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Ambien and Anxiety

The Psychological Effects of Ambien Abuse

People who suffer from mental health disorders are familiar with prescription drugs. Those who experience anxiety and insomnia may be given medications to help them deal with the unpleasant effects. One of these medications is Ambien, which is also known for its generic name zolpidem.

Ambien is a fast-acting drug that is prescribed for those who suffer from anxiety-driven insomnia. This sedative-hypnotic medication is designed to reproduce the effects of benzodiazepines on the central nervous system, except with a lower chance of developing physical dependence.

Unfortunately, Ambien does not get to the actual cause of insomnia, and could actually worsen anxiety if the patient stops taking it. Users may experience negative effects while taking Ambien. And on this article we will be focusing on the psychological aspect of Ambien use.

How does Ambien affect the mind, and what happens when someone abuses it?

Ambien and Anxiety

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For most people, anxiety is a natural reaction to stressful situations. But for others, it can be a crippling condition that makes everyday life a chore. It’s no longer a part of their “fight or flight” response, but rather a serious problem that needs to be treated.

Anxiety disorder is typically defined by those whose condition has lasted longer than six months. There are a wide range of anxiety disorders including obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and social anxiety disorder. And these disorders are quite common. In fact, about 40 million adults in the US experience clinical anxiety in an average year.

These may be caused by a combination of traumatic experiences and genetic predisposition.

Medications like Ambien may help them deal with their sense of fear and dread, or at least reduce their anxiety to a point where they can sleep. Ambien has calming and relaxing effects that help patients get enough sleep every night.

However, Ambien itself has a high risk of dependency. And those who misuse their prescription or abuse the drug by taking it recreationally are at risk of getting addicted.

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The Psychological Effects of Ambien Abuse

Ambien should only be used for about 2 weeks or less, depending on the patient’s condition. One should follow their doctor’s prescription carefully in order to lessen the risk of getting hooked on the drug. If a person takes the drug in high doses, they may experience a number of psychological effects. You may notice them behaving strangely, or acting differently.

Users may become disoriented, confused, or unable to concentrate on everyday tasks. Some also suffer from memory loss, emotional blunting, or inability to feel pleasure without taking the drug. In some cases, recreational users get the opposite effect of what Ambien is supposed to do, making them more anxious and restless in the process. Unable to sleep, Ambien users may hallucinate, or start acting aggressively. Or if they do manage to fall asleep, they’ll be plagued by nightmares.

Worse, a person may become increasingly depressed or suicidal as they continuously take the drug.

Ambien also has physical effects that should also be mentioned, such as: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, impaired vision, dizziness, muscle cramps, and respiratory depression—the last of which can be fatal.

An addicted individual should not quit Ambien abruptly, as they may suffer from life-threatening withdrawal. It is better to undergo medical detox and behavioral therapy in order to safely get sober with the help of trained professionals.

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