Mark's RLS Story: Thoughts and Considerations (Part 2)

This story is the second installment of a member-submitted 3-part series. Part 1 of Mark's story can be found here.

After trying with the anxiolytics, the akathisia kicked in.

Only those who have been cursed to live such experiences can understand the feeling of your vital energy being sucked out of your own soul. To be replaced by such abnormalities in the way of feeling and living that take your person hostage, to stop functioning as a human being but constantly be a prisoner, 24/7, of your own suffering — a torture you cannot escape from, because it is internal to your same body, so you just have to see life itself as a curse from which perhaps you could only get out with death.

This is what the psychiatric "cure" I have been subject of meant to me.

The struggle of restlessness and akathisia

The feeling of inescapable torture is how a lot of people like us feel about the RLS. What shall we do? We only want to rest. We only want to sleep. We only want to be normal.

This is the kind of despair one feels.

The akathisia began with a morning of extreme restlessness. I could not lie down, I could not sit, I could not stay still.

Obviously, my psychiatrist said to me on the phone that all of this was normal, that everything would disappear in a few days or maybe weeks of following the therapy, and that in the meantime I could try benzodiazepines and anticholinergic drugs.

The nervous system is a universe of galaxies

They know (or should know) that benzodiazepines are a class of drugs that are very limited in use, as they can be addictive and tend to lose effectiveness over time. However, they have no problem in telling you to try taking them from now on, on a daily basis, and for weeks or months; go figure if they are in bad faith or are apparently only very ignorant (I bet the second) about the mechanisms of the drugs they are prescribing, and they don't really know the pharmacodynamics of the drugs they prescribe.

They don't know the pathogenesis of the diseases they pretend to cure. They don't even know very well the very systems they would like to cure, especially one such as the nervous system, which is such a Milky Way of myriads of complex systems and perhaps equally complex subsystems. It can be comparable only to the universe itself, with all its galaxies, planetary systems, celestial bodies, and everything in them.

But yet, a psychiatrist or a neurologist will tell you that he manages to do it. I believe that he lies; in fact, I know, and millions of people know, that they lie. Because we still don't comprehend this system well, just like we don't yet know our solar system, or the galaxy fully.

Insomnia, muscle tension, and difficulty functioning

I was also prescribed antidepressants, because the whole situation and mix of drugs just turned me into a zombie, so I found myself waking up in the morning and taking 2 different psychiatric drugs — some drops of benzos and a pill of biperiden hydrochloride for akathisia.

I wondered how that was possible when I remembered that I only took one multi-vitamin supplement in the summer.

Without going further into my psychiatric experience, the following months were a daily succession of insomnia, nervous and muscular tension, sedation and lack of vital force (not energies — vital force, essence). Me lying on the couch, sleeping half an hour in the afternoon, trying to work but being unable to. Trying to think but not being able to. Standing and marching on the spot like a soldier (akathisia) while doing everything, like washing dishes. Marching, or standing in front of the counter with a coffee, sipping an espresso and marching (I wonder, if someone had ever noticed it, what they could have thought).

Going off of psychiatric medications

After 6 months of doing this, heavily dependent on benzos to just have a decent (not good — decent) sleep, not be restless, etc., I decided it was enough, but did not want to go off everything "cold turkey," as they say.

I decided to talk to my psychiatrist about my will to get off this... mess.

I did not expect the doctor's nervous and annoyed reaction. He said I would do something stupid, that I would go back to square one (would have been great, ironically), and that he strongly advised me not to do so.

Had I listened to him, I'm not sure I would still be alive to this day.

Using caution when trying new medications

In any case, I had already made up my mind, and I left with the summer just around the corner, inclined to give up the drugs as gradually as possible. So I did, and from August/September that year, I began to gradually feel better. I would have to wait until the Spring of 2022 to fully recover and feel mentally and physically normal again, like before all of this.

Maybe I was a sensitive subject, but I never had such problems as after the 6-8 months of psychiatric therapy, and having it messed with my dopamine levels and receptors. Having understood that antidepressants may reduce the capacity of your brain to absorb iron, you may understand how mad I am about psychiatrists prescribing drugs they don't really know much about. One tends to trust doctors, but really, I learned you have to use more caution.

Stay tuned for Part 3 of this story, coming soon!

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