March 13, 2018 at 10:18 pm

Live Interview with Wendy Dolin and Mike Tellerino

Here is Wendy Dolin’s interview with Mike Tellerino, for K9s for Veterans, that aired last Thursday

March 12, 2018 at 10:34 pm

Is There a Link Between Psychiatric Drugs and Violent Behavior

Wendy Dolin, founder of MISSD, was contacted by the Dr. Oz show to use a statement made when she spoke in Copenhagen regarding the sudden death of Stewart as the result of taking a prescription drug. MISSD is not aware of the entire content of the program but we are hoping awareness will be drawn to some deadly side effects of meds. #TheDrOzShow #DrOz #DrOzShow

Show will air March 14, 2018 at 1pm on Fox

February 24, 2018 at 8:08 pm

With the title Veterans Helping Veterans Talk Show. MISSD is happy to partner again with K 9’s for Veterans. On March 8th MISSD founder Wendy Dolin will be interviewed by Mike Tellerino founder of K9’s for Veterans regarding her work at MISSD and the importance of the mission of MISSD for Veterans.

January 25, 2018 at 4:38 am

FDA Warns of Tamiflu side effects

With all the talk of the flu, and it being flu season, we came across an interim article regarding the potential side effects of Tamiflu.

January 17, 2018 at 2:16 am

MISSD at The Kennedy Forum 2018

MISSD founder, Wendy Dolin, and board member, Nikki Carvelli, attended the Kennedy Forum at the Hilton Chicago. There were over 30 speakers who presented on mental health equality, suicide prevention, and justice for the mentally ill in the United States. Some of the amazing speakers included, Patrick Kennedy, David Axelrod, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Arne Duncan, Michael Phelps, academy award winner Common, Tom Arnold and many more. It was truly an inspirational day, and a step in the right direction for akathisia awareness. #KennedyForum2018

Arne Duncan

Tom Arnold

Common speaking with a panel

Michael Phelps

David Axelrod

Mayor Rahm Emanuel

Nikki Carvelli and Common

Nikki Carvelli and Michael Phelps

Patrick J Kennedy


January 9, 2018 at 1:17 am

MISSD featured in Chicago Social

The MISSD 2017 Annual Fundraiser at the Montgomery Club was featured in the January issue of Chicago Social. MISSD is so grateful for the recognition of our important work.

December 26, 2017 at 9:44 pm

No Shame On U Podcast Episode 8: Wendy Dolin, LCSW, Founder of MISSD

Miriam Ament, the President and Founder of No Shame on U did a podcast with Wendy Dolin, Founder of MISSD.  MISSD is honored to partner with No Shame on U as together we work tirelessly to raise awareness for mental health issues and akathisia.


No Shame On U Podcast Episode 8: Wendy Dolin, LCSW, Founder of MISSD


In episode 8, were honored to talk with Wendy Dolin, LCSW, who has her own therapy practice and is the founder of MISSD: The Medication-Induced Suicide Prevention and Education Foundation in Memory of Stewart Dolin. We talk about akathisia, her suicide prevention advocacy through MISSD, her amazing trial win and NY Times feature, and the national and international awareness she has raised about akathisia


December 13, 2017 at 10:30 pm

Health Matters

The National Center for Health Research highlights akathisia in their Fall/Winter 2017-2018 newsletter,  “The Voice for Prevention, Treatment and Policy.”  The article’s title is “What is akathisia?  Knowing the Answer will Save Lives.”  The newsletter article highlights akathisia, MISSD and Wendy Dolin’s role as an activist in this Washington, D.C-based organization’s Patient, Consumer and Health Coalition. MISSD is grateful for the tireless work of Diana Zuckerman, the founder of this important safe patient organization.

Read the full newsletter here.
December 2, 2017 at 11:19 pm

Another Firsthand Experience and Description of the Terrors of Akathisia

A MISSD supporter from overseas recently wrote to us and described his horrific experience with akathisia after taking Zoloft. Many thanks to him for sharing this brutally honest description of his journey:

I’m keen to emphasize the fact that this is my own experience and everyone’s experience is different — symptoms vary. I wanted to share my experience so that people experiencing this don’t feel as alone as I did.

Akathisia, also known as motor restlessness, is an experience of inner restlessness. It’s a feeling of needing to constantly move which never dissipates, even with movement. It is associated with psychoactive medication, especially antipsychotics but also others, such as antidepressants. It is also associated with Parkinson’s disease, psychosis and bipolar disorder. It is often mistaken for restless legs syndrome (RLS).

My experience of akathisia began when I began to feel the “black dog” of depression start to return. I was noticing my motivation drop, my appetite disappeared, and I felt like life was meaningless. From my previous depressive episodes, I knew that I had to do something fast to prevent a self-perpetuating negative spiral.

Previously I have managed my depression using therapy alone, mainly cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) techniques. However, I felt that this latest period of numbness required more than this, so I went to my doctor and asked for an antidepressant. I started taking this on a Monday, the 13th of November.

I know that I am sensitive to drugs — I’ve previously had very bad side effects from other medications. However, I didn’t expect that such a commonly prescribed medication could have such distressing effects.
Within the first few days of taking Zoloft I had side effects, most of which I was aware were common:
· Headaches
· Strange burning sensations on my arms
· Dry mouth, causing me to drink water excessively
· Slight chest pain
· Nausea and lack of appetite — I felt disgusted by food
· Increased sweating
However, I was most upset with the fact that I started to develop a relatively minor shaking in my right arm. This started from my second day of taking it (Tuesday). Over the next few days, this got progressively worse until my whole arm was shaking uncontrollably. I could only just prevent the tremor by concentrating intensely on my affected arm, but as soon as my attention shifted it would return. It also tended to stop with gesticulation, according to my friends.

As well as this tremor, I was unable to sit or stand still. This is what doctors refer to as akathisia. Every time I would try to, I felt a terrible pain deep in my chest which forced me to my feet. I felt a profound sense of anxiety, like something terrible was going to happen. I couldn’t sleep at all — I spent hours and hours at night pacing around my room. During the day, I would try to exercise to prevent the agitation from taking over. This would help for a bit, but as soon as I stopped moving the feeling would rapidly return.

I felt trapped and alone in my experience. I felt as if I was being tortured. The fact that it was induced by a drug treating my depression made it worse — I felt as if this experience had a psychological origin. I now understand that this is a neurological phenomenon likely caused by disrupted dopamine levels. Sertraline is relatively unique in the class of SSRIs in that it targets dopaminergic neurotransmission in addition to the serotonin system.

I carried on for four days with just 1–2 hours of sleep per night. I felt like a zombie or robot as I was going to my lectures and seminars. I tried to hide my symptoms from everyone — I felt very embarrassed that I had a tremor and I spent hours in my room on my own.

In addition to these disturbing physical symptoms, I developed unusual thoughts and subjective experiences. I had a fleeting image of cutting off my arm in order to stop the tremor and akathisia. I have never thought like that before so attributed it to the medication. I also felt symptoms of depersonalisation/derealization — I didn’t feel connected to my own body and felt like I was watching the people around me through a lens. I felt disconnected from other people as I talked to them. This further added to my feeling of agitation and distress.

I also became confused. For instance, I was struggling to find my way around a shop I visit every day and felt like I wasn’t fully “with it”. My balance was affected and I couldn’t walk straight. Something was very wrong — both physically and psychologically. All of these feelings got progressively more intense until I reached a breaking point on Thursday 16th November, just 4 days after starting Sertraline. The thoughts of self-injury were becoming more intense and I knew I had to do something. I was starting to feel unsafe on my own as I was disoriented, scared and confused. So I went to the A&E department of my local hospital.

In A&E, I was still feeling very agitated and disoriented. I worried that these symptoms wouldn’t go away and felt despair and hopelessness. The department was extremely busy and I felt like I was wasting their time. I felt very self-conscious as I was shaking so much — it felt like my whole body was vibrating. The receptionist I spoke to told me that “from personal experience, antidepressants can have starting-up effects”. I was well aware of this, but they’re not supposed to be this severe! I asked if I could go somewhere more private but was told that there was nowhere.

I had to wait in A&E for 2 or 3 hours to be seen by a triage nurse. I was told in an apathetic manner that since my symptoms weren’t “life threatening and we are extremely busy, we might not be able to do anything for you.” I was left in a room facing the waiting room for 20 minutes. It was at this point that I burst into tears — I was very distressed and the laissez-faire attitude expressed by the receptionist and nurse only worsened this. The door to the room was open and everyone waiting could see me in this state — I felt almost dehumanised.

N.B. I am absolutely not criticising all healthcare staff or the NHS — I have volunteered in the NHS and know how much strain staff and system are under. However, having been to the same hospital previously after breaking my knee, I feel I was treated completely differently for “physical” and “psychiatric” problems.
After seeking advice, the triage nurse took me to a side room where I stayed for the next few hours. After pacing around for a while and attempting to eat something, I was eventually met by a psychiatric nurse and SHO from the Community Mental Health Team. They conducted a psychiatric assessment and helped me to calm down. I was told that I had a “coarse resting tremor.” I was advised to urgently contact my GP and that I shouldn’t stop my medication without this consultation. I went to my GP the next morning and they switched me to a different medication (Lexapro/Escitalopram). I am also currently on a waiting list for CBT therapy.

Today, exactly two weeks later, I am starting to return to some sense of normality. Although I am still exhausted and am struggling to concentrate on my work, I am able to calm myself and prevent the restlessness from taking over. I am grateful that I was able to recognise my feelings and knew what to do. I am thankful that we have a public healthcare system that I can rely on when in need.

I wouldn’t wish this experience on anyone; I hope anyone reading this doesn’t have to. I hope that talking about my experience helps to raise awareness about medication-induced akathisia, which far too often leads to suicide. I think there needs to be greater awareness of this potential side effect. Many doctors are unable to recognise the signs of akathisia. Indeed, none of the healthcare professionals I have come into contact with had heard of it.

November 30, 2017 at 6:38 pm

MISSD Works With First Responders

Board members Wendy Dolin, Lena Dolin and Nikki Carvelli presented the MISSD akathisia presentation to first responders at the Wheaton Police Department. MISSD was present at the 6:40 am and 2:40 pm roll call. We are so grateful to the first responders who attended our program; they are on the front lines dealing with many crisis interventions. We were excited by the engaging conversations that will no doubt lead to spreading the word about akathisia and alerting professionals on what to look for and how to react. It was a true honor to be among such dedicated men and women. A special thanks goes to Sergeant Ryan Conway for facilitating this training session.