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Akathisia vs restlessness, anxiety, agitation

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Meimeiquest

I haven’t had true akathisia from withdrawal (only from Abilify) but I know it sucks,  sometimes I did have very bad restless legs though, epsoms salts baths always helped.  I mixed it pretty concentrated, 4 cups in “soaking” bath tub, adding half a cup of baking soda was nice as well....several drops of lavender essential oil even nicer.  Hang in there!

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JB1234

Thanks i’ll give that a try

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JB1234

@Meimeiquest, @RandyJames, @herod, @UnfoldingSky, @bunchesofoats, @powerback, @puthappinessfirst, @Kostas

 

I put @ your name here because some of you replied to my previous posts and I am in need of help and support....thanks ahead of time if you respond to this...

 

Good window bad window Akathisia 

I’m in a bad window.  Really bad. I have a wife and two kids.  my symptoms have gotten really bad.  

Me...
Prolonged antidepressant discontinuation symptoms. 

Slow and steady reduction. Last 2 months no change in med but experiencing an increase in Akathisia. 

(Apologies for jumping around and not organizing my thoughts better)

Does anyone know why this happens?  Doctors and psychiatry academic resources seem to be in the dark.

This makes my situation seem like my situation is unique or rare.  I think this alone makes me more distressed about this. The symptoms are one thing.  Thinking that the symptoms aren’t common and not getting any information is more harmful I think...My doctor says he has people who are on doses of SSRI that are too high get Akathisia and I’ve read about the antipsychotic induced Akathisia. 
But It seems to be getting worse and not better

Much of the time I am functioning. Enough to work. Not a choice my family depends on me. 

Unfortunately, I have fleeting thoughts about cutting my wrist with a really sharp knife or walking into incoming traffic.  I don’t want to do these things and I have never attempted nor planned. However, I am at a point that my symptoms of Akathisia are getting worse and I feel very hopeless.

I am NOT suicidal but I find these thoughts to be very unsettling. I do not share these thoughts with my doctor, therapist, or family members. Only people on this forum.

So maybe you can give me your opinion on my situation sugar coating not necessary. 

My Psychiatrist recommended neurofeedback therapy that includes stimulation of brain using small current. He means well but I don’t bet my life on his recommendations (for example he sent me to see Dr. the Amen clinic for my ADD to get a bogus brain scan that said I was brain damaged. 
Complete waste of $ that I don’t have)
Does anyone have any experience with this?? Please share good bad ugly.  I don’t want to be worse.


Use exercise as a way to manage. Having extreme jitters going to workout. The only time I feel calm and relaxed is if I am completely exhausted. 

I am still in parking lot going to gym after sending this. 

Yesterday I did my weights and stretching and went to do cardio.  Walking around the gym the Akathisia makes me move a little funny like I have a limp. 

Yesterday I tried to finish my workout but when I started my cardio.  The background music with thumping bass drove me nuts.  I got so pissed off. (I usually have not problem asking them to turn it down)

I am a mess

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puthappinessfirst

I'm so sorry. As far as I know, akathisia can come in windows and waves like all other WD symptoms, for no rhyme or reason. Sometimes meds, supplements, foods, stress, exercise (really anything) can trigger it, making it bad or worse or slightly better. It is a crap shoot it seems.

 

Some people battle with akathisia even after getting off all meds. It doesn't mean that it's forever, it just means it can be unpredictable, like any other WD symptom. I wish I had a definite answer for you... akathisia is one of the worse symptoms by far. I've experienced it and it is absolutely terrifying.

 

Just knowing that it gets better helps me. Also always having something to look forward to... a get together with friends, a class, reaching a new level in a game, reading more chapters in a book, talking to my therapist... ANYTHING positive that you can look forward to really. Oh and make sure you're not dehydrated. I chug electrolyte water and coconut water.

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puthappinessfirst

P.s.

 

That's funny you mentioned the Amen Clinic. I was just wondering about their work.

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Walking

JB1234, I'm so sorry about the anguish you are experiencing. I am out of WD now, but I did experience the rocking back and forth at times of great emotional stress (the rocking is a self-soothing mechanism), as well as the thoughts of doing something to harm myself.

 

The machine you mention is called a theratapper, available online for about 100-130 $US. It's pretty simple technologically, and runs on batteries.

I use my therapist's sometimes during sessions when I'm feeling especially emotional, and it does help me to deal with the issues in a more calm and focused manner. He's lent it to me a couple of times, and it has helped to calm me as I meditate to music.

 

The science behind it, is that it stimulates both sides of the brain to engage in processing information and feelings. A rough approximation can be achieved by alternately tapping on your thighs while seated, or crossing your arms over your torso and alternately tapping each bicep.

 

I hope some of this is helpful.

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RandyJames

I'm so sorry you're going through this man.  The akathisia was one of the worst things I've ever experienced.  It's such a uniquely unnatural feeling and so relentless.  There is literally no peace with it.  I thought it would last forever but it went away even before I went back on antidepressants.  It just sort of slowly became less intense and faded out.  I also thought a lot about ending it during that WD and recently with my current issues.  You are going to begin to feel better and you'll look back and remember those thoughts and be glad you didn't act on them.  

 

Do you think there is anyway that the Ritalin coupled with the Modafinil could be contributing to the akathisia at all?  Those are pretty speedy meds.  They told you that you had brain damage?  Have you had any scans done at a regular medical facility?  I just looked up the amen clinic and it seems like they are pretty controversial.  I got sucked into the same sort of thing during my WD.  I wound up at a place called the Holtdorf Clinic, a totally scammy alternative medicine clinic and they sent my bloodwork to Igenex Labs to see if I had Lyme disease.  It came back positive but I also saw numerous other doctors including an infectious disease doc at Stanford who explained that that they test pretty much everyone positive and by the way their tests work if you've ever had mono, Epstein bar or a bunch of other viruses that you can test positive. I had Mono as a kid for certain and my symptoms only popped up during withdrawal.  Their fees were amazingly high also.  

 

Just hang in there.  You are tapering off two really strong meds.  You'll get there.  

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bunchesofoats

I so wish I had some solid advice to give you! I haven't experienced akathisia myself (at least not in an obvious way, though I do rock back and forth sometimes and am kind of a fidgety person). I do have experience with neurofeedback and don't recommend it. It wasn't helpful at all, it affected me in a bunch of weird ways, and I ultimately kind of regret it because, like medication, it put me further out of touch with myself and threw me for what were probably some unnecessary loops. I also know a couple people who've gone to the Amen clinic and I too concluded it seems like a waste of money. Cursory internet research (read: wikipedia) shows some non-psychiatric solutions like vitamin b6 and beta blockers. I wonder if the ritalin and modafinil dosages need to be lowered as you taper off the anxiolytics? They may be over stimulating your nervous system. I really wish I could confidently point you in a helpful direction. 

 

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UnfoldingSky

Hi JB,

 

Very sorry as well to read of your recent akathisia flare-up, I know how tough that must be. I read part of your intro thread and it sounds like your Celexa taper was a bit too fast.  That may explain why you feel so bad now, as sometimes it takes time for the taper to catch up with a person.  I could be wrong, as others have suggested it may be something about the other pills you are on.  I don't know a lot about most of those except benzos. 

 

I would talk to the mods and see what they recommend you do going forward.  Also don't worry, I'm sure there will be a way through this.  Given people have recovered from cold turkeys I know it is possible for you to recover too.

 

Oh and yeah, the bass at the gym, that would be hard to deal with while having aka for sure.  You might try changing things up for a bit, maybe instead of the gym go for a walk in a quiet area.  When my sound sensitivity was at its worst there would have been no way I could manage going to a gym.  It will get better though in time.

 

Keep posting and let us know how you are.

 

 

 

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herod

I'm so sorry man. I can tell you that I was also having thoughts of suicide for the past month because of the agony of akathisia. But the last few days is the first time I've been able to sleep during the night in 6 months. Our timelines are different, but the truth is that we WILL heal. There will be a moment in time when you will look back on all this and feel relieved that you no longer have to deal with this anymore. It may not be today, and it may not be next month. But the time WILL come.

 

The fact that you're making it to the gym shows that you have control over your situation. Time advances all on its own, all you have to do is persevere. But I agree with the poster above, maybe there is better recreational activity for you than the gym if the noise gets on your nerves.

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JB1234

Thanks for your encouragement. I appreciate knowing that others are experiencing similar challenges.  I hope that your sleep continues to improve 

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JB1234
21 hours ago, puthappinessfirst said:

P.s.

 

That's funny you mentioned the Amen Clinic. I was just wondering about their work.

Hi thanks for your words of encouragement. It is a strange feeling and it took me a while to attach this need to move to the withdrawal symptoms. I am doing my best to go with the flow.  Yes the Amen clinic is a quackery thing.  I am not brain damaged and have had scans and tests to confirm that. Dr. Amen has his wife doing ADHD friendly recipes and you can buy them at his prestigious clinic

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ShiningLight

The akesthisia sounds horrible. I’ve had that before in an acute sense as an allergic reaction to benadryl. It’s awful. I kept flopping up and down in the bed like the exorcist. Just try to be in the moment as best you can. Some of what makes those states so horrible are the thoughts, “what if this doesn’t get better?!” “Why can’t I stop this?!” blah blah blah. Be in the moment and ask yourself, “Is this moment, with me pacing, bearable?” If it is, then just be in the moment. A lot of times I find if I soften inside and stop fighting my experience, it is an effective strategy.

Scary thoughts are difficult, and they are even more difficult when you’re depressed. I’ve had scary thoughts both when I’m depressed and when I’m not.

I feel like it’s my response to the thoughts that kind of solidifies and reinforces them and makes them even scarier and more likely to persist. I remind myself that thoughts themselves can’t hurt me. Thoughts themselves are actually neutral phenomena; it’s the meaning that we ascribe to them that makes them “good” “bad” or “scary.” It’s just the brain doing its job, trying to get your attention because it's upset. I try to think of it as a brain hiccup or sneeze. Totally neutral. I find it helps a lot. The more it hooks me into an emotional response the more it persists and I am vulnerable to spiraling down. It’s a lot easier said than done, but when I can respond in this way, it does help.  

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JB1234

Thanks for your response. I’m sorry but I am noticing my replies are not being saved 

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JB1234

I wrote this earlier 

 

Thanks @ShiningLight thanks for chiming in.  Talking about this stuff is super important.  It’s easier to ride the waves knowing others share the same experience.  I haven’t changed medication for sometime because I don’t feel stable.  Ironically one month ago I felt better physically and mentally. My wife noticed the past 2-3 weeks in particular me looking very fatigued irritable and not well. This is when the Akathisia stuff began.  It think I got on this forum when I started having more intense symptoms. She seems to think I am overly obsessed with symptoms and that since I have been participating on this forum that my symptoms have worsened.  I don’t know!  I just know i want to get better 

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bheb
18 hours ago, JB1234 said:

She seems to think I am overly obsessed with symptoms and that since I have been participating on this forum that my symptoms have worsened.  I don’t know!  I just know i want to get better 

 

With my own OCD diagnosis (which sent me to Prozac which sent me to akathisia), I get this a lot. “Just stop obsessing and getting so agitated, you’ll be fine”

🙃

Ah yes, if it were that easy...the agitation is the exact thing I wish to get rid of...The truth is that akathisia is a really intense state. It’s very hard to do much else besides be in it. It’s an all consuming restlessness. However, you can distract. There’s no turning it off, but I find things I can do to pass the time. Because of course, I don’t want to be obsessing either.

 

So yes, getting off the forums for a long walk or something is a good thing. But the forums aren’t the *reason* you feel like this. Hang in there.

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JB1234

Hi @bheb that’s for telling me that.  I think OCD might be hereditary to some extent as my brother has had that and I have had severe anxiety and both of us did find some relief in Prozac.  In fact the only reason I remember switching to Celexa from Prozac years ago was due to sexual side effects... back to what you were saying about the Akathisia and being in the moment despite the extreme discomfort.  This is exactly what I need to do. If I am better at identifying that I am not going insane and that I am feeling this way because of something that has a name then it’s easier to separate this experience as being something temporary and passing ... and being something tied to me being an awful person 

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Meimeiquest

JB, I think the modafinal/Ritalin thread might be worth looking into.  I took a dose of Nuvigil (which was heavenly on first dose and I would accommodate to very quickly after) after a certain reduction in meds and experienced huge anxiety and tachycardia which persisted for some time.  Just remember not to make any drastic changes!

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JB1234

Thanks Meimeiquest,

 

I have taken Modafinil for years as well as ritalin.  I did not have these problems previously before tapering my SSRI.   However, I am going to continue looking into it as it’s quite possibly making my symptoms worse. Maybe I can try cutting my dose.

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