too good should simply lose all capacity to “help” the public and should be thrown behind bars for a very long time. Or better yet, they should be used as pharmaceutical test subjects. Ahhh, if the world were only so just.
Anyway, here are some of the most common phrases I hear over and over again that doctors and psychiatrists are telling their patients:
“You’re just anxious/depressed, you need MORE/DIFFERENT meds.”
“There’s no way that drug is still in your system, you are SCHIZO/ANXIOUS/BI-POLAR/MANIC/ETC.”
“You need to be checked into a mental facility where they will medicate you more/better.”
“There’s no way that drug caused that reaction.”
“Oh, you don’t have Akathisia.”
“I’ve never seen anything like this.”
“I don’t know what Akathisia is.”

The bottom line is, we are not going to be able to stop Big Pharma, so as individuals we must call these physicians and mental care professionals to the mat and make them ACCOUNTABLE for this grave mistreatment, which is clearly becoming epidemic. Speak out for yourself, and others, and if a doctor needs to be reported, do so. We need to stop paying to be their victims.

My heart is with each and every one of you.


My Akathisia Experience

*Please note that everything written on this blog is written by a mere concerned citizen, who’s just looking to share what she knows and help link people together, so they may help one another through a trying time. None of the material here should replace medical and/or psychiatric help, where it is needed. If you are in need, please contact a professional immediately. And remember, you are never alone, even when it may feel that way.

I am writing this recount of my experience several years after I went through it. Why? Because Akathisia was one of the most horrifying things I’ve ever lived through, and it’s taken me this long to be willing to relive it on any level. Why am I writing this? Because I think it will help others who are going through the same thing understand they are not alone. In my past I have struggled with anxiety and depression at certain points in my life, but never felt so terrified and alone as I did when I was in the grips of Akathisia.

So here’s my account, to the best of my recollection. I’m sure I will have forgotten some of the awful symptoms I dealt with in that 6 month span of time when it raged, and even the following 6 months when I was somewhere in between stricken and healed..but I will give you all the basics of what I went through.

It started with a couple weeks of nausea. I’m not sure if it was a flu, or stress or what, but I was having chronic, terrible nausea that wouldn’t let up. Eventually I found myself in the ER just looking for some relief and possibly an answer as to why I was feeling so sick.

Of course, as usual in any Western medical setting, they were quick to dismiss the why and go directly to meds. They told me they wanted to give me something to alleviate my suffering, so they hooked me up to an IV and gave me both Compazine and Xanax.

I immediately began feeling weird, but figured it was just the sedative effect of the meds. But quickly realized I was having a really odd reaction. To be fair, I had experienced some of the initial feelings with other meds in the past, but quickly things got out of control and I was off and running into a world of hell and horrible suffering that lasted for more than 6 months.

At first I felt really tired, figured I’d fall asleep a bit and wake up feeling better. I only wish that’s what happened. I got to a certain level of sedation, I couldn’t move or open my eyes, but my mind and body were writhing in misery and a level of agitation I’ve never felt in my life. I was desperate to get up and shake it off, get out of there, rip my skin off and leave the confines of what I was feeling, but I couldn’t.

I just laid there with my entire body feeling like it was cast in stone, mind reeling, shaking violently from the trauma of the drug reaction, but I couldn’t move or talk, other than shaking and moaning. I was in the beginning stages of Akathisia hell. I have no idea how long I laid there in this state. Eventually, I was able to stand up, barely. I couldn’t focus my eyes, could barely talk, but I was just desperate to get out of there. So I tried getting up to get dressed. This is when I collapsed on the floor in violent fits of gagging and dry heaving. No one that worked in that hospital bothered to come see if I was okay. Eventually I composed myself enough to get to the car, I just wanted out of there. I was still very out of it, but I had someone to drive me home.

I was even more nauseated than I was before I went in the hospital, out of it, could barely see or talk, still. Now just to let you know, I had taken Xanax several times in the distant past when I was dealing with panic attacks and general anxiety. So I can tell you, these effects weren’t from that. It was the Compazine. I had not suffered anxiety in well over 10 years before this event and had never reacted like this to anything in my life previously.

I got home and was feeling such a high level of panic and anxiety and overall sickness I was just out of my mind. I tried communicating to my roommate what I was feeling, but I just ended up on the floor in more violent fits of dry heaves.

Eventually I was able to sleep for an hour or two and woke up a little more ‘with it.’ But my vision was still terribly blurry. I remember feeling physically hungry, but I couldn’t eat. I felt more keyed up and crazy than I had ever experienced in my life.

This was the beginning of my year plus struggle to get any sleep, whatsoever. By the next day I knew I wasn’t shaking off the reaction to the meds and something was terribly wrong. My body felt stiff and rigid like nothing I had ever felt before. The core muscles down the center of my body, in my stomach and my neck felt like they were made of cement. That effect ended up lasting for literally months. Also, my vision was blurry on and off for months.

I could sleep only fitful bouts of minutes at a time. For the next 6 months I would only sleep, at most, an hour at a time, averaging literally only one to two hours a night, total. This lasted for 6 months and then the sleep issues lasted at a high level for about a year and a half, though at this point I was able to get two to three hours average a night. To this day I have terrible issues with insomnia, generally only able to sleep three to four hours at a time. This was never an issue for me before Akathisia. So at this point I have resigned to the fact that this is permanent damage from that drug. (I’m actually writing this paper at 4am and I have to be to work at 8am. So there you go.)

The most maddening side effects weren’t even anything I’ve mentioned thus far. The agitation and extreme, chronic panic were the worst of it. I was totally unable to sit still, for six months. I was totally unable to handle the stimulation (physical or mental) of the outside world, driving, talking to others, watching TV, listening to music…I couldn’t handle ANYTHING.

I lost 20 pounds, rapidly. Because I couldn’t stay still long enough to cook, or sit to eat. I couldn’t stand putting food to my mouth at all. I had previously quit smoking, but took it back up again. Smoking was the only thing my body seemed to ‘want.’ I barely slept, I barely ate, I just paced around my small bedroom and smoked. I couldn’t even handle the stimulation of going out to the living room or outside to our little yard. At the time I lived in a very small back house with only one roommate, who was gone much of the time. So, the trip from my bedroom to living room was literally only two steps and our yard was small, but cozy and private and I didn’t have anyone around to upset me or ask anything of me.

It didn’t matter though, I could find comfort nowhere. I was completely terrified all the time and the only place I felt remotely safe or comfortable was within the confines of my bedroom. Now let me digress again here; I have a degree in psychology and a great deal of knowledge about the subject, I was absolutely not suffering simple Agoraphobia. I had suffered a bout of Agoraphobia years earlier and know what that feels like. Totally different. Result is the same, but the feeling was very, very different. Akathisia anxiety is like regular anxiety/panic/agoraphobia 100-fold.

I was quickly to a point where I couldn’t even handle going to the bathroom, which again, was only maybe five steps from my bedroom. So I would go in a little portable potty. I probably don’t need to tell you that admitting this is humiliating, but I think it’s imperative you understand all the ways Akathisia can skew your reality and limit basic functioning. I’m not saying all of these things will happen to everyone who goes through Akathisia, this is just the ways it manifested for me.

When I tried sitting down I would constantly have to jump up and move around or I would use my arms and push myself back, over and over again. It’s hard to describe, it was a very odd feeling, but I was needing to endlessly move and adjust my body, constantly. I began ripping my hair out, literally. I also ripped at my skin. Now let me just tell you, I had no history of any of these behaviors before Akathisia. I didn’t have any history of serious mental illness, other than basic anxiety and a couple bouts of depression. And neither of these had caused anything remotely close to what I was now going through with Akathisia.

Having an extensive background in psychology, I absolutely knew this was a reaction, not my organic state, not simple “mental illness.” I knew too much to think my cheese was slipping off my cracker, but I didn’t know enough to understand what exactly I was going through.

Being an intelligent, curious person and desperately needing answers, I started frantically contacting anyone I could think of for information. I started with calling the hospital that did this to me. I got a young emergency medic on the phone and told him what happened. He told me he has seen this several times with Compazine and told me it would potentially last approximately 3 days to 3 weeks. I only wish he had been right. But he did give me crucial information and that was the word, Akathisia.

So I spent any moments which I could sit still, scouring the internet for information. I quickly found information on Akathisia, as well as, Tardive Dyskinesia. All the information out there purports that one suffers either one or the other, but that wasn’t my experience. I seemed to be suffering Akathisia to a great degree and elements of Tardive Dyskinesia to a milder degree. The most comfort I got was reading posts on askapatient.com. There I found MANY others who had suffered very similar reactions to Compazine. This gave me hope, as many of them recovered after a few days or weeks. However, that wasn’t going to be the case for me.

I found out that all of this is tied to the dopamine-serotonin balance in the brain and finally deduced that those who suffer Akathisia are already a bit off in this balance, that’s why some people can take certain meds with no reaction and others have wild reactions. It all depends on where you are starting from.

So now my focus was to balance out the dopamine-serotonin levels in my brain. I did hours and days and weeks of research on this topic alone. Everything I could find on this I put into one document, which is now my blog.

As I began having lucid moments of potential healing, tiny glimmers of light, I started talking to friends on the phone about my ordeal. None of them believed, or even bothered to try to understand what this thing, Akathisia, was. They ALL thought I was just stressing out. My closest friend told me it was peri-menopause, another told me it was anxiety and I just needed to get perspective. No one, and I mean NO ONE, understood whatsoever what I was going through. I was so frantic still, even after months of this, I talked at a million miles a minute and I know my speech was very incoherent. What’s really scary is, this is years later I sit and write this and even just recalling the whole ordeal is scrambling my brain in a way, as I try to recollect all the nuances of the experience. When I say this is a terrifying and powerful experience, I mean it, to the nth degree.

The only person who gave me any comfort, whatsoever, during all of this was a therapist named Scott. I spoke with him on the phone a few times during the course of my struggle. The one thing he told me that literally kept me alive and hopeful was this – “The body and mind want to heal. The natural state is for the body to rebound back to homeostasis. You will eventually heal.

After months of Akathisia, all I could see was my own death. There’s no sense of DOOM and DARKNESS like what is felt during Akathisia. It’s inexplicable. I knew if I didn’t just die from it, I would kill myself if it didn’t let up. I was so sure I absolutely had to die. Because I could NOT STAND feeling that way “one more minute.” That’s all I ended up saying, over and again, when I talked with people – “I can’t stand feeling this way, not ONE MORE MINUTE!” And I lived at that level of extreme terror and agitation for months and months. I have absolutely no idea how I survived. I do know, now, though, that humans are much more resilient and adaptable than I ever previously thought possible.

Sadly, some people who suffer Akathisia give in to suicide. It’s terrifying, it’s tragic, but it’s the reality of it. I’m nearly positive the ones who give in and give up do so because they see no end in sight. It’s impossible to see the light at the end of the tunnel when you’re in the grips of Akathisia; because the level of suffering is unthinkable and relentless and to top it all off, the positive, hopeful, “feel good” portions of the brain are NOT firing properly, or at all, during Akathisia. This creates a sense of hopelessness and endlessness that’s inexplicable.

So – The main thing for ANYONE who is suffering Akathisia is to KEEP THE HOPE. Understand, even if it takes months, YOU WILL HEAL.

I was absolutely resigned to the fact that I was not going to heal and was going to “have to” kill myself. I needed respite so terribly bad. I thought death was the only way out. But every day, I clung to the research and the words of that therapist and kept plugging along; doing everything I could to boost my “feel good” brain chemistry.

Believe it or not, the turning point for me was once I paid close attention to my diet and endeavored on a total body cleanse. I know in the U.S. we are all taught to believe meds are the final mighty power for all that ails us. But at this point I was so terrified of ANY type of drugs; I simply knew I wouldn’t survive getting one shred worse, so I couldn’t risk taking anything.

I learned that sugar in any form, even fruit or juice made me rebound back to my worst state. So I began eating whole foods, mostly veg. I still didn’t have much of an appetite, even after months of suffering. But when I did eat, I was careful with what I put in my body. I began drinking green juice and taking vitamins. I started forcing myself outside for short walks in the sun, when I could handle it. I began taking salt baths to help detox my body, when I could sit still long enough to soak in it a minute.

All these little healthy habits I started forming began giving me tiny little moments of respite. I may have felt terrified and overwhelmed when I would go walk, but the physical activity would trigger the good brain chemistry and I found myself feeling a sense of hope, just a shred, even if for only 10 minutes, after I came back from the walk. In other words, doing the healthy habits didn’t feel good at the time, but I began noticing the positive side effects here and there. So I kept on that path.

I cannot begin to explain the level of despair and overwhelm that is Akathisia. There’s absolutely no way to begin to understand it unless you’ve been through it. It’s life altering to a great degree. I have helped many others through it since I’ve healed and I have yet to see someone get through it gracefully. Nearly everyone I’ve seen through this is at a high level of suicidality when in the grips of it. One person I was trying to help through it ended up being locked up in mental institutions for a spell (where she only got worst because of the awful conditions, poor treatment and further meds being forced down her throat), because the doctors did not begin to admit to, or try to understand, what she was going through.

Why? Simple. Because Big Pharma has them by the balls. Period. Doling out meds is their bread and butter. Period. I had to advocate for this person from across the country, via phone calls, to help get her released from this mental ward. They considered her non-compliant because she was so restless, agitated and unwilling to take more meds. The scariest thing was this — They seriously had no clue what she was going through!  – Most of the nurses and doctors I spoke with truly had no idea what Akathisia even was!!! They were working daily, in a mental hospital, doling out psych meds by the handfuls and they had NO idea what I was even talking about! I was actually scared we were not going to get her released before she ended up dying. She was at that point, so very sick and the inhospitable surroundings were the straw that broke the camel’s back for her. The doctors were adamant about having her try more and more meds. She almost just gave in, because she was exhausted and so, so sick. But she didn’t and we got her released a couple weeks later.

Only once she got back home did any level of healing begin. It was a painfully slow process and it was nearly impossible convincing her family what she was going through was a real, long term side effect from drugs, and that she would eventually heal, but they stuck by her just enough that she was able to get the time and space to heal. And she did. In her case, she went in for a simple surgery and came out of anesthesia with the Akathisia reaction. (Anesthesia for a surgery is almost always a cocktail of all types of meds and many people encounter Akathisia post surgery because of this.)

Several lose their jobs because of Akathisia. There’s absolutely no “fighting through it,” like one might be able to with other illnesses or diseases. With Akathisia, you are simply down for the count when in the grips of it. Some people, once they get through the initial roughest part, are able to start resuming some level of activity, but they do so with great suffering and misery. It’s only once true healing begins, weeks, maybe months, down the line that you are able to get your head sorted out and begin functioning comfortably again.

In my case, once I became coherent enough to speak to anyone about this and make any shred of sense, the only people open to the reality of a long term drug side effect and empathetic to the suffering that is Akathisia were alternative healing practitioners and that ONE therapist.

Akathisia is hidden from the public, and even physicians, by Big Pharma. They absolutely do NOT want the public knowing the severity of risk associated with their drugs. Insidious, isn’t it?

I’m not paranoid, I’m not a conspiracy theorist, never have been. I’m simply stating the facts. Do your research, or have someone do it for you. But I strongly urge you to GET THE FACTS. Be an informed consumer from this day forward. If you don’t look out for your own safety and well being you may find yourself a statistic. It’s scary, but true. The drug companies run this country. If you don’t protect yourself and find a healthier, more natural way to live, you may end up another one of their victims.

Please, if you, or someone you love, is dealing with Akathisia – Get proactive. I’m not saying it’s your job to fight ‘the system,’ honestly, the drug companies are too powerful to fight. It’s a losing battle. Also, I know when you’re in the grips of Akathisia, you have nothing to give, you don’t have time on your side. All you can, and must, do is get through it and HEAL, so you can reclaim yourself and your life. I just mean you need to get proactive in caring for yourself and being informed as humanely possible. You should be well aware of everything you put in your body and what it will do to you, for better or worse. If you don’t prioritize your own well being, who is going to? Sadly, the vast majority of doctors these days care about your $, not your health. You need to care for you.


Drug Reaction INFO from another source…

 Since I started this blog I have never added to it. But this article, which was sent to me by one of the blog readers, is so important and informative I just have to put it right up here where you can easily find it. It’s just one person’s opinion, but from everything I know, he truly GETS it and gives some highly valuable suggestions. Please just read with an open mind and take away whatever makes sense to you.
All my best,

*Please note that everything written on this blog is written by a mere concerned citizen, who’s just looking to share what she knows and help link people together, so they may help one another through a trying time. None of the material here should replace medical and/or psychiatric help, where it is needed. If you are in need, please contact a professional immediately. And remember, you are never alone, even when it may feel that way.

By Charly Groenendijk
The Netherlands
Sept 9, 2000 ~ 2009

  You experienced a negative reaction to an (SSRI/SNRI) AntiDepressant, what (not) to do Now?  

“Who does Not Know the Truth, is simply a Fool…
Yet who Knows the Truth and Calls it a Lie, is a Criminal.”
– In “Galileo Galilei” by Berthold Brecht (1898-1956)

Go to General Side-Effects SSRI/SNRI/SSNRI Antidepressants: cases, reviews, articles & studies
Go to Tapering Off Anti-depressants
Go to Introduction

Take notice that also non SSRI anti-depressants (and even Ritalin) may interact (primary or secondary) with the serotonergic (or serotoninergic) system in the brain.

After your reaction to an (SSRI/SSNRI) Anti-Depressant
The first 3-18 months
One of the long term side-effects after experiencing a reaction to an (SSRI) antidepressant, is an extreme hyper-sensitivity of the nervous system to light, sound, supplements, herbs and fabricated synthetic vitamins. Furthermore physical symptoms such as muscle tightness, electrical shocks through the brain and the body, feelings of burning on the surface or inside of the skin (deregulation of pain perception), visual and/or auditory hallucinations, as well as emotional and psychological problems. For a more detailed discussion regarding above mentioned side-effects click here.

We do not recommend to expose your body to synthetic chemicals whilst experiencing more or less severe hypersensitivity of the nervous system. We rather recommend to get your essential elements from preferably organic low acid food. Low acidic foods have a high pH value which is ALKALINE or BASIC! You need to ‘alkalinize’ your system (body) above a pH value of   ‘7’ !

Eat enough fruit and vegetables in a variable alkalinizing balanced diet, and drink lots of water. For instance tomatoes, bananas, kiwi’s, broccoli, aloe vera, carrots, cabbage, beans, cucumbers, etc., are a very rich source of essential minerals, vitamins and amino acids. Do not take 5-HTP to create more serotonin in your brain. By simply leaving your serotonergic neural system alone, you will assist it the most to find it’s own natural balance again. Unfortunately this will take some time.

Do not charge your nervous system like you always did before your reaction to an (SSRI) antidepressant. If you charge your nervous system too much, like too much stress, a surgery, unhealthy eating patterns, etc., you actually delay your recovery. You will have to learn to listen to your body, what means that you know when to withdraw and when to get active.

When you suffered a reaction to an (SSRI) antidepressant your nervous system becomes hyper-sensitive to ALL stimuli. What are stimuli? It is everything that acts on your nervous system (directly or indirectly) like light, sound, but also violence on TV, stressors, certain supplements or fabricated vitamins, etc. All these things act as stimulants to your nervous system. Actually the effects of a psychoactive drug and watching a horror movie are very much comparative to each other…that is: they BOTH act on your nervous system!

The key solution to recovery is NOT to stimulate your nervous system, but, to sedate your nervous system. Every time when you stimulate a nervous system that in fact needs to be sedated to recover, you delay the process of healing. We know it will be impossible to lock your self up in a dark, silent room and this is definitely not what we are trying to say. You just have to learn when to withdraw yourself (and thus your nervous system) from stimuli and when to come out.

Consider sweat baths (sauna baths). This is a very healthy habit. Sweat baths are extremely sedating to the nervous system. When you take a sweat bath on a regular base this will strengthen your cardiovascular system and improve the blood circulation. Next to this, go out in nature, trees, green, oxygen, gentle walking, etc..

About taking supplements
We learned that everyone who is experiencing (SSRI) antidepressant side-effects, is looking for the quick relief. People are experimenting with whatever supplement or fabricated synthetic vitamin they can get their hands on. Simply avoid this if that is possible.

As previously mentioned above, we do not recommend to expose your body to synthetic chemicals whilst experiencing more or less severe hypersensitivity of the nervous system. We rather recommend to get your essential elements from preferably organic low acid food in a variable balanced diet.

Two to three simple bananas and kiwi‘s, an egg-sandwich, 2-3 glasses of milk, a few tomatoes and an avocado a day provides many of the essential vitamins, (trace)minerals & amino acids you need on a daily base. Vegetables especially rich in essential elements are: Peas, Potatoes, Broccoli, Squash (Summer), Spinach, Lima Beans & Kale. The taste of nature is nice and it saves you money on unnecessary supplements too!

However we also understand that getting your essentials from a variable diet requires some skills in preparation and cooking of your daily meal. Not everyone is able or willing to do that. In that case you need to add your essential elements otherwise. We understand if you feel the need to take a daily multi-vitamin complex. There are many different multi-vitamin complex products, unfortunately a lot of rubbish amongst them. Most of them contain extra added synthetic chemicals which you must avoid. If you are going to take a multi-vitamin complex you need to be aware of the following:

  • make sure that it doesn’t contain Vitamin K. Vitamin K plays a role in the manufacture of blood clotting. Too much of this vitamin might interact with plasma serotonin which is also known to make blood form cloths (see article, “2.a. Serotonergic functioning”). Although there is more research needed regarding this matter, the anecdotal reports of (former) (SSRI) antidepressant users imply fabricated vitamin K as a cause for the worsening of their already exisiting symptoms.
  • make sure that ALL B-vitamins are low(never above the daily recommended standard). It is important to note that most B-vitamins work as stimulants to the nervous system. You need to avoid that.
  • make sure that the B3 compound is as niacinamide and NEVER as niacine (this will give a flush which could make you re-live all of your symptoms again).

Depending on the severeness of the reaction you experienced to an (SSRI) antidepressant we also recommend that if you decide to take your essential elements otherwise, to take calcium/magnesium/zinc in a vegetarian formula. Never exceed the daily dose of Calcium 1000mg, Magnesium 400mg and Zinc 15mg. Although calcium/magnesium/zinc are not known to act as stimulants, caution is needed. Always start with small amounts (1/6 of the daily dose), gradually build up and keep monitoring yourself.

In these first 3-18 months the cycles or the emotional rollercoasters (the tricks your brain is playing on you) can be extremely frightening. And it will seem like it never ends, especially when you find a bit of hope in the evening to be back at square one in the morning. Be firm! We all understand its the most frustrating experience right now for you. It’s serotonin related and that’s why you are experiencing delayed (withdrawal) side effects and flashbacks, but gradually it will get better. Evaluate your recovery by weeks and months, not days.

You are going to experience minutes, hours and days that you will start to feel better. The cycles will get longer in duration and eventually you will have more good then bad days. Though, it is most important you also treat your nervous system with care during these better days. Don’t think when the better days arrive that you can charge your nervous system like you always did before. It will give you a major set-back! Stick to the list we provide you below, on how to assist your recovery during this period.

Friends and Family
These times are very tough to experience. Your friends and family cannot even imagine the powerful influence these drugs have on your mind and your sub-consciousness. They simply cannot believe that these drugs can have such a powerful effect on someone’s brain. You might loose your trust in them after this. Try to accept and understand their ignorant and frustrating reactions. Avoid them for a while, if that’s possible.
How can I assist my recovery during this period?

  • Avoid any psycho-stimulants such as medications, herbs, but especially: violence on TV. Why? Because right now your nervous system has become hyper-sensitive and extremely susceptible to every input from your surroundings, not only light and sound! You must also protect your sub-consciousness until you reach a level of emotional stability.
  • Ingest low acid foods and try to minimize the ingestion of high acidic foods with a low pH-grade! REMEMBER: You need to ‘alkalinize’ your system (body) above a pH value of   ‘7’ !
  • Avoid Grapefruit Juice. Grapefruit juice is an inhibitor of the cytochrome P-450 enzymes. These enzymes are known to metabolise (break down) (SSRI) antidepressants in the liver. Drinking grapefruit juice whilst you are taking an (SSRI) antidepressant can create a serious toxic reaction, because the (SSRI) antidepressant will build to toxic levels in the bloodstream! For more information click here.
  • No caffeine. Drink lots of chamomile tea, sweetened with honey.
  • No alcohol.
  • Don’t take Saint John’s Worth. St. John’s Worth works more or less as a natural SSRI (on post synaptic receptors), also interacting with your serotonergic neural system
  • Don’t take Ma-Huang (Ephedra) because it’s a powerful adrenalin (epinephrine) stimulant, triggering adrenalin rushes.
  • Don’t take Kava Kava, it can intensify (SSRI) antidepressant (withdrawal) side-effects or give flashbacks to previous side-effects you experienced.
  • Eat neutral alkaloids, vegetables, etc..
  • Consider fasting for 1 to 10 days. Fasting detoxifies your body, but be careful and monitor your bloodsugar levels daily.
  • Don’t do any intensive exercise like jogging or aerobics, but instead try meditation, gentle stretching, gentle walking.
  • Go out in Nature, or go to a Sauna, or whatever environment where you may find a little peace of mind and body.
  • Listen to light Classic music or New Age music, watch cartoons (or anything else without violence), go walking, take hot or cold showers, anything that might work for you, anything to “manage” the “twilight zone” of suicidal and offensive thoughts and dissociated emotions.
  • Focus on memories of events in your past (like childhood memories) which will recall positive emotions. Hang on to them!
  • Learn during this period, which thought or view will give you any positive emotional response and write this down into the form of an affirmation! Read these affirmations for yourself every morning when you wake up! In this way you will slightly re-program your brain to tune into positive emotions.

Time and Nature will be your best friends in your healing process. In this battle you don’t fight to win because you can’t. You simply will survive it. Focus on the thought to survive this, and you will, just as other individuals did. Don’t force yourself to become the person again that you were before this, but make a statement to yourself that you will come out of this “trip.” Make this statement to your self everyday, every hour.

Whilst You are Recovering…
We strongly persist not to take any supplements, herbs and/or synthetic vitamins until your nervous system has strengthened over time. Continue to ingest proper food, vegetables and fruit during this period. Treat your nervous system with care. As mentioned above: don’t think when the better days arrive that you can charge your nervous system like you always did before. It will give you a major set-back! Be careful and monitor your body closely whilst you are ingesting a supplement or herb.

By Charly Groenendijk
The Netherlands
Sept 9, 2000 ~ 2009