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In this fourth episode of Akathisia Stories, we hear from Kim Witczak, whose husband, Woody, was having trouble sleeping in the summer of 2003. He paid a visit to his regular doctor and left with a three-week sample pack of Zoloft. Kim was out of the country for the first three weeks Woody was on the drug; when she returned home, she was alarmed to see what was happening to her husband of almost 10 years. Kim Witczak: “I will never forget: He came in with his blue dress shirt, which he had an undershirt under, and it was just drenched with sweat; dropped his briefcase at the backdoor; went into a fetal position on our kitchen floor with his hands wrapped around his head like a vice, going: ‘Help me, Kim; help me. I don’t know what’s happening to me. It’s like my head’s outside my body looking in. Help me, Kim. Help me.’ And I remember just looking at him – and I had no idea, but we calmed him down. You know, I’m like, ‘Let’s try breathing; let’s try praying; let’s try yoga. If this job is so stressful, quit.’ You know, I had no idea.”

Kim shares Woody's story — and her own. Her advocacy work has taken her to the nation's capital not only to testify before House and Senate panels but to serve on the FDA Psychopharmacologic Drug Advisory Committee. Kim Witczak: “Being appointed on this committee I think is a success in that I’m not going to be just the rubber stamp, which I see a lot of. So for me, I think it’s a success that I have a seat at the table. But I’m often the only one that votes no.”

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