Withdrawal-induced akathisia: quick tips

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  • When it comes to recovering from withdrawal-induced akathisia, the layperson withdrawal community has found that time is the greatest healer. 
  • Reassure yourself that these experiences are typical of psychiatric drug withdrawal, and that the more you practice accepting them—however frightening and uncomfortable they may be to feel— the easier you’ll find you can coexist with these symptoms until they subside.
  • Some people find that pacing or rocking helps. (Rocking chairs can also be temporarily relieving.)
  • Others find that walking outside until they’re too tired to walk anymore can help.
  • Some find that hitting a punching bag can reduce their inner restlessness. (As a tip, be sure to first learn the proper way to punch so that you don’t injure your hand, and use protective equipment to avoid bruising or fracturing your knuckles.)
  • Some have found that screaming into a pillow or wailing can help release some of the inner tension. (As a tip, please be sure to scream in a safe, secure, well-insulated place where there’s no risk that emergency services or the police might be called. It may also be helpful to communicate to friends or family around you that you’ll be doing this so that they don’t become concerned.)
  • Some people find it can be helpful to distract themselves from the physical sensations of withdrawal-induced akathisia by creating other physical sensations such as biting on their fingers or knuckles or pressing their fingernails slowly into their skin can help. Be careful not to harm yourself.
  • Avoiding caffeine, sugar, alcohol, and sugar substitutes can help lessen the intensity of these symptoms.
  • Individuals report that eating foods rich in Vitamin B6 can help, such as nuts, seeds, fish, turkey, chicken, pork, beef, bananas, and avocados (Eating whole food is a safer bet in psychiatric drug withdrawal than taking supplements, which can be too disruptive on the body for some, and can even worsen withdrawal symptoms.)


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Photo courtesy of Jacob Surland and Flickr Creative Commons