Mental Health Awareness Month Spotlights Akathisia

Ask your doctor if the drug you're prescribed can cause akathisia.

Prescription drugs can cause akathisia even when taken as directed.

Akathisia Awareness Saves Lives

Akathisia is a critical adverse drug effect that can cause self-harm, violence, and suicide.

Many suicide prevention and mental health organizations fail to explain or even mention akathisia.”
— Wendy Dolin, MISSD Founder

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, USA, May 20, 2021 / -- May is Mental Health Awareness Month and an excellent opportunity to increase awareness of adverse drug effects that negatively impact mental health. The Medication-Induced Suicide Prevention and Education Foundation in Memory of Stuart Dolin (MISSD) believes healthcare consumers and caregivers benefit from accurate info that can reduce suffering and save lives. MISSD’s latest awareness video, “Akathisia: In Their Own Words,” educates the public about a medication-induced disorder that can precipitate self-harm, violence, and iatrogenic suicide. Akathisia can be caused by various medications prescribed for different reasons such as asthma, high blood pressure, depression, and acne. It can occur when stopping, starting, or changing the dosage or type of certain medications.

“Many suicide prevention and mental health organizations fail to explain or even mention akathisia,” said Wendy Dolin, MISSD founder. Drug ads that end with warnings about an increased risk of suicidality also don’t mention it is related to akathisia. Such dangerous silence is unacceptable given that keeping akathisia in the dark increases the likelihood that this critical adverse drug effect is overlooked, misdiagnosed, or mistreated."

MISSD is frequently contacted by family members whose loved ones died akathisia-induced deaths that were preventable had they been appropriately informed of the causes and symptoms of akathisia. Symptoms can include agitation, insomnia, cognitive confusion, skin crawling, and difficulty or inability to stop moving. The foundation recommends that the word, akathisia, specifically be mentioned as a possibility during doctors’ appointments, emergency room visits, and hospital admission.

“We can celebrate Mental Health Awareness month by spreading akathisia awareness,” said Dolin. “Share our public health videos, listen to our podcast series, take the free, accredited akathisia course, and support mental health-related nonprofits that are authentically grassroots.”

MISSD, a 501c3 nonprofit organization, honors the memory of akathisia victims through awareness and education and aims to ensure people suffering from akathisia are accurately diagnosed so that needless deaths are prevented. The foundation is an authentic grassroots nonprofit and accepts no funding from the pharmaceutical industry. All MISSD resources are free, including a podcast series and accredited, one-hour online course open to all. See for more info.

Wendy Dolin
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Akathisia: In Their Own Words