Akathisia is a movement disorder that is characterized by a feeling of inner restlessness and an urge to move. People with akathisia may experience an inability to sit still or remain in one position, and may pace, rock back and forth, or constantly shift their weight from one foot to the other.
Akathisia can be a side effect of certain medications, particularly antipsychotic medications used to treat mental health conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. It can also be caused by withdrawal from certain medications, as well as by neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease.
The exact cause of akathisia is not well understood, but it is thought to be related to changes in the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain, particularly dopamine. Treatment of akathisia depends on the underlying cause and the severity of the symptoms. In cases where akathisia is caused by medication, reducing the dose or switching to a different medication may be recommended. Other treatments for akathisia may include medications to reduce symptoms, such as beta blockers or benzodiazepines, or behavioral therapies to help individuals learn coping strategies for managing their symptoms.
It is important to note that akathisia can be a distressing and disabling condition, and individuals who experience symptoms should seek evaluation and treatment from a healthcare provider.