Pete’s Ambien Horror Story

Written by “Pete”

A close friend of 25+ years passed away Nov, 11 2011 which bothered me some.   Then also issues with my dad, negative/nasty head games on going  20+years.  Also dealing also with a teenager.   These were  bothersome to me, and I was  getting irritated by them.  I talked to my priest, especially about my dad.   After talking to my Priest, he said I should seek professional advice/help, he was suggesting a therapist, he thought there might be other issues that they could help with.

This was around Christmas time, couldn’t get an appointment till after the holidays.  Dec  26-29, 2011 was laid up from foot surgery, couldn’t do much but lay on the couch with foot elevated, bored and only reading and watching tv.  With the boring down time being stuck on the couch, too much time on my hands thinking/dwelling on my friend passing, issues with my dad, dealing with a teenager.  This was bothering me, couldn’t sleep much for 3 to 4 days, then things from my past came back to haunt me,  from when I was a kid and when I was about 25.

Not being able to sleep I couldn’t get an appointment with my doctor due to the holidays.  So I went to Abington Hospital Emergency room to see what they could do, or give me  something  to help get some sleep.  They gave me AMBIEN to take and follow up with my doctor.  Well after 3 to 4 days on the AMBIEN, I was sleeping a little better but my mind was racing about a 1000 miles per hour, was having the shakes, cold chills.

I told my wife I didn’t feel right, not sleeping right, cold shakes/chills, can’t shut my brain off, suicidal thoughts popped up which I have never had before.  My wife is an EMT and a Medical Assistant, she took my blood pressure and it was extremely high, and fast pulse rate.  My wife pulled the paperwork to check on side effects for the AMBIEN I have been on, and the side effects listed are all what have been going on with me.

She said time to go to the Emergency room.  I went to Abington hospital emergency room, they asked what was going on, I told them since they put me on the AMBIEN after 3 to 4 days I was flying, brain on fire,  running 1000 miles per hour, cold/chills/shakes, high blood pressure and the suicidal thoughts.  They asked me if I wanted to be admiited, I told them you’re the medical experts you tell me, all I know is something isn’t right and I don’t feel right.

They admitted me to the ER, the Dr’s evaluated me, they said they were not sure if the AMBIEN was doing it or something else.   They asked me if I wanted to be admitted to the hospital, I said yes, I did not know what was going on, why it was happening.  I was admitted to the Psychiatric ward.

While in the Psychiatric ward they took me off the AMBIEN and put me on RESTORIL to help me sleep and to taper down from being on AMBIEN.

I was in the hospital for 4 days, during that time I met with counselors and doctors and their conclusion was that AMBIEN probably did push me over the edge and that I had ANXIETY-NOS- Non otherwise Specified.

After I was discharged from the hospital, I got an appointment with a therapist who said I wish you had gotten in to see me before you went thru all of this, but I couldn’t, due to the holidays and the office was closed.

So now I see a therapist and doctor once/twice a month and on Zoloft for Anxiety/Depression/OCD-obsessive thoughts.

I talked or met with other people and doctors,who have been on or who know of people who had similar issues while on AMBIEN.  My goal, purpose in life is to get rid of Anxiety/Depression/OCD-obsessive thoughts, then get off the meds and get back to a normal life.   I wish I have never gone thru this or have this issue.  It is what it is!

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