Welcome To The Institute for Akathisia Research & Prevention:
The Institute for Akathisia Research and Prevention is committed to helping sufferers of medication induced akathisia and those closest to them. We all remember the day we started to feel restless and agitated. When we couldn’t sit still or feel at ease, when things started to go downhill fast. We remember no one believing us, and the medical professionals not understanding what we meant when we said, “I think I have akathisia!” If you are just learning that you might have akathisia or are a long-time fighter of the syndrome, please take a deep breath and read on.
To medical or mental health practitioners:
Thank you sincerely for taking the time to visit our website and learn more about akathisia. As professionals on the front lines in our mission to prevent and treat akathisia, you are our most important allies. Together we can work together to find better treatments while providing psycho-education and resources for sufferers and their families.
We are always seeking professional partners to assist in our mission. If you are interested in joining our research team, please feel free to contact us below.
A Message From Our Founder:
The Institute for Akathisia Research and Prevention is a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to saving and improving the lives of individuals suffering from medication-induced akathisia. The Institute’s core mission is to create better resources and outcomes for sufferers.
Through our funding, we aim to design improved early detection tools, create better medical and public education awareness surrounding the term akathisia and to ultimately find effective treatment options where none presently exist. We are here to provide you information and hope as you cope with this most challenging condition.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Akathisia is an acute medical crisis in which restlessness and agitation cause intense levels of distress, uncontrolled movement and behavioral dysregulation.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5) describes medication-induced akathisia as:
“Subjective complaints of restlessness, often accompanied by observed excessive movements (eg fidgety movements of the legs, rocking from foot to foot, pacing, inability to sit or stand still) developing within a few weeks of starting or raising the dosage of a medication or after reducing the dosage of a medication.”
- Subjective restlessness that varies in intensity
- Objective observable movement – pacing, flailing arms, fidgeting, rocking and shifting weight.
- Frantic, panicked and agitated mood.
- Severe anxiety and fear/terror
- Intense levels of distress
- Monophobia or fear of being alone
- Insomnia or difficulty sleeping
- Suicidal Thoughts
- Homicidal Thoughts
Clinical observation, patient self-report and diagnostic rating scales are currently the accepted screening methods for diagnosing medication-induced akathisia in a clinical setting. Each of these assessment tools, while incredibly useful, contain patient and clinician biases that contribute to underdiagnoses. Additionally, since there are no relevant laboratory or radiographic tests to clinically support or rule-out a diagnosis of medication-induced akathisia, these subjective measures are the sole method of evaluation.
Medication induced akathisia is often misdiagnosed due to the fact that akathisia mimics a host of other common psychiatric diagnoses including anxiety, mood, personality and thought disorders. Since individuals with medication-induced akathisia often present as behaviorally disinhibited they are often viewed as mentally ill when in fact they are experiencing an adverse medication effect.
Medication-induced akathisia is presently often misdiagnosed due to lack of consensus in clinical presentation and the fact that it can be diagnostically difficult to distinguish from other syndromes of restlessness and agitation including restless legs syndrome, psychomotor agitation and agitated mood syndromes.
Thank you for considering giving to our institute. We provide education, medical research and patient advocacy services designed to aid those with medication induced akathisia. We are funded entirely by donations and grants from individuals, foundations, companies, and special events.
- To create medical consensus and public awareness of and about the term medication-induced akathisia.
- To produce an educational video series for doctors/pharmacists/therapists/etc. to understand how to better differentially diagnose akathisia.
- To design and test a new updated clinical scale to better identify ambiguous cases leading to better treatment strategies and outcomes.
- To fund an ongoing evidence-based research project to better identify prevention and amelioration strategies designed to reduce suffering, improve outcomes and create supportive programming including integrated medical and psychological care for sufferers and their families.
We are not a medical organisation.
However, we will try to provide you with the latest in research and treatment options as they become available, and we have members who are healthcare professionals that contribute to our site.
Meet Our Board
Please feel free to reach out with stories of recovery and things that have aided your journey.
However, the Institute for Akathisia Research and Prevention is unable to provide direct individual support or guidance due to legal restrictions and is not a suicide hotline. If you are in crisis, immediately call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.
The Institute for Akathisia Research and Prevention (IARP) web site, it’s databases, and the contents thereof are copywritten by IARP. No information contained on the website may be published without written consent from IARP