New Public Health Video Targets Akathisia-Induced Suicidality Among Veterans

Akathisia Awareness Saves Lives

K9s for Veterans provides therapeutic service dogs to improve the quality of life for vets

K9s for Veterans

Akathisia is a Medication-Induced Disorder that can Cause Self-Harm, Violence, and Suicide

I lost years of my life when I returned from combat--not to post-traumatic stress--but to misdiagnoses and inappropriate prescribing.”
— Angela Peacock

CHICAGO , IL, USA, May 28, 2024 /EINPresswire.com/ -- The Medication-Induced Suicide Prevention and Education Foundation in Memory of Stewart Dolin (MISSD) and K9s for Veterans have coproduced a powerful new public health video. "Voices of Veterans: The Hidden Dangers of Medication" shares the personal experiences of veterans who suffered from polypharmacy harms and akathisia, a critical and often misdiagnosed medication-induced disorder that can cause suicidality.

"Yesterday we honored veterans on Memorial Day, and May is Mental Health Awareness Month," said Wendy Dolin, MISSD founder. "Our new video aims to promote akathisia awareness and conversations about medication risks vs possible benefits before prescribing."

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, an average of 20 veterans die by suicide every day in the United States. While many factors contribute to this statistic, MISSD and K9s for Veterans believe akathisia is a significant and often overlooked risk factor. Both nonprofits report that they frequently hear from veterans who state that when they sought therapeutic talk therapy they were instead put on long wait lists and prescribed medications that caused adverse psychiatric effects.

“I’ve seen veterans lose everything because of the meds that they were on," said Michael Tellerino, founder of K9s for Veterans. "One vet was given more than 18 different drugs."

Akathisia symptoms can include intense inner and outer restlessness, agitation, delirium, cognitive confusion, and unusual thoughts and behaviors. A wide variety of medications are associated with akathisia, including but not limited to drugs prescribed for asthma, depression, weight loss, acne, malaria, infection, and high blood pressure.

"We must do better to protect those who have served our country," said Angela Peacock, a combat-tested US Army veteran whose experiences are reflected in the "Voices of Veterans" video. "I lost years of my life when I returned from combat--not to post-traumatic stress--but to misdiagnoses and inappropriate prescribing." Peacock is now a consultant who works to help others heal from pharmaceutical injuries. 

The public is encouraged to share this akathisia awareness video with their networks. As an authentic, safe-patient grassroots 501(c)(3) nonprofit, MISSD is committed to integrity and transparency, and operates without financial support from the pharmaceutical industry. For more info and a free, accredited Akathisia 101 course, see MISSD.co and K9sforveteransnfp.org.

Wendy Dolin
MISSD
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Voices of Veterans: The Hidden Dangers of Medication