Substance: Zolpidem (Ambien) and diphenhydramine
Experience: very experienced
Setting: My home
March 8, 2007
Let me start by saying this was not meant to be a fun experience. This was not a recreation attempt. It was something I have done before and never anything occur. Whatever caused the events which follow is unknown, but they are extreme and bizarre enough that I felt it warranted a write upÖ or maybe I should call it a warning.
I am prescribed Ambien for my chronic insomnia. On an average night without taking large doses of diphenhydramine (100mg and up) I will not fall asleep until I have been awake at least 30 hours. I take Ambien on the night when I need to be awake early, basically to just chemically knock myself out. I have combined them before when I felt particularly stimulated, i.e.: my mind wouldnít stop racing. Never before have I had the effects which follow.
Also, it should be noted the time line is estimated, as my memory of the time is fuzzy, but the events are crystal clear.
12:30 AM - I swallow 15mg of Ambien (I need this dose as I have a slight tolerance) and 100mg of diphenhydramine. I have taken this exact dose before, and know it usually has me asleep within the hour.
1:00 AM - I feel a slight sedation. I decide I should get in bed in a moment, but Iím reading something online that has me interested, and I donít want to turn away.
1:30 AM - I finish reading and get in bed. I put on a DVD of the Simpsons, which I usually do when going to sleep. For some reason though, Iím not feeling quite as tired as I usually do. I decide to just lay still and wait for sleep to come.
2:00 AM - An episode is over and Iím still awake. The TV screen is starting to look a little funny, but I dismiss it as I know if you stay awake after taking Ambien, minor hallucinations are common. As Iím waiting to next episode to watch, I hear a voice quietly calling my name. I sit up in bed and look around the room. I currently live in a finished basement, so it is a fairly large place. As I scan the room, I notice something moving in the distance. This causes a child like reaction of throwing the covers over my head. I start laughing knowing that nothing is there.
2:05 AM - After a few minutes under the covers I poke my head back out and gasp. There is a face that just darted behind my couch. I quickly scan the room, and I see another face. It is darkened, but I can make out the features distinctly, like a shadow with eyes, a nose, and mouth. I turn my head again and see yet another face, this one belonging to a full body person sitting on my couch. I shout out for these things to ďGo Away!Ē and ďLeave me alone!Ē but they only move, quietly talking to one another while staring at me. I jump up and turn on the light.
2:10 AM - In the lit room I see that nobody is there. In place of person behind my couch, it was simply my hat on the top. And the full body person on the couch, well, that was simply my jacket that I tossed up.
2:11 AM - I get back in bed and turn to the TV. At this point I am a nervous wreck. I donít understand what is going on. The memory of taking Ambien is no longer there, and I canít for the life of me understand why I am being attacked by these creatures. I take a few deep breaths to try calm myself.
2:15 AM - A voice is calling to me again, and it is getting closer. I sink down hiding my head under the covers. The voice is now joined by several more, all calling my name. Whatever is speaking to me is getting closer and closer. Finally, at the peak of my terror, I feel something grab my leg. I scream very loudly (and cannot believe that I did not wake anyone).
2:16 AM - Something inside me snaps. I may be terrified, but in war people have to face there own fear and move forwards. Thatís exactly what I must do here. I throw off my covers ready to fight the intruders. As soon as I get up though, I see they have all moved back to their original positions, and are no longer closing in on me. I stare them down, and count nine people total. Realizing that this was impossible, I began to question my sanity. Perhaps I had been developing schizophrenia and hadnít noticed. Maybe I was dying and didnít understand it. Whatever was happening, I could no longer handle it. I needed to be grounded.
2:17 AM - I call my girlfriend ďRĒ and start talking. As I am speaking I remember the people beginning to slowly fade to nothingness. However, my memory of the conversation does not exist. Perhaps my cognitive process completely shut down at this point. Nothing for the remainder of the night exists in my memory.
However, I spoke to R today and she filled me in on what we had said to each other.
She told me I had truly frightened her. She said I was babbling about hallucinating and people in my room coming for me. She also says that speaking to me was like talking to a wall. Saying something didnít guarantee I would respond, and if I did, she said I spoke mostly gibberish she couldnít make sense of. I apologized thoroughly to her, but she still seemed angry out of concern. Apparently I told her that I had combined Ambien and diphenhydramine, but I donít remember that. I seem to have selective amnesia for the event.
I can honestly say that despite how ridiculous this story is, it is completely true. I have always made a point of being honest in my reports, and this is no exception. But why did this happen? This question has lingered with me all day. I really have no answer though. I have taken 20mg of Ambien with 100mg of diphenhydramine, and not had any reaction like this at all. Maybe the fact that I didnít do as the hypnotic sedative instructed me to by ignoring its first signs and continuing reading. I also question what effects the diphenhydramine had, if any. I have read that at high doses it cause delirium, which actually would probably explain everything. Except, of course, that I have taken as much as 200mg before and never felt anything like this. Perhaps there was a certain synergy that caused this. I am unclear at this time.
Regardless of what caused this, it was the most frightening chemically experience I have ever had. I have had terrifying trips on LSD, psilocybin, and DPT where I had the feeling of (and this is hardly scientific) ďOh fuck, I finally ruined my brainĒ. In all those events though, I could maintain sanity by reminding myself that I had taken a drug, and that its effects would pass no matter how intense and frightening they would be. This was not the case with this event. I had lost the memory of taking the drug, and I truly felt I was going completely insane. It is a good thing I donít own weapons, as the though of myself firing a .357 Magnum at these phantoms could have been all too real. This was the most frightening drug experience I have had.
This is somewhat embarrassing to write about; how a veteran of the psychedelic world like me could be reduced to an infantile state. I am almost frightened to retake Ambien now. However, Iím sure that it could have all been avoided had I simply gotten into bed when I felt those first twinges of chemical action. I write this more as a warning of what can happen. I hope this was an interesting read, and please, be careful.
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I should also mention I am currently awaiting sessions with a sleep doctor, so no need to post that I need to take care of it. Just thought this might be an interesting story to others, even though it scared the fuck outta me.
i wouldn't worry about it. i've read many accounts of ambien being different with each use. for example, someone can experience full on psychedelic effects one time and the next hardly feel anything. i believe you were right: the key is to fall asleep as quickly as possible. i have a feeling that it might be removed from the market shortly, however, due to this (and many other) extremely strange side effects. just a hunch tho.
My brother took 20mgs of ambien and 250mg of diphenhydramine. He woke me up looking for pieces for his guitar that was not taken apart. I told him it was too late for this shit and he told me "I dont have to go to bed, it is only 8:30 when in reality it was almost 4am. He had no memory of it the next night and has since stopped using ambien entirely. Seems very similar.
Matt Himself: The Metamorphosis
Internet psychonaut goes from pursuit of self to self indulgence in this tale of a man unable to free himself from the shackles of desire.
Watch as Matt Himself lays in front of a TV, unable to sleep, unable to confront his problems, paradoxically reliant on sleeping pills, the #1 cause of insomnia.
In what state will he be when he wakes up?
13-03-2007 03:53Originally Posted by HottButtaz
If your making fun of me though, I only wrote this report up because I thought the event was bizarre enough where it warranted a report. Normally if I saw Ambien or Benadryl in a title, I wouldnt jump to read it. And yes, I am dependant on sleeping pills, Im not proud of it, but thats life.
I dont get the part about being unable to confront my problems... explain please.
- Join Date
- Mar 2007
Years ago, a few friends and I recreationally used ambien often.... As Im sure you know because your presacribed to it, If you don't go to sleep right away you halucanate 9 times out of 10... I normally had mild ones but a friend of mine would straight up see green men running around... (mind you we were doing this before we knew what mushrooms,x,or any of tyhe good stuff was)
- Join Date
- Mar 2007
don't worry, dude. Zolpidem is a straaaaaaaaaaaaange drug.
I took 35 mgs once and had NOTHING but a strange dizziness.. and some amnesia.
The next day i took 10 mgs of Zolpidem and saw a guy that was cleaning the floor in one of the paintings on my walls...
Zolpidem is weird.. and it's not always efective for recreational uses.
Psychedelic trips can be really interesting, sometimes. They are really inner journeys that help you discover your fears, your inner dephts. Really interesting field, anyway.
The shadow people are old friends of mine also!
I know the Black Shadow People quite well. Matt Himself - you say that you wouldn't jump to read an ambien or benadryl trip report, but I sure would! I find that those two drugs are really quite something in high doses. I absolutely LOVE ambien. I have never had full-blown hallucinations like some of my friends, but I was certainly dependant on it for a few years.
I remember one time I had my script of 30 10mg pills filled, and I got home thinking "man, I just know that I can trip off this shit..." even though I had been taking it for 2 or 3 years. So I took 150mg at once. Wow. No green men or anythingl like that, no delusions, but I was GONE. Shadows creeping around my room and floating around my head, and I was in a headspace similar to mushrooms. In fact, I took ambien to intensify mushroom visuals many, many times. I prefer to trip that way, actually, it makes the mushrooms funnier and more visual, to a ridiculous extreme.
And diphenhydramine...shit. I've been about as far out on that shit as I'd ever want to go. It's not fun anymore and even a small dose trips me out and CAN have me hiding from black shadow people/creatures. I totally understand your report and the terror you must have felt knowing how delusional you were. That shit is fun, but fucked up.
I'm prescribed Ambien CR and I notice very different, and odd effects with it all the time. Sometimes if I don't fall asleep right away I honestly feel like I'm on a lose dose shroom trip, and other times I just feel kind of 'weird' but nothing interesting. Ambien definitely can give you some weird hallucinations, so I can see your story being plausible.
thatd be scary you should have tried to eat the siht out of them
- Join Date
- Oct 2008
haha well i normally take 10mg of ambien a night for insomnia and ran out of pills (due to doubling up/trippling up and one time even taking 4 times the prescribed dosage) i like u, wasnt looking to get "high" iv just developed a tolerance and cant get to sleep
i was planning on taking some benedryl tonight but now im a little scared
idk maybe ill just take a little
- Join Date
- Aug 2007
i often take upwards of 100mg of diphen+my valium n clorazepate to sleep... it must have been the ambien and diphen combo... scary stuff... i've had sleep paralysis which is similar, voices, seeing shadow people... i also tripped delerium style on diphen but it was during the day, i just remember talking to imaginary people an allways trying to light a cigarette that wasn't there...
anyway, interestin TR...
- Join Date
- Dec 2009
I took some Ambien and Melatonin last night and thought that a shirt hanging in my closet was some guy trying to sneak up on me. I think you're suppose to go to bed right away after you take it.
- Join Date
- Dec 2009
I have had a strange experience. I take it every night for over a year now but recently I have take benadryl with it a couple of times, 2-3 pills. I was tripping so bad I was in tears shaking because a cloaked figure in a tree was follow me where ever i went, he was outside my home if i went to another room he was there outside, even if a window wasnt there i could see him, like x ray vision ro something. he breathed heavy but did nothing, I was so scared I literally ran outside to my car to take off (stupid I know) and my car wouldn;t start.......... I have a brand new 2009 pt cruiser. COME ON it should start. Maybe it was a sign I shouldnt go anywhere, mahybe the cloaked figure was death. I dont know, maybe when people havfe these psychological trips and see these figures and hear things its another reality and its something we cannot understand but they are there possibly to stop you from doing something you will regret or to teach you to face your fears or any other wierd lessons. I am on a laptop thats why my spelling is kind of mixed up in spots. sorry lol.
I am not a drug abuser, I am 22 and am a very very good person and always am honest, I wanted to share my story as matt did above.
I've had a lot scarier stuff happen sober, my mind loves to play with me. Reading this gave me chills though as it reminded me of my youth.
Scariest sober experience was when I was hallucinating shadow creatures in my room and one biting chunks out of my back while I was experiencing sleep paralysis. It was so real, painful, and frightening. I could hear them chewing in my ear. After I was able to move I ran the hell away from my room afraid to sleep there again.
What a great read, I followed all the way through.. I've found that people who time the events on what happens have the most interesting stories, as it usually consists of more factual events more than opinion.
And as for your sleep problem, I'll tell you what any doctor will tell you. You're not active enough, your body doesn't need sleep, you don't go to sleep. Go outside all day then all of a sudden you're asleep by 6:00PM...
- Join Date
- May 2012
Sorry to bump an old thread, but I have a story to share along the exact same lines.
My wife suffers from extreme bipolar disorder (depressive mostily) and has attempted to commit suicide several times. Because of this, I become hyper-vigilant when she's going through the down swing of a cycle. This last go-round, I was up for nearly 3 straight days with nothing more than cat-naps to keep me going. No good drugs to help me out either! Well, this episode ended with my wife taking an ambulance ride, as I simply could not handle it any longer and there were no signs that she was coming back to earth any time soon.
Surprisingly enough, when I finally tried to sleep I found I could not. Perhaps it was anxiety. At any rate, I swallowed an ambien and washed it down with a beer. This was the only one I had left, and I consumed over an hour. It was quite warm when I finished the final swallow to wash down a second ambien.
The first one didn't put me to sleep. I though, "Damn! I really NEED to sleep or I'm going to end up in the same boat as my wife". Ironically enough, I experienced the first blackout of my life. For the next several hours, I went on a butt-nekked rampage around my home. I broke glass, busted down doors, tore through the trash and all sorts of other explainable things. Somehow, I called my brother early on in this madness. He heard how incoherent I was and came over to check on me - this is how I know ANYTHING at all about what I was like. I, apparently in an intense rage, stormed around arguing with my wife, who was 45 minutes away in a mental institution. Great!
I awoke to a knock at my door. Thinking, "damn, I didn't get very good sleep last night" I proceeded to open my bedroom door to behold the disaster that was my apartment. I thought someone MUST have broken in and tried to rob the place. I was planning on calling the police, even picked up my cell to do just this, as I walked over to see who was at the door. It was the police...
I looked down at my call log to make sure I hadn't accidentally called them myself. No chance to confirm before they had me outside, in cuffs and being interviewed by the Crisis Intervention team from my local PD. 15 minutes total and they were gone. Apparently my neighbors had called them, shortly after my brother hauled-ass out knowing damn well who was going to show up (he wasn't clean, having brought some herb over in hopes of calming me). Based on the time they got there, I must have only dozed for 15 minutes or so. I remembered nothing.
Crisis team found no reason to hospitalize me. Beat cops found no reason to arrest me. No penalties whatsoever. No memory either.
I don't take ambien anymore and I don't drink alcohol with benzos.