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Akathisia vs restlessness, anxiety, agitation

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hiphopanonymous

Ive been off of benzos for about six months and this inner restlessness just started and it is extreme in nature it is inner turmoil and anguish. I am on gabapentin 300mg tid. I have been on it since my cold turkey is there a way this med could be causing this somehow? It is used to treat akathisia and it has only seemed to get worse this last month or so whats going on? Its developed to the point of suicidal obbsession because its so tormenting its more mental than physical although i do feel it physically its not limb movement or anything like that its just mental anguish and torture whats going on please help me

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Lovofsun

The only way I have found to help this akiathisia is meditation... It takes time about 2 weeks (doing meditation every day for a min of 30 mins a day) to help could take you longer but that's what helped me....

 

I went to my nearest Buddha temple and they learnt me for free :)

 

Plus there's tons of YouTube videos to help :)

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Lovofsun

Using a happy mantra when meditating can help up your mood a lot!

 

I use things like: "today will be a good day... I feel happy and nothing can stop me"

"I love everything and everyone... I forgive everyone and everything"

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Cdav

I've been suffering with severe akathisia since February 2015 when I made the mistake of accepting a new antidepressant the doctor prescribed for severe depression (which might be withdrawal depression and also genetic predisposition to depression, I had already had it in a milder way but not as bad). Sometimes it's extremely severe and makes me suicidal, sometimes it is more tolerable. Sometimes it is there even if I'm in a good mood, sometimes the physical torture of it make me extremely dysphoric and depressed. 

 

It's hard to pinpoint what akathisia feels like. I guess it's a symptom that cannot be compared to anything else, because as someone else mentioned before, it does not exist in nature, it's just drug induced, and it's HELL. It does feel like extreme energy inside that compels one to move, run, jump without much relief or like having drank 100 cups of coffee, but it's not quite exactly like that. It's just an inner physical TORTURE that has made me want to die just so it can stop. 

 

I've had no choice but to take conazepam, biperidem (an anticholinergic) and Lyrica to keep it under control. Otherwise, I would probably be dead. I know that sounds drastic, but that's how severe it has been for me. 

 

I hope it goes away for good some day. The short periods of time when it's under control I live with the fear of the moment when it will come back. It is a horror movie going on inside your body and mind. On the positive side, like I said sometimes I have it when I'm in a normal or good mood, and I can cope with it even though it's very uncomfortable. 

 

I send my heart out to every soul that has experienced this torture of WD syndrome or side effect. 

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luv2knit

Cdav, I totally get what you are saying. "TORTURE" is a perfect way to describe it. I also have it in varying degrees. It is constant to some degree. At its worst, I scream at the top of my lungs and pull my hair out--literally! (My poor husband and pets!) There is no controlling it. I have had it since early September, 2014, due to a much too rapid taper of Zoloft (100 mg. in 6 weeks). As I stated above, my nervous system is so sensitive, I am unable to take anything without just making it worse. My thoughts are with you. Hope you are able to escape this soon!

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luv2knit

Cdav, they say the akathisia does eventually go away for everyone, so I have to believe that. Hoping and praying this lets up for both of us SOON!!

 

XOXO

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Horns85

Does anyone experience akathisia or agitation after eating? It seems anything I eat right now sets off major inner restlessness for about 30 min to an hour after I eat.

 

I have not had akathisia much up to this point but this is awful. It's after pretty much anything I eat followed by heartburn/acid reflux.

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Marmite

Does anyone experience akathisia or agitation after eating? It seems anything I eat right now sets off major inner restlessness for about 30 min to an hour after I eat.

 

I have not had akathisia much up to this point but this is awful. It's after pretty much anything I eat followed by heartburn/acid reflux.

No, I've not had it after eating, could it be a food allergy that you've developed or perhaps eating alerts your autonomic nervous system? I did get inner shaking with Lexapro and also cold sweeping terrors that would wash over me in bed at night.

 

The internal shaking was weird. It doesn't quite equate to the descriptions on this thread of akathisia, so I'm not sure if that is the right word for it. It was quite subtle and milder but it felt as if I was shaking inside all the time yet on the outside my hands were steady. I assumed it was something to do with an irregular heart beat which I had.

 

I got the restless legs. They would jump about and it was probably one of my longest lasting symptoms. I still get it occasionally now after 8 years. It particularly came on with inactivity during withdrawal and it was torturous because I could never relax for any length of time without my legs jumping around.

 

I think they prescribe another round of psych/dopamine type drugs for it.

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ShortStraw

Has anyone found exercise to be helpful with this? I think I have it mildly. Over the past few days there are waves, probably 30-60 minutes where I am just so tense and anxious and have this trembling feeling I can't shake. I used to exercise a lot but due to an injury that's still healing (about 3 months ago, pre-AD, broke my leg), it limits my ability to get up and just go for a run or something. I think I was actually having this a bit before I made my mistake with Lexapro though, so I'm hoping once I can get back into the gym it will help a lot.

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Cressida

Has anyone found exercise to be helpful with this? I think I have it mildly. Over the past few days there are waves, probably 30-60 minutes where I am just so tense and anxious and have this trembling feeling I can't shake. I used to exercise a lot but due to an injury that's still healing (about 3 months ago, pre-AD, broke my leg), it limits my ability to get up and just go for a run or something. I think I was actually having this a bit before I made my mistake with Lexapro though, so I'm hoping once I can get back into the gym it will help a lot.

I can't do what I feel qualifies as exercise but when I get this mildly I do find physical activity helpful. Maybe burns off circulating adrenalin and keeps mind occupied. Sorting out the garage. Wood store. Etc. so moving and having to think but not massively strenuous

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clearday

Re: akathisia/restless legs syndrome.

 

I had restless legs syndrome at bedtime years ago during my protracted withdrawal from Prozac.

 

The WD RLS lasted for about three years, and finally went away with my other Prozac WD symptoms: severe daily fatigue and sensitivity to light. Good riddance!

 

The whole time, back then, I didn't know I was in protracted WD from Prozac; I thought I had some weird illness like CFS. Looking back now, it's as clear as day what caused my disabling symptoms during 2003 - 2007; it was protracted Prozac WD.

 

What I do remember, is during that time, I once took oxycontin for a few days for pain relief from some ailment. 

 

When I stopped taking the oxycontin, my bedtime RLS went through the roof! Not only were my legs restless, but it creeped up my spine and my arms were restless too. That lasted only a couple days.

 

So I looked up opiates, and sure enough, WD from opiates is known to aggravate RLS.

 

So for me, RLS has always been associated with drug withdrawal. Once with acute WD (oxyc) and for years with protracted WD (Prozac).

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Mort81

I don't know if my stomach sensations are Akasthisia or what. Ive kept my diet the same but sometimes I get this inner restlessness feeling in my gut and I cant relax. Its tough for me to decifer what is what. So many symptoms overlap.

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bluebalu86

I have a feeling of being internally tortured and a feeling of internal terror/horror/dread. It doesn't allow me to fall asleep because it feels torturous and I just lie in bed in agony. I don't know if it's akathisia. I don't have the urge to pace. But I feel very uncomfortable no matter what position I'm in. I hope it stops soon it's nasty. It gets especially bad when I lie down and try to relax and fall asleep. That's when it hits full force.

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bluebalu86

Mort, the difference is that anxiety is part of akathisia, but akathisia is not part of anxiety. Akathisia is characterized by a feeling of great internal discomfort, being internally tortured, restless, agitated and/or having the need to pace or move around and inability to sit or lie down and stay still. Wanting to jump out of your skin with the discomfort. It doesn't really matter what you call it, you'll know it if you're experiencing it. It's much more powerful than (severe) anxiety. 

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Mort81

Okay I figured out the difference by pinpointing a wave. I got nailed this morning with askathisia. It was triggered from an Epson salts bath that was probably too hot. I stuck it out but after the bath it got ugly. Now I know whem ive experienced this before. I had to take a bit more if my benzo. Not pretty that's forsure

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Mort81

I keep getting nailed with Askathisia. Seems to keep happening in the evenings. What I thought was bouts of intense anxiety was actually my response to this Askathisia. I have figured that out now. Its wicked. I definitely can't be out in public with this feeling

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ExLexa

Yes, this is what I have been experiencing. It has a name! I have been trying so hard to explain this feeling to my partner and some of my friends but they look at me with blank albeit concerned faces. I don't have a need to move but I have inner terror, turmoil, dread, agitation.... Like constant adrenaline running through my body - but adrenaline without a purpose. I have found that very deep yogic breathing helps me (if I can find enough strength to pull myself away from the dread to even start) and strong powerful chanting also helps. I find it tremendously hard to do these though if I am stuck in the physical/psychological feelings of akathisia. This has really ramped up over the last week, as have most of my WD symptoms. I am almost 6 months out from my last dose of lexapro and it seems that this is a common time for WD symptoms to get worse.

 

I am so sorry to everyone who has to endure this hell. One day it will have to get better.

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Mort81

I know what everyone is talking about when heavy askathisia waves come. It almost like you cant do anything. Paralyzed with fear. Its relentless. Distraction is difficult. I managed to ease it somehow I don't know how. Its gotta be the worst symptom

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Vonnegutjunky

This a journal about akathisia - and although there is only a little blurb in it about vitamin b6 I thought it was interesting to see it being used in clinical trials for the treatment of akathisia

http://www.healio.com/psychiatry/journals/psycann/2014-8-44-8/%7Bea0388e1-b8ea-4061-973a-fe3485f799f8%7D/akathisia-case-presentation-and-review-of-newer-treatment-agents

Edited by bubble
merged the post

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Mort81

Ive heard B6 can help but for others it can be too activating. My akathisia has been very weak for at least a few weeks now. But my neuro anxiety has been heightened lately. Its super strong every evening lately

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westcoast

My two cents on anxiety versus akathisia


 


Anxiety: I feel anxiety as a physical sensation in my gut. Burning, I guess. It's always because something is bothering me that I'm afraid to deal with, or something nerve-wracking like meeting new people is about to happen. 


 


Akathisia: Like 25% of subjects in clinical trials, I had akathisia on Abilify. I didn't know what it was, and my doctor (psychiatrist) went all Carl Rogers on me. "I hear what your are saying and I'm sorry you're suffering." She'd prescribed it for akathisia that she mistook for mania. It was a 4th drug in a health-wrecking ensemble.


 


I had the classic pacing, can't remain seated, can't lie down akathisia. Luckily she liked to email so I can understand what happened...

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downtongirl

is a constant need to be bouncing your leg or shaking your leg akathisia?

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Fresh

If it's just in the legs , that's more like RLS , restless leg syndrome.    

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westcoast

Hi Downton Girl.

The restless pacing phase went away pretty quickly when i got off Abilify, and I still didnt know what it was. I just found some emails to the shrink du jour, and I was saying it was unbearable. I emphasized that I was not exaggerating, but she really didn't get it. A couple years later I was nearly psychotic on skin-patchRitalin (Daytrana by Noven) for which a different doc prescribed Effexor. It wasn't akathisia, but after effectx

 

Unfort, I lived alone and freelanced over the net so I fell apart and got weird and weirder until my two excellent clients backed away slowly, and a gig taking photos for a book vaporized because I couldnt drive and emailed so many long explanatory rants...too embarrassed to contact the publisher now. (Afraid of rejection, actually.) Not long after I became an attic-dwelling total isolate, a very smart guy I'd begun chatting with online handed me this magic word, akathisia, and I thought back to the Abilify...he helped me see that I was pretty nutty, just from the speed itself. I basically ran out of pills and thus quit both drugs, and then the dread/terror/ doom set in not long after. I dont know if it is called akathisa without the inability to sit, but it wasn't psychological. It was my nervous system. Heart rate and blood pressure thru the roof at times.

 

Sleep was a rumor, a myth or some kind of hoax. Mornings were like the advent of torture. The light coming in at dawn meant there was no hope of the kind of micro-nap I sometimes got in the wee hours. I'd lost all my interests and passions so I couldnt kill time online. Could not relax, would sit stiff and immoble for long periods. Had seizure like events. The mood part-the morning dread-that lasted well over a year. The shrinks in town I saw would only prescribe the latest akathisia-producing APs. I drank beer to fall asleep but alcohol is famous for letting you sleep badly for 2-3 hours max, after which you lie awake until dawn. Still a wiser choice than pills, for me, imho.

 

I couldnt communicate properly. That's pretty common. My mouth couldn't say what my brain was trying to get across.

 

I turned a corner after I started on poor man's Bulletproof coffee. Butter (Kerrygold), coconut oil, and a cup of instant coffee every morning, to improve my memory, I hoped. But I blew myself away one morning when I realized i hadnt had the morning dread for a few days, and that I didnt feel like drinking and could actually fall asleep. I was posting about it as it happend. If I can find it without getting distracted and forgetting, I'll post think the link. (I'm left with not much in the way of a brain, but as long as the dread is gone, I'm happy enough)

 

are you still trembly on top and fidgety on the bottom?

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westcoast

 

Hi Earthworm...welcome to the board! Notice the post above yours...Surviving's doctor says the agitation/akathisia resolves evenually once you are drug free, and that he does not prescribe for it. I had it very bad for a long time during my protracted w/d, but it has resolved. I do think that walking can help. I don't really think that there are any supplements that really help this problem. I had to be very careful when taking supplements because sometimes they made my symptoms worse...Omega 3 for example helps many, but made me feel like bouncing off the walls.

 

Does this mean i should make another drop to alleviate my akathisia? Sorry im very confused...
This chapter from the 1980s indicated that a Parksinson's drug called biperiden was very effective. If you want to stay drug free, that's obviously not the answer. If it's a matter of life and death, that's a different matter. His patients all got their Akathisia from fluphenazine, an "antipsychotic" for schizophrenia.

 

http://psychrights.org/research/Digest/NLPs/RWhitakerAffidavit/VanPuttenManyFacesofAkathisia.PDF

 

This article was nice to see but devolves into a list of drugs to try. It's not much help for those who don't want to risk new side effects and wasn' t especially gung ho on bisperiden.

 

http://www.currentpsychiatry.com/home/article/akathisia-is-restlessness-a-primary-condition-or-an-adverse-drug-effect/36f72ba0e0b0ae64c5c033d7b676448c.html

 

Back to biperiden. I don't know how I missed this. Just like Van Putten's results.

"Following i.v. administration on biperiden, the mean time to onset and maximum effect occurred 1.6 (SD = 1.9) and 9.2 minutes (SD = 6.0), respectively. Furthermore, at the time of maximal effect, akathisia was completely ameliorated in all patients. The side effects reported were mild and transient. Following i.m. administration, the mean time to onset and maximum effect were 30.5 (SD = 5.9) and 50 minutes (SD = 7.4), respectively. Thus, the time to maximal effect was significantly less (40 minutes) after i.v. compared to i.m. administration."

 

From: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11001281

 

Side effects looke pretty bad. This is for oral administration, though

http://www.drugs.com/sfx/biperiden-side-effects.html

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hennie86

Akathisia has been my "friend", not really liked one once when was in multiple meds at the same time. But i cured, everything went well.My cns cured, happy end, almost forgot how terrible condition it is. It wasn´t really bad those days. If i would have remember that,  i wouldnt ever have touched to anything that could cause me this terrible condition.

 

This week the worst terrible nightmare happened and akathisia came back,because of one pill of Seroquel 25 mg. This time i feel i am seriously in trouble, there is no messing with AP:s. I had stopped Zyprexa, and doctor wanted to help me in my terrible insomnia, and wanted me to take one of the safest pill in the class of antipsychotics what it comes to side effects. What i should have thought is i am in Zyprexa withdrawal and i have had tremors and RLS(my body is telling something isnt right) so... maybe insomnia is better. It seriously is. I also felt discomfort in my legs everytime i took Zyprexa, but the feeling went away every morning.

 

What i think, there is no safe AP med and i hope i would have been far away from those meds but unfortunately not, my life went like this. Mistake with a big price, and i think its absurd that docs prescripe AP:s nowadays to almost every possible symptom. I think a risk of developing some kind of reaction has grown because i have stopped and started a couple of antipsychotic meds, not a path i would recommend to anyone. First contact with seroquel with much healthier brain and cns was positive. Happy sleep with no morning hangover. Quitting was easy and everything went well. I didn´t feel it destroying my ability to think, or numbing me, what i have felt after, maybe i just have so little in my brain left. (black humour). But this time trying Seroquel for sleep, what im not gonna do ever again,  I felt immediate reaction in my cns and in my brain, something just wasn´t right and i was really really anxious. It´s been absolutely terrible week since and I AM SO SCARED. I wanted to quit benzos but this week has been a benzo trip. I have been lying on the floor in my worst feelings and just moved my legs and cried. Now i have difficulties lying down with a laptop. This is like RLS x 100. The feeling starts from brain somehow, and goes in the arms, legs, and blocks quite well all the other thoughts.

 

After telling my doc, which i should been very far of, that i developed akathisia, he said it cant be it, because i could sit still. Yes, i can sit still when being in benzos somehow. My ability to cope with daily activities has really gone down. I also have felt, that akathisia comes like waves. I had better moments this day, but overall its just is there all the time. And it feels permanent, and im praying it isnt.

 

All this terrible path started from 5-htp which also is not good in case of akathisia. After it  i have been in a spiral that goes down. From little depression to hell in a week, and i have asked myself couple of times, why i visited doctor, because i haven´t had really positive outcomes from it.

 

All of you suffering from this, i can give so much empathy. This is terrible, but let´s just try to cope with this although this is pure hell.

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Mort81

My akathisia had severely weakened in the last 3 months but it got heightened and reactivated after some pressure point work on my neck. I sure hope it goes away soon.

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stan

at 7 years off any med, having had severe kind of akathisia which appeared month 9 to 15, then slowly diminishing, what i feel today

 

before, at a moment i said it has gone away, i was wrong, i was busy with other symptomes and do not see properly my feelings

 

it seem not gone away, it has moved in an internal inability to be quiet, tensed, nerves rigidity, such as nerve itching,

i can walk, stand, against a wall or a tree, sitting, speaking i have it permanent

 

what i feel is after 7 years, my body is unable to put it away, he could only change it in something a little different, but the result is akathisia is still with me, and if my body has not be able to put it away during so long time, i have doubt he will put it away in coming years

 

if possibly it will go away in future, i will post it

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Junglechicken

Yes, I definitely have this.  

 

I can't stop moving and have to walk for miles and miles to reduce my agitated state.  

 

Its also caused weight loss as my appetite dropped due to IBS and so balancing the two is getting difficult.

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Mort81

I know lots of people have it and it goes away ! . Mine was gone for awile , a deep neck massage caused headaches and severe dizzyness. I think the Akathisisa is the result of other symptoms getting worse .  For me it never comes by itself. Everytime its a result of another symptom. Last time I had it bad was because my gut was so agitated . Like you jungle chicken it usually emerges from other symptoms. I think BTDT told me about this and I have come to realize its true for me .  I dont have it all the time . I can clearly feel when its present and when its not . AS I type this its not there . Stan I hope it goes away for you , having it for that long is not right. It makes me angry to think about it . I hope you get some releif 

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Junglechicken

Mort - did the IBS/agitation/restlessness cause you to lose weight despite being on medication??

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Mort81

Hey Jungle Chicken, while I was on the meds I no IBS issues and was a healthy weight. In fact probably 10 lbs too heavy which is fine. But after stopping the meds ive had massive ibs issues. They are calming down now but it took over a year to stabilize my weight. I went from 190 to about 145 in a few months and unable to eat properly. So now I am in a much better place with my eating and weight

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CaptainJackSparrow

One keyword that I think links RLS , with akathisia and the rest: Neurological damage. I was reading an article on all the neurological damage you can incur from taking antidepressants. 

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Prozac20

I get like an agitated feeling or restlessness in my chest ( like a burning sensation ) Neck and arms . Is this what you refer as internal akathisia? Or like increased cortisol / adrenaline spikes? It's usually more at night and in the mornings

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